After much prayer and reflection, especially after reading St. Frances de Sales’ Introduction to the Devout Life, I have decided to pursue a vocation with the Visitation. I love their history, charism, and spirituality. After learning that St. There’s "little way"of holiness was very Salesian in character, and after discovering that her sister Leonie became a Visitandine, I feel our Little Flower has answered my prayers!
Now, I am fairly sure I want to be a Visitandine; I just don’t know where! I have written a letter to Tyringham, though I have not sent it yet. Their website also appears to be down. The closest Visitation to me is in Snellville, GA. I have also considered contacting them, but their community is very small, and part of me wants to say, “I don’t want to live there forever!” Rockville is the next closest, but I have zero desire to contact them. Right now, I am considering Mobile, Snellville, and Tyringham.
What’s niggling me is this tendency to judge by exterior things. Like Snellville, for example. My first reaction was, “The monastery is sort of ugly.” And by this I mean no offense to the sisters there; I think they’re all lovely. But part of me wants to say, “You can’t live there! Look at it!” I feel like I shouldn’t worry about exterior things. I have prayed to the Holy Spirit to help me, and I know that’s part of why, at this moment at least, I feel less attracted to the “nice” Visitation in Tyringham.
Is it silly to think, “Wow, that’s such a pretty place. I think I’d like to live there?” I know I have a tendency to over-analyze things, and I know this post is stupid. I’m just having one of my moments. What has helped some of you CAF members in discerning a community? I do plan on making a few live-in retreats, but it will have to be during break from school.
I am praying for strength right now, to be able to tell my Presbyterian-Baptist family my desire to discern with cloistered communities. I am also praying that funds and transportation will come through. At this point, I have not contacted any communities yet, because my home situation is so precarious, I am afraid to even receive information packets in the mail. I have not found the right time to speak with my family yet, but I highly doubt that the people who complain about my weekly Confession, Mass, and rosary are going to take it well. Please pray for their conversion!