I'm currently discerning among three religious communities:
Carmelite Monks of Wyoming
Franciscans of the Immaculate
The Order of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts of Jesus and Mary
The most important charisms to me are prayer and penance. The more austere, the better. I've done a fairly substantial amount of research on all three and have contacted the vocations director of all three, but If anyone has any information they can share or any special insights, it would be appreciated. Or if there are any other orders/communities similar to these, please let me know.
Also, I graduate from college this May with a teaching degree, so I'm debating whether or not I should go visit these communities right after I graduate or teach for a year or two and make some money so I can go and visit the communities I'm interested in without having to rely on my parents for travel money. Plus I can further discern during that time. I'm leaning towards religious life over teaching at this point however.
Also, my mom has her heart set on me becoming a Diocesan Priest, which I don't feel called to at this point, though I haven't closed the door on the possibility. When I informed her that I was seriously considering the FI's, she was utterly distraught. The life of poverty in particular troubles her. She has the mindset of "you can still get to Heaven without being so radical", which is true, but I'm of the mentality of giving my life to Christ in a radical way...it's what I desire to do. If she knew that I was now discerning becoming a Monk, she would likely flip out again. I know the important thing is to help her focus on what I'm gaining as to opposed to what I'm giving up. Any advice on how to deal with this situation is appreciated.
Thanks in advance for the responses.
"Remember that you have only one soul; that you have only one death to die; that you have only one life, which is short and has to be lived by you alone; and there is only one Glory, which is eternal. If you do this, there will be many things about which you care nothing." - Saint Teresa of Avila