I have applied to enter a convent, but was told by the vocations director that my history of depression is a concern (I had treatment for five years, but am now able to cope and no longer need therapy or medication). She said it is not an obstacle in itself, but she would need to look at medical documentation.
It is making me kind of worried, because I feel very called to this order and I feel like they think I’m suited to them, yet I’m working on focusing on doing God’s will rather than focusing solely on my own.
I am wondering, though, on what kind of grounds it would be an obstacle. I know it’s probably better for me to ask this question to my director rather than on a forum, but I guess I’m just looking for some opinions and support - and please do pray for me, too.
Whether or not it has a high probability to reoccur and how deeply the depression affected you would be my guess. Basically, if it were to happen again, what can the community expect and can they work with that.
Don’t worry about it though; in a way it’s good to go into these situations with complete honesty and trust in the Lord. If you are rejected through complete honesty and transparency, then you should take that as a sign from God… a Holy Indifference, if you will.
Religious life is hard. If one has a frail constitution to begin with, physically or mentally, it makes it all the more difficult. One doesn’t go to a religious house to have it easy, to receive divine consolations all the time, or to get a pat on the back and public recognition for everything one does. Well, one might do so, but it would be folly. Religious life means – to a greater degree than the rank and file faithful – renouncing everything, including one’s time and energy, personal comforts, even one’s own will, for Christ’s sake. Humanly speaking, this is not an easy thing to do. But of course if one is called to it, God will provide the grace. It is a beautiful thing to do.
I gladly will pray for you. I have suffered from Major Depression my entire life, and at times thought I was being called to a Religious Life, but came upon this obstacle. For me I can see how my disease would prevent me from being successful as a nun, and have come to terms with my call to be a single lay person-which is often lonely-but not an unimportant calling. How marvelous for you that you have beat this dreadful disease! I am truly happy for you. Keep offering all that you do and are to Him, I know you know that His plans are not always ours to understand. Hang in there!!
Thank you. I feel quite confident with how I’ve overcome it, and I now know how to cope with negative feelings and even in some cases how to avoid slipping into a depression. I am quite anxious about what will come about, and initially it did make me a little upset. The vocations director was very considerate, and I feel like they will handle things appropriately. I’m working on trusting more in the Lord.
Thank you. I think my desire for religious life is genuine, and I know it will be hard. I want to be able to give everything I am and everything I have to Christ, and I trust that if He is calling me to live as a religious, He will give me the means to be able to do so. If I’m not meant to enter this convent, nothing I can do will get me there. Of course, I’m praying I will - I love these Sisters and their mission, and it is hard to think there is a chance I won’t be accepted - but I am leaving it ultimately in the Lord’s hands.
Many thanks - blessings!
Thank you so much for your kind words, for your prayers, and for sharing your own experience. I feel blessed to be where I am, and I trust He has plans for me more wonderful than I can ever imagine. Keeping you in my prayers also.