Stuck in a rut. Need Catholic Community


#1

I’ve really been struggling in this world. I’m pretty much stuck in a rut in my present plight.

For the last 5 months I’ve been living with friends who are going to college. They’re all going to college, but I’m not attending, and am not likely to. So, basically I’m a college dropout. I’ve been sleeping on a couch for most of this time, and **most of my present plight is due to depression/ anxiety, but also because I don’t really have a place in the world.
**
I had a falling out with my father, my parents are divorced, and my mother lives very far away.

For the last 3 weeks I’ve actually been working. So… that’s apparently “VERY GOOD NEWS”. As my priest tells me, and my friends tell me. I don’t really agree.

Its a part-time, minimum wage job. And, apparently, my goal is to get full-time work, so that I can make enough money to get my own place (or so I’m told).

But it just seems so pointless to me. I don’t want to live by myself all my life. I’m a homosexual, or have SSA: Same-Sex Attraction, if you don’t understand my username. I really don’t see a possibility of having a meaningful life by living in the world, by working a secular job. All I want to do is serve the Church. That’s what I want to do with my life. Ok? But, for some reason, this doesn’t seem to be possible.

Priests tell me I need to work a job for several years to demonstrate stability. Can’t I serve the Church now?!?! I want to serve the Church now. I am wasting time, I am treading water. The Church doesn’t seem to understand this. Where’s the sense of urgency? The apostles set down their nets and followed Christ immediately.

How many Saints ran away to a monastery when they were young?
Why can’t I do that?

Apparently I can’t do that. This is a different time in history, I’m told. Well, I envy those Saints then, they had it easy. They got to go to monasteries.

I might just make this question its own thread, maybe a dozen times, until I find somewhere. My question is:
**Where is a Catholic community I can join? **

If I can’t live in a Catholic community somewhere, then I see no point in life, honestly. I’m not living a lone as a homosexual individual. I don’t want to live alone. I am weak, and I need a community to help me be holy. If I live alone, then I will sin for the rest of my life.

Living with my Catholic friends is just not working out, and its not a community. And I don’t want to work in the secular world or get a degree because that would mean I couldn’t live in a Catholic community.

I need to live in a Catholic community somewhere. Short of that, I will just be a step above homelessness, living on a couch, with no prospects and no future.

Where is a Catholic community I can join? Monastic or Lay?


#2

Well, if you don’t think you have a place in the world, then make your place. No one else will do it for you. You want to serve the Church in the sense that someone with an ecclesiastical vocation would, but if you have one, you can’t follow up on it yet? Then, being unconstrained and I would presume psychologically stable enough, look around here for a while: catholicvolunteernetwork.org/.

There you will find service, community, and most importantly, self-knowledge and a greater devotion to the Lord. It looks to me like you might be an excellent candidate for this.


#3

My goodness, read the stories of the saints: many of them had to wait quite a few years before they joined the priesthood or convent. Find a good spiritual director and do a good soul search as well as learn some skills: accounting, landscaping, computer, art, music, cooking, agriculture, business-anything that a monk might need to offer to a community. Go visit a few communities and talk with their spiritual or vocational director. A vocational director should know what might be a good use of your present time: they’ve seen enough interested candidates to know.

If your vocational path should change, nothing you might do in pursuit of a religious vocation will be a waste.

Do take care of your anxiety and depression. Look into nutritional approaches as well as find a good counsellor. You sound like a good person and deserve to have a way to manage your health and mood for a better life.

By the way, some of the most successful people I know are college dropouts (or never attended in the first place). It’s all about applying what you know, not in waving a diploma. (Not intending to criticize college grads).

May God bless you and guide you.


#4

Well College isn’t everything.
A lot of times people go to college four years and end up working at Starbucks so I don’t think College is always the answer to success as it use to be.

In a lot of ways you are better working full time and moving up the ladder that way.
Probably the best thing you could do is find a trade like Security or Janitorial or HVAC or Electrician or Plumber or carpenter or landscaping.
You could even go to a trade school or a Vocational School.

