St. Alphonsus in his book, “The Great Means to Salvation and Perfection,” says that for a lot of people all they see when they visit the consecrated religious orders only see all the suffering (the cross) and they don’t immediately recognize the tremendous peace, love, and joy of the brothers and sisters living in community. However, I really think it true that the consecrated religious are much happier than the rest of the world. I actually heard of psychological studies that prove it. It is not all suffering there. The consecrated religious have the benefit of having the great example of the holiness of all their brothers or sisters in the community and the great continuous religious instruction, the prayers of all the religious around you all your life, and of course the beautiful liturgies which are heavenly in community, also you will hopefully die in community, so that is a super great benefit too. I didn’t list all the great things of the consecrated religious life, but that is only some.
Also, you may think to yourself, well I will still have some sin, maybe the solitary sin, and I will have it still if I am a consecrated religious. Don’t fear about that, you will have an much easier time dealing with issues related around chastity in a consecrated religious community, at least that is what I heard. I think you will probably live very chaste there in short time just from the Divine Office and daily mass, and you will be able to keep custody of the eyes and custody of heart very well in community, you are protected there from a lot of those sinful temptations. So this can be conquered. However, you are probably going to have other temptations to deal with that may be a cross too. Read St. Alphonsus about that.
Please read my posts on living with perfect chastity… forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=1051754
Also read my thread on Prayer: How to grow in holiness/sanctity the most… forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=1052104
I think I do a good job in that thread on how to really grow in holiness through prayer. It has helped me personally tremendously grow in sanctity, so I hope it will help you as well.
Back to discerning a religious community, I have heard obedience can be difficult for some in community. But again don’t worry about, all sin can be overcome with the love of God, he will help you become holy, truly sanctified, if it that is truly God’s will for you to be in community.
One of the things I like about monasteries is the Providence of God is really spectacular in a monastery. You will be absolutely blown away by how much God works around you all the time, he shows you clearly his presence and love and guidance at a monastery, I think maybe because it is God’s house, not really sure :shrug: why though providence is so powerful there, but it is!
I mentioned Clear Creek monastery in my other post. Someone else mentioned the Carthusians, and another the Trappists. I have heard that 1 out 10 who try to become a Father after entering the Carthusians actually make it to profession. At Clear Creek, the Benedictine monastery, of Our Lady of the Annunciation, well it is like 1 out of 3 make it from what I heard. I don’t know about the Trappists.
One of the things that I like about Clear Creek is that their liturgy is absolutely heavenly. I have been there to discern years ago, their liturgy is truly amazing. They have the Traditional Liturgy chanted in Latin. I am not saying the Traditional (or Tridentine) or Extraordinary Form is actually better, but I like it better, it suits my spirituality more, and I have it as my personal preference. The thing I like about it is that it has a more of a sacrificial aspect to the mass, and is more reverential I think. It would have been similar to the liturgy of a lot of the saints through the ages, and you get to live the other part of the life of many of the saints there farming and doing manual labor. St. Therese would have worked in the garden at her community. I also like the Traditional liturgy since it has all three languages nailed on the cross of Christ as noted in the gospel of St. John, nailed to the cross was “Christ King of the Jews in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew.” All those three languages are in the Traditional Liturgy, not just Latin, so I like that more since the mass is about the sacrifice of Calvary, and those languages are nailed to the cross of Christ. Also the Traditional Divine Office is in Latin there, which is also really beautiful, it is the official language of the Church. Clear Creek has the Divine Office chanted for the laity who can attend it, so that is also a really great spiritual benefit; St. Thomas Aquinas thought so anyways.