I love God, but I have been married for 33 years, so I guess it’s too late to consider becoming a nun. I am interested in becoming a tertiary/ associate/ oblate of a contemplative order. I have been trying to become a Benedictine oblate for some time (about three years) and have been an oblate novice for more than two years; however, I am wondering whether God is trying to steer me in another direction, say the Carmelites, or ???
In 2010 I joined the oblate program at a Benedictine women’s monastery which I did not initially realize was too ‘progressive’ for my taste. After a few months I transferred to the oblate program at a more traditional Benedictine women’s monastery (they wear habits). I liked that monastery, but for more than a year they were without an oblate director, and direction was very spotty and unfocussed; I felt that the oblates were nearly off their radar. I found it hard to associate my heart with a monastery where the oblate program was in such chaos, and I still have not made my final oblation. I recently moved to another state and am attempting to associate with a third Benedictine monastery, but I feel like I am having to jump through hoops. My life for the past year has been chaotic; I was laid off from my job (RIF), moved to another state to look for work (my sister lives here) and still have not found work.
I am trying to listen for God’s voice. Is he trying to tell me that the Benedictines are not for me? Do I just have to keep knocking at their door? I am trying also to understand the difference between the various orders that allow third orders. Maybe I should consider the Carmelites? I am introverted and prefer to associate with a contemplative order.
I would so much appreciate some input. I don’t have a spiritual director at the moment. Our financial situation is bad so I can’t afford to pay anyone. Can someone out there tell me how to interpret God’s voice in this situation?