As far as being gay yes it is not encouraged that priest be Gay or really any type of clergy person.
I don’t think it’s that you cant be in the clergy it’s not just encouraged because you will always struggle with this and it’s sort of the pole in your own eye.
A lot of it has to do with the Sex Scandals the last 14 or more years in the Church.
I could be completely wrong.

Maybe look into the Monotheistic life and become a Monk.
There’s Community but you concentrate on God heavily so you may not have any time for attraction or urges.

I personally would like to go take the Chaplain Course that is at a Hospital it’s only 500.00 and become a Chaplain maybe a Police or Hospital Chaplain.
I could see myself doing that but for now I work Security.
Ive thought about it for awhile and maybe ill go into it maybe not or maybe a couple years down the road.
Well I guess they also have a place to take a class at my Diocese but there is also a hospital that is also Catholic.
I would have to go here cpecentralca.org/home
Then I believe I would have to register here unless the program I went through was already Catholic.
nacc.org/
To be honest I rather work with all Christians and not just be confined in the Catholic Box.

Chaplains not to be confused with Priest who serve in the Military who also called chaplains.
Chaplains Minister to people who are sick or dying or to their families.
Police Chaplains help families who have had a family member die in their home or suffered a tragedy or to other Police officers.
Hospital Chaplains minister to the sick and dying and to their families.
You can even be a Chaplain for the Catholic Church but the Certification is expensive and I am not necessarily Sure one needs it to work in the Church so long as one is Recognized as a Catholic and is a practicing Catholic.

Look into that you might like Being a Chaplain.


#5

I’m sorry for the difficulty you are having. I’m not sure if you have read Brother Lawrence. He was a monk who realized he could serve God doing whatever he was doing, which in his case was washing dishes. He wasn’t happy about it initially, but learned he could offer his dissatisfaction to Christ and experienced amazing results.

My guess is finding a community will not resolve the difficulties you are experiencing. From the little you have written, it seems like there are some issues in your life you think being accepted by a community will resolve. You may find yourself just as unhappy, or more so, because you think what should be making you feel better is not. Joining a community does not resolve problems, it fulfills a calling yet adds a different set of stressors.

This is not meant to discourage you. Your current situation on the outside is just a reflection of what’s going on in the inside. Change yourself on the inside and the outside will change in proportion.

Good luck.


#6

Hi again fellow!

I have a few suggestions. I’m closely connected to an ecumenical order of brothers who are very sold out for Christ, and who often invite younger brothers in Christ to live with them and serve. It’s possible they would be open to you serving with them – not so much discerning becoming a brother, but a step before that.

Look up servantsoftheword.org/

I also know of a really great Catholic charismatic community: the People of Hope, in New Jersey. There are similar communities in Pittsburgh, Ann Arbor, and Lansing, and smaller outreaches other places. In addition, there’s a great college ministry program in St. Paul, Minnesota, called St. Paul’s Outreach.

Let me know if you want more info about any of these. I think it’s worth dramatically changing your life in order to experience Christian community more authentically and deeply.


#7

Remember in scripture Jacob working hard for seven years in order to marry Rachel. Think of this long term seeking of a goal in your time of troubles now. I know the urgency can burn strongly, but do not think of this time as treading water. If it takes a couple of years to demonstrate your stability in order to serve in the Church then think of that time as the beginning of your service rather than merely something leading up to it or to get out of the way first. Begin to train and discipline yourself for what you feel called to in the future. pray the liturgy of the hours, attend daily mass, make frequent use above all of the sacraments. Seek community in your local parish. Barring this, the earlier suggestion of volunteer work in a communal setting is very good sounding. I don’t really know what else to say aside from that unfortunate as it is we do not live in the good old days when one could show up at a monastery gate in the desert and undergo three days of trial then be admitted to the novitiate. We have piles of red tape and DMV like beurocracay and psych evaluations blood tests to make sure one is a human rather than an extra terestrial etc.:smiley: The journey up from a bad situation begins somewhere and things do not always go well at first. seek God and your calling and consider this the beginning of that journey rather than the airport lounge waiting to set out.


