which third order?

I love God, but I have been married for 33 years, so I guess it’s too late to consider becoming a nun. :wink: 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 which I did initially realize was a too-modern (for my taste) Benedictine women’s monastery. 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?

Friend, nobody can interpret God’s voice for you but you. My very best advice is to consider getting a spiritual director. Check through your parish office and they will be able to set you up!

God bless!!


There are many Lay Carmelites communities throughout the USA. Membership is free and they are contemplatives. I hope the linked website helps you find what you are looking for. :slight_smile:

It could also be, with your life being “chaotic for the last year,” that God is just telling you “not now,” rather than “not the Benedictines.”

Yes. :thumbsup: Being a member of a third order is supposed to help us live out our baptismal vows not be a burden. :slight_smile: If being in a third order is the right thing, God will make a way to make it happen at the right time and place.

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