Update on Vocation....No Longer Sure

Hi everyone,

A few months ago I posted asking for prayers because I was going to find out if or not my application to join the Mercedarian Fathers was accepted.

Well everyone’s prayers worked because I was accepted and they are most appreciated- the Fathers wanted me to enter in September, however, I have declined their kind offer- the door is still open for me however. After receiving the letter of acceptance I entered a period (which I am still in) of great doubt in regards to my Religious Vocation. I still love Our Lord and stay close to his rock, the Holy Catholic Church, however, lack clarity in which path I should follow- I no longer know.

I am now doing reduced hours working for the Diocese (in Administration) and am doing a lot of other things. I am enjoying my time to myself and my reduced work schedule for the moment. I have pangs of feelings a great draw to the Religious Life and then moments where I am not interested whatsoever, before I was pretty sure but now I am not. I don’t believe this is a bad thing- some people may say so, but in my own mind it is not because it is a huge decision to make and if you aren’t sure then there is no point.

I am going on several pilgrimages this Summer, finishing with Lourdes in August- therefore from now until then I am continuing with a reduced work schedule, having more time to myself and thinking and praying about things and then after I have been to Lourdes I might seek other employment if that is what I feel I most do.

I don’t believe there is anything wrong in my decision but I would kindly ask for your continued prayers- I mean I am not running away and getting married, I am just having a little change and a break from the direction I was so set on before.

I am also quite confused by things going on in the Church at the moment if I am truly honest and because of this don’t want to enter any Congregation for the time being- it is a big mish mash of reasons I suppose. I want to become closer to the Traditional Latin Mass and proper Catholic Teaching…I don’t like the slush and mush which is now so typical of the Liturgy and the Catechism.

Please pray for me and may God bless you all!

Smiling as this is all blessedly normal and healthy! It will work through just give it time. It is such an important step to take and needs so much preparation, which you are doing just fine.

Praying to the Holy Spirit to give you guidance, direction, strength, fortitude & wisdom in your discernment.

Keep your ears open, and your heart and mind as well. SOMETHING will happen.

Anyone who uses the phrase “slush and mush” in the same sentence when describing the liturgy and catechism is NOT ready to enter any seminary, IMHO.

You have a lot to sort out, my friend, and I truly hope you find the peace you desire on your spiritual journey.

Praying for you. I think your pilgrimages will likely help you to discern your calling one way or the other.

FAB94,

There is absolutely no problem with questioning and doubting…it leads to surety.
May I suggest, however, that you not do the questioning on your own! Find yourself a
“spiritual director!” A priest or brother whom you would feel comfortable to explore all the options with!

lastly, I don’t know your age, but reflecting upon and coming to a decision about a vocation takes quite a period of time. Don’t fall into the trap of expecting instant answers!

The current liturgy is a part of “proper Catholic Teaching”. Whether or not the minister follows the book to the letter is another story, and frankly, this was as true back in 1950 as it is now. :rolleyes:

As for the Catechism, it’s a living document, subject to change based on the needs of the Church at the time. Read through “The Roman Catechism” of the Council of Trent. While you might find that it lines up with what you’re looking for, it would be a mistake to admit that the current Catechism isn’t received better by those ignorant of their faith. If you want the answer, you would have to read the various documents treating the subject, as well as some general knowledge of the philosophy/theology behind those answers (and then you get to find that some of those answers are really just the best answer we have right now). The Catechism removes these obstacles, so that any adult (within reason) can receive a quick answer that at least points them in the right direction. :shrug:

I say join the order… You’ll know within postulancy whether or not it’s the place for you.

And also, if something bothers you, ask them why they think that way (I run into quite a bit of this at the seminary, believe me). Encountering the opposite view with an open mind, at the very least, allows you learn the other position better. :thumbsup:

Fair enough but I don’t agree- I don’t think I am ready to enter the Seminary but not due to the reason that I can’t recognise abuses and profanations when I see them. Thanks and God bless.

Thanks very much. Good advice, sorting a Spiritual Director out is something I have in mind- I am a regular Penitent and go almost weekly to Confession which is a great strength and nourishment to my Soul but a Spiritual Director outside of the Sacrament is a good idea and something I have been thinking about!

I am 21, so yes plenty of time!

Not in regard to your vocation, but just for peace of mind, have you considered the Anglican Ordinariate? Being in London, you have many Traditional options.

Actually I am quite partial to the Ordinariate- I have one of their Parish close etc. but in order to join them you have to be a member of the Ordinariate (have come into the Catholic Church through them) which I am not and they don’t have any seminaries- most of their clergy are all converts and I understand if they do have any candidates they just send them to a local Seminary.

You do not have to be a member to worship in any Catholic church, and any Latin Church member can participate.

Yes of course- but I thought you were referring to studying for the Priesthood with them. Understood now.

I will pray for you to discern God’s will, Fab94.

Have you discussed this with your spiritual director?

Recognising them is the easy part - after that come learning to accept the messiness of the Church. that’s not to say that problems and flaws should simply be overlooked but rather working with others within the Church to help it. You’ll find that nor order or community is perfect but Christian charity calls us to love regardless of the imperfections.

As far as religious life goes, if you feel called to explore a vocation with the Mercedarian Fathers then go for it - entering a community isn’t an immediate commitment for life, rather its beginning a journey of prayerful exploration with commitment coming at a later stage. Bear in mind though that commitment to religious life isn’t supposed to be easy- particularly not the vow of obedience. You may well find the same messiness in your superiors, yet you will be called to submit your will a spirit of faith and love in the following of Christ to them who “stand in the place of God”.

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