#8

Being gay or SSA is sinful. As a reproductive physiologist (although an Animal Physiologist) I know people are not born like that. Its the environment. My issue is this. The clergy would not be the place for you at this time. Sins of sex follow you ALL YOUR LIFE. Sometimes you might fall and give in, others you’d face it depending on what stage you are in physiologically. The church is already choked with scandals and doesn’t need any addition. Peoples kids could end up preyed upon. Not that you intend to but because it just happened. This is high risk. Many of those who have SSA or are gay have told me they had an encounter at one time or the other in their life and that changed their whole sexual orientation. Hence we owe it to our kids to protect them at all times until they can protect themselves.
About the religious life, joining a monastery isn’t right for you either as you would be living amongst same sex people. Better said it is not fair on others. Even the straitest person can fall under pressure. You would have to tackle life hard to show God you love him. God sees your struggles and desires and will crown you in the end. For those who seek perfection in the Jesus name, perfection shall be giving to them. Goodluck.


#9

We are all called to emulate the good angels, who chose to serve God, rather than be thrown into Hell with Satan. If you concentrate on your life with God, rather than obsessing with sexual matters, you’ll find the journey a lot easier.

The sacraments and sacramentals are a huge help. I always recommend the Green Scapular and St. Benedict medal for those suffering from SSA. Also, the Five-fold Scapular and Miraculous Medal. The rosary is doubly blessed for these days of tribulation, so please make use of it.

Get yourself onto a schedule that opens with a Morning Offering, closes with offering the Pure Heartbeats of Sleep, includes the Angelus and Divine Mercy, and the Liturgy of the Hours, if possible. Invoke Our Lady & St. Joseph as “Terror of Demons” and see if that helps. St. Dymphna was a lay exorcist, too.

If an unfortunate situation is what spurred your SSA, then ask God for clarity and seek the appropriate professional help. You seem to be suffering from clinical depression, along with being flailed by demons. If you keep a religious schedule, your non-working days can be turned fruitful. You have the community of the Communion of Saints, and as long as you stay pure, your heart will be able to keep its eyes upon God.

Humans are communal, so the desire for community is real. Ask Our Lady for good companions.

Google “Marie Mediatrice” and see if the pic helps.

Blessings,
Cloisters


#10

Wow! Where to begin?

(1) Even if being gay is not inborn, that does not make it chosen.

(2) Even if being gay is a negative trait, that does not make it a sin. (Bipolar disorder is a negative trait, but not a sin.)

(3) The Church explicitly teaches that being gay is not a sin.

(4) If you are right that homosexuality is caused by abuse – and I think that sometimes it is – then you should deal with the OP with all the compassion that you would give to a victim of abuse. And yet your post does not even begin to mention compassion until the last few sentences.

(5) There is no evidence that gay people are more likely to be sexually active in monasteries, nor is there a history of scandals about consensual sexual activity in monasteries. So who exactly are you protecting here?

(6) How exactly could a straight person “fall under pressure” by meeting a celibate gay man in a monastery? You seem to assume that gay men are predators. Citation?


#11

Sorry I tried to edit my first sentence but coudnt do so on the site. Being gay is not a sin, endulging in the activity is heavy sin.
Yes being with all males can bring about such feelings. If you put all male pigs in a room from childhood, when they attain maturity they start mounting themselves. Take that pig to females, he most likely would mount the female. Take him back to males same thing. An orgasm is an orgasm so experiences would go a lont way. We are all social animals.
Its like food. When you’re hungry impulses are sent to the brain and brain tells you “let’s search for food”. When you develope spermatozoa, it gets to a point you brain tells you to discharge the load. Even the ugliest girl in your class would look like a Miss World. Same happens wen there’re only men. Don’t be deceived, priests are like you and me. Same temptations. Your being a man is judged by how well you can overcome temptations. In many same sex schools in Africa (country withheld) beds were made very narrow. I found out is so two people can’t share the same bed. I’m talking minor seminary, military schools etc.


