Want to live holy or evangelize? For all discerning priesthood or religious life


Pax Domini, +

If you are discerning priesthood or religious life, I strongly suggest you read St. Alphonsus Liguori’s book, “The Great Means to Salvation and Perfection.” In that book he says that people going into the parish priesthood should live holier than the normal person. Now, it is absolutely true, that when you enter seminary you do progress in sanctity/holiness significantly (due to daily mass, religious instruction, spiritual direction, and Divine Office) and then you can be ordained. But ask yourself if you are really are one of those people who lives holier than the rest. Evangelization is extremely important, but are you going to loose your own soul trying to save others? What is the point of becoming a diocesan priest in a parish if even you may not make it to heaven? So, consider the cloistered religious life. This may turn people off who have a strong desire to evangelize but St. Alphonsus says in his book, “The Great Means to Salvation and Perfection,” that if you want to ensure your salvation in the best means possible, than enter a consecrated religious life. I strongly suggest one of the cloistered monasteries. See priests living in the world, outside of the cloisters, really don’t live that much holier, now a days, than the normal population. They are supposed to live holier, but they frequently fall into sin. In a consecrated religious life, you have the support of the community all your life and the protection of the cloistered walls to keep sin out and worldly influences away. ** You honestly have a much greater chance of living holy in the cloister.** So consider it, if you do enter the consecrated religious orders (especially the cloisters) you have a really good chance of making it heaven. St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Alphonsus both say that you don’t have to live holier than most to enter the consecrated religious life, it is the place you can go though to live much more holy. :thumbsup: Just my thoughts.

Also read St. Alphonsus Liguori’s other book on the Religious Life. Good luck in your discernment. Ad Jesum per Mariam, Michael.


It seems like there aren’t that many cloistered monasteries for men in the United States these days.


Clear Creek Monastery, Our Lady of the Annunciation is a cloistered monastery. And it is also a really excellent monastery.


disagree which is what I was trying to say in my other post to you. All is holy. All


The Carthusians, a 900 year old order of contemplative hermits that live in community, have a monastery in the US. There was also a really interesting documentary film about them a few years ago called “Into Great Silence” which I’d highly recommend whether discerning or not.


All of the Trappist monasteries are cloistered ones for men if that is what one is looking for.


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.


One of the things I like about the Carthusians is that they have the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary daily too, in addition to their Divine Office. I have also heard their liturgies are absolutely heavenly as well.

I watched the movie, “Into the Great Silence,” about the Carthusians when it first came out in theaters and it was absolutely amazing. Please watch it, you will really like it.

I would recommend that you definitely read that book by St. Alphonsus, “The Great Means to Salvation and Perfection,” before you go there. You will want want to discuss with the superior any temptations you have not entering on the first try with the superior and stay for at least a few nights before you finally make up your mind whether you are going to want to enter, that is if you are thinking of not entering. Pray about it. Your salvation just may depend on it. God will make it very difficult to enter if you leave after your first visit without trying to enter immediately. God wants us to respond to his call immediately as did the apostles when he called them. Whoever sacrifices wife, lands, family, or home for God will receive a hundred fold in the next, so says Christ in the gospels. And the apostles followed his call immediately.

Also, read up on the “testing of spirits” that occurs when you first enter the monastery to discern, it is in the Benedictine rule, or read a commentary about the Benedictine rule to find out better what that is. May God and Mary be with you!

Good luck to all. Ad Jesum per Mariam, Michael.


I almost don’t want to write this, but I need to state the obvious, there really is not a lot of things to fall into sin with at a monastery. You will more than likely live a lot holier there. Yes, there are going to be crosses and temptations at any monastery, but well worth it to have a better chance of following the 10 commandments. I would endure any cross there and stay there until they kicked me out and I had to leave. You really do need a really good physical health and mental health to make it in a monastery, but I would stay there until those became such a big problem and they forced me to leave. I say that just as an encouragement to you. And don’t worry about your chances of 1 out of 3 of making it after you enter. I don’t think you will be at a major loss if you can’t make it there. I have never heard of any one who tried that life, and didn’t benefit from it.


It does seem sad that there are so few cloistered monasteries today compared to what the Church had during the Middle Ages.


Pax Domini,

Yes, it is really sad there are not too many cloisters anymore. I visited the Carmelite women community in Nebraska, Valparaiso. And it was the most moving experience I have ever had. Those holy women chanting at mass sounded literally like angels singing in heaven. It still brings tears to my eyes just at the thought of those women, God bless those holy women who enter.

I didn’t get to watch this video yet, but it has the Carmelite nuns in it from Nebraska, this really is probably the coolest place I have ever been to in my life. Please check it out. Those are some incredibly awesome brides of Christ… youtube.com/watch?v=9ymNbC88nog

I would have liked to watch the video before I made the post, I will watch it tomorrow.

The reason why I wanted to be a cloistered religious is because of I wanted white martyrdom, I really wanted to be a red martyr when I was younger, and I prayed for it, but I thought I would just have to settle for white. I probably will never be a white martyr or red martyr, I don’t think I am worthy of such an honor, but I am still praying for it though. Lol! Ad Jesum per Mariam, Michael.


Pax Domini,

Here is a better video of what I actually like there, the sisters chanting. This really does sound a “whole lot” better in person, it really does sound like angels singing in heaven. But here is a veiling ceremony mass, I been to one there. Super cool!!! youtube.com/watch?v=IgwIFkjEyZ4

And one of the good things about that place if is you have the FSSP, which are an incredibly awesome bunch of priests. You will be able have them all your life there. There is no one better to help form you. At least that has been my experience.

