I feel very much called to contemplative religious life but cannot become a nun. I know I have read before about saints who yearned for the religious life but had family or health situations that prevented them from pursuing it. I cannot seem to remember which saints these were though and am hoping someone on here can point me in the right direction. Thanks!
You should consider joining a third order religious group. Lay Dominicans, Secular Carmelites, Secular Franciscan Order, etc. It’s a good alternative for those who cannot enter a religious order for whatever reason.
These people live in the world but still follow their order’s spirituality.
St. Cecelia wanted to becom a nun it her parents forced her to marry. Managed to covert her husband, too.
Saint Gemma wanted to become a nun, but couldn’t for health reasons.
Both St Therese’s parents wanted to be religious. Her father couldn’t become a priest I believe, because of struggles with learning Latin. I can’t remember her mother’s obstacle. Both of them will probably become saints one day. Also, I believe St. Rita was forced into marriage by her parents.
There are many paths to holiness. I believe St. Catherine was a 3rd order member. She was single with 22 brothers and sisters. Therese’s parents in their vocation of marriage produced 5 children who became nuns, one a saint. In addition to third orders there is the vocation of consecrated virgin, hermit, single life and marriage.
Anyway, God must be pleased with your efforts to please Him. God bless you. Praying for you.
I wanted to become a contemplative nun - at least I liked the idea of it. There was only one obstacle: When I became Catholic in 2004 I had been married for over 20 years and had a 7 year old son. Clearly, if God had wanted me to be a contemplative nun he would have called me to the Catholic Church before any of that. If you can’t be a nun, then maybe he is calling you to something else.
When I came into the Church, I heard about 3rd or Secular Orders. Next spring I will enter the Noviate of the Secular Discalced Carmelites. I get to be a contemplative and married. As my son says, it’s the best of both worlds.
If you want more information on the OCDS, just Google Secular Discalced Carmelites. Or OCDS, though that tends to pull up all kinds of sites devoted to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, as well as the Order of Carmelites Discalced Secular.
God bless you in your discernment and on your journey. Trust him, he has a plan for how all of those parts of you fit together, both the desire for a contemplative life and the reasons why you can’t become a nun.
If you are discerning, please consult with a spiritual director. This is very important.
I hope you are not ruling this out just because you saw this on an order’s website.
It doesn’t that you do or don’t have a vocation, but this something to take seriously!