#12

OK. How is that a reason for a person with same-sex attraction not to join a monastery? Are you assuming that such people can’t overcome temptations?


#13

Its up to him to decide. Can I handle it? If I meet a fellow brother who meets my taste can I relate with him, eat and drink with him without developing or showing those traits? What if I find out he has homosexual traits n tells me he is attracted to me? I am meant to get closer to God and help my fellow brothers achieve same. Will I succumb and turn the monastery into a zoo? People need to examine and judge themselves. We can’t always be monks. There are other things one can be.


#14

Just so you know, gay people would find this terribly offensive. It is deeply dehumanizing.

From the Vatican’s document on the care of gay people:

It has been argued that the homosexual orientation in certain cases is not the result of deliberate choice; and so the homosexual person would then have no choice but to behave in a homosexual fashion. Lacking freedom, such a person, even if engaged in homosexual activity, would not be culpable.

Here, the Church’s wise moral tradition is necessary since it warns against generalizations in judging individual cases. In fact, circumstances may exist, or may have existed in the past, which would reduce or remove the culpability of the individual in a given instance; or other circumstances may increase it. **What is at all costs to be avoided is the unfounded and demeaning assumption that the sexual behaviour of homosexual persons is always and totally compulsive and therefore inculpable. **What is essential is that the fundamental liberty which characterizes the human person and gives him his dignity be recognized as belonging to the homosexual person as well.


#15

I stand by my word. If I apologise for saying that its best left as is cos apologising will mean I’d have to say it again. Same goes for straight people. If I’m a gardener in a nunery and heaven forbid I start indulging in acts against purity with nuns, then I turn that nunery into a zoo as we would be no different from the cocks and the hens. It is a sin to sleep with someone of same sex. Whether u are gay or not just as it is a sin to sleep with an unmarried person of opposite sex and yes do not turn the house of the lord into a zoo.


#16

Can I ask if you’ve actually spent time in a religious community before?

Maybe a little bit more charity for those who are actually acknowledging their weakness and asking for help instead of judging them…

You seem to have this presumption that everyone that belongs to a religious community are saints - when in fact everyone has to deal with their own struggles just like everyone else.

to the OP: there a plenty of lay communities that you maybe start out. One that comes to mind is the Catholic Workers community. Maybe it something you want to check out.


#17

If you read my earlier posts I said they have the same temptations that we all have. And yes I have lived in a religious community. I have friends tonnes of them who are monks. I’m not judging anyone here all I’m saying is try not to infect others. The human mind is very adventurous. Everyone has something that take him or her to hell. Keep yours to yourself and don’t spread. The Bible says iron sharpeneth iron. Don’t plant a seed in the wrong place.


#18

I have same-sex attraction. I’m also married, and I have five kids. Should I be worried about “infecting” my kids? What about my wife – will I make her a lesbian? And oh, no! I also teach classes – are all my students gonna be gay?

The horror! :eek:


#19

I am getting a sense that you have quite an insecurity when it comes to homosexuality. Your reasoning have this ongoing theme of ‘dont get stuck in a confined space with homosexuals because you can be tempted and become homosexual aswell’… which I find quite immature both morally and spiritually

Are your examples really reflective of your monastic friend’s weakness and daily struggles that a mere presence of someone struggling with SSA would completely throw off their spiritual lives. I am guessing not.

Since you said you ‘lived’ in a religious community before - then you are aware that ‘joining’ a community is a two way agreement, in fact it is more of the community making a decision to accept you than you wanting to join. If a community knows the issue and accept him irregardless - again who are you to make a blanket statement to say “Dont plant a seed in the wrong place”


#20

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