Now, good luck. I really hope some lady finds this Carmel Valparaiso. I am a guy, and never before was I so moved. Their liturgy is truly amazing!!! It would have been similar to what St. Therese would have done. Super awesome!!! I cried the whole time I was there, and I never cry, I am no cry baby, but man did I cry tears of love there. I still do just thinking about the place. Ad Jesum per Mariam, Michael.


This is so far off the mark it is almost funny.

Your lack of any real humility would be a barrier. They would see that and not let you in!

OK so try a live-in at a monastery? Would do you good.

The key to monastic life in unquestioning Obedience to all above you.

And your last sentence/… there are many who never ever recover from their encounter with that life. Many who suffer all their life.


Pax Domini,

Another thing, you may be thinking well, I don’t want to do manual labor. To that thought, I say it will be penitential and thereby lead you to greater heights of holiness and help you to obey the 10 commandments. Manual labor = less grave sin. Prayer = less grave sin. Sacraments = less grave sin. So, think about the religious life.

It used to be this is how you discerned what God’s will was for you, you did the thing you wanted/liked to do the least. I personally really didn’t want to be doing manual labor, I thought of myself as a book person and office person. Well, so after I went to the monastery and they discerned it wasn’t my calling I did ranching, which is manual labor, I never thought I would love it, but man I absolutely loved it, and I grew in holiness. So, seriously consider it!

It would have probably been my calling to be a monk had I entered right away like I was supposed to. I wanted to be a parish priest, not a religious. What I really wish I would have done though is entered immediately in the monastery. Like I said above, if you don’t enter immediately God will make sure you can’t enter. I would have entered immediately, but mainly what I saw there was the purgative aspects of the monastery, this was absolutely of the devil okay to focus on that and I exaggerated in my head the suffering I would undergo, I had a fear of suffering, I was not willing to pick up my cross and carry it. I wanted my cross to be a parish priest, I wanted to preach and evangelize, and mainly I wanted to say mass for the laity. I would have absolutely loved to have been a monk though. In retrospect, it would have been a much more beautiful life than being a parish priest. The best part I see is that you get to die in community. And get to chant the Divine Office with others who greatly love God, and you have the superior influence of the religious brothers or sisters all your life, and you have a daily spiritual director to guide you, and of course most importantly you will be assured of never missing daily mass. And the best part is you have a huge chance of going to heaven. Read Dr. Ralph Martin’s book, “Will Many be Saved?” Going to heaven is hard, but in a monastery if you carry your cross, it is almost guaranteed you will make it. So eternity is at stake.



Thank you, for your comments. In what ways do people never, ever, recover from their encounter with that life? Tell me some of what they struggle with after that life. I have heard of people who suffered when they were in a monastery, but they recovered as soon as they leave. And when they do leave they seriously regret it that they left, but I have never heard of anyone who never recovered with that life.

Why do you call me prideful? Cause I don’t want to hang out with homosexuals? That is what I wrote in one of my posts on another thread, and you thought that was wrong and prideful. I want to know my pride… tell me. I am a mainly a melancholic. Cholerics are those who really have pride dominant.


Please do not put words into my posts that were never there? OK? OK! REALLY! I never ever wrote or thought “prideful”

That life is hard my friend. As novice you would be scrubbing floors, cleaning up after sick brothers. Exhausted all the time.

HUMILITY is the key .


I would love to scrub floors, and clean up after sick brothers, I would think that would be too cool. Seriously, I would love it. I see that as truly awesome!!! Because it would be really humble work, and thereby it would be awesome because I would grow in holiness and have a better chance of going to heaven.


So yes, I know the key to monastic life is obedience, and that is what most people struggle with there, that and poverty. Yes you have to be obedient to your superiors. If they tell you to mop backwards, well you have to mop backwards. If they tell you don’t wax in the cracks of the tiles on the floor when you are down there on your hands and knees cleaning the floors with cloth, well you can’t wax between the cracks of the tiles. If you don’t obey them, well that is a mortal sin. So that is scary. I know because I have been there cleaning those floors on my hands and knees. It is not too hard, the way I look at it, it would be simply too cool to do humble things cause I would obviously grow in humility and thereby love and thereby holiness. So, I don’t see anything wrong with doing humble work, I actually liked mopping backwards and not cleaning in the tiles and cleaning the staircases sweeping them just like they told me. I seriously thought it was extremely cool and loved every minute of it. The problem is though that I simply loved it too much, I would have cut off my arm and leg to be there in those monastery walls. Why, because I felt my salvation depended on it… Which it does for some people. I am just trying to trust and not loose hope, God is going to bring me to the beatific vision one day. But a lot more people go to heaven living in a monastery than those living in the world. Entering a monastery at an early age is a sign of predestination.


You say humility is the key. The way I see it is that monks and cloistered nuns are simply the greatest people on this earth. If I was a monk it would be hard for me to humble, cause I do think they are the greatest people on this earth. Monks make us all look like a bunch of wimps. Seriously, they make us all look like weak worldlings. :thumbsup: They undergo such intense long hours in prayer and undergo such penances and obediences and practice such poverty, and are so humble, yet so very holy it is RIDICULOUS!!! If I was I was a monk, I would know that I am simply one of the coolest dudes, among a group of the coolest dudes, :cool:we would be the coolest dudes on the whole planet. Which is the truth!!! But yet somehow monks stay humble about that, I don’t know how. :blush: God somehow doesn’t let them take pleasure in their greatness, even though their way of life is objectively better than anyone else’s.


Another thing, set on in a liturgy of the of the Benedictines at Clear Creek monastery, and you will start to float to ceiling their liturgies are so powerful, those liturgies would have been too powerful for me, I wouldn’t have been able to stand it. I seriously think I would have started floating to the ceiling. Yep,:smiley: I would have. LOL!!!

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