Wrestling with returning to Catholicism and Vocational Calling

I am considering a return to the Catholic Church. I also have a desire to serve, as a studied to a minister prior to my conversion. While I was a practicing Catholic, I entered into discernment for the priesthood. That went away when I left the Church, this is explained below. Yet, if the priesthood or deaconate or whatever is off the table, that is fine with me because nursing provides a good future for me, and its about doing Christ's will, not my will. In other words, I am discerning a return to the Catholic church first and foremost. Even if God were to appear to me and say, your calling is marriage and thats it, you're going to have a great nursing career. But I still want you to return to Catholicism" I would say :

Great, I'm happy. How wonderful. :)

This may be long but please bear with me. I need some personal advice. I really have been pushing myself to get into the Word of God more and spend more time in prayer and I sense myself moving closer to the Lord. Granted, my behavior has become anything but perfect, but I do sense some subtle positive changes. I am glad about that. What frustrates me to death is that every time I do this, I get the idea that the Holy Spirit is saying to me that God is not finished with me yet-in the sense that I still have some kind of calling on my life. For what, I do not know. I studied to become a minister in seminary a few years ago. Now I am in nursing school thinking that is part of the plan God has for me. I don't doubt that at all. I think nursing presents a good opportunity for me. I'm not going to beat around the bush, there's part of me that still is open to being called to the vocational ministry in some fashion. I am only 30 years old, I mean its not like my life is over yet!

Sometimes I wonder if this is God, or if it is a cry of my human spirit, or something more sinister working to make me feel like a failure and to get me angry or frustrated with God. Little does the enemy know, I have made peace with God about that and surrendered it to Christ. I am willing to do what he wants of me, whether he calls me and leads me to that or not. I wish there were some ways to get more involved that I am. I have to balance work, school, meeting the needs of an ill mother right now. I do know that it is true, how can you handle the big things before proving you are faithful in the little ones?

I love (our church) and I really enjoy being a part of the church. The liturgy and sacramental worship are what drew me to the Anglican tradition. I also came the way of the Anglican tradition because after converting to Catholicism a few years ago post seminary, I really started to doubt some of the Catholic Church's positions on some of the things it teaching. I was in a bind. But now I see that I will not always be able to logically understand everything no matter where I am, and that overanalyzing does me no good. I think there is part of me that really misses some things about Catholicism that aren't as emphasized in our tradition. I miss praying my Rosary, going to confession, doing stations of the cross, going to daily Mass when I can and the like. I was a pretty devout Catholic for some time. I have started to wrestle with where I really belong, Anglicanism or Catholicism. I am stuck in between the two, yet I do not want to make any drastic moves, because as I said I love our church. This body has been nothing but loving and supportive of me. The Lord has shown me to grow where I am planted so to speak.

Hi Johnnyreb - It seems to me you are doing exactly what you should be doing. Working, studying, praying, taking care of an ill mother…these are wonderful things that show your love for God!

I would not put pressue on yourself right now for much else. I find when I can’t make a decision it is because 1. I don’t have enough information and need to put it away for a little while and 2. I am putting my own time limits on things.

When I recognize this, I find that one day I wake up and there is information in front of me to help with my decision-making. The best thing to do in the meantime is exactly what you are doing - work, pray, study, care for others. This is quite a load you are carrying.

I love to use this analogy when unsure about things.
I have found myself driving in very dense fog in Southern Utah on two occasions.
I can’t see a thing. All I want to do is get off the road - my heart is pounding in my ears and I can’t see anything at all!
But I have to keep moving forward because there is nowhere to get off the road in this part of Utah. Despite everything my body is telling me to do - STOP! GET OFF! - my brain keeps talking to me saying “Just keep moving forward. Soon you will be out of the fog.”

I always remind myself of this (and my kids too!) As long as we are moving “forward” (meaning doing God’s will and keeping His Commandments) we will come out of the fog.:slight_smile:

I didn't read the part about the 'ill mother', but if you do have a chronically ill mother who has no other sources for support, this alone would exclude you from religious life. I don't know about the diocesan priesthood.

I do know that any religious group you consider would want you to be a faithful observant Catholic for at least one year and I suspect longer.

I appreciate the replies. Thanks.

Hi Jhonnyreb,

It is indeed a hard situation you are going thru, and i must say i understand it perfectly as im going thru the exact same thing...well, kind of, iv never doubted my faith but i do identify with the feeling that you have no clue what to do where to go, what God wants from you...your responsabilities: praying, studying taking care of a loved one who is ill,whilst trying to figure out His will for you, i understand all that. Lax16 has given you a great advice --which i believe ill take it for myself as well--, but i do have a thing or two i´d like to share with you: Go to the eucharist, if you are feeling discouraged or sad about your situation go to Him, tell Him how you are feeling, tell Him whats on your mind, tell Him it is your heart´s desire to follow Him and do His will...He already knows that but He would like it to hear it from you. And when you are finished stay there, close your eyes...and relaz, try turning your mind off for a wee bit and enjoy being in His company. I can´t guarantee you will get an immediate answer but you will feel peace. I did that yesterday, and i feel brand new, i havent got any anwer yet, but i know it shall come in His own timing....and you shall know it too cause eventually things will start clearing out for you and taking shape, new options and opportunities will be laid out for you and He will guide you.

Now, concerning your faith...if you miss the rosary so much its because Our Lady misses your prayers as well...seems to me you are closer to Her that you mite think...She is the Nothern Star for those who feel confused, lost or seeking for an answer. Dont fight that feeling anymore, say your rosary and go to the Eucharist. You are not alone in this. Cheers.

Godbless

Anna

P.S. And yes, the devil does whatever it takes to make you feel frustrated with the Lord and your life, im also fighting that off....but like i said: Go to the Eucharist and confession. You need to be in a state of grace so you can fight him off, he will try to keep you angry and unfocused. The closer you get to the Lord and His plan for you the angrier the evil one gets so he will do anything to keep you apart. The rosary is the best tool against him, tis infallible. Cheers

Anna

As a Revert myself, the thing I missed most was Holy Communion.

But to insure that if I returned, my husband (also a revert) and I read the "Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition" *to see if we could or would be willing to live up to and support **ALL* the teachings of the Catholic Church - through obedience.

We also read "Catholicism for Dummies" by Frs. Trigilio and Breghenti, for a historical perspective.
And we watched EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network).

I found that when searching for the "Truth", minus my own bias sometimes due to sinfulness, that there is only one true Church.

Unlike many non-Catholic Faiths, members of the Catholic Church do not vote on what is sinful or not.

We use the Bible and the Magisterium.

Hope this is helpful to you.

Thanks for sharing your stories. I wanted to post that to acknowledge that I read them and I appreciate that there are others in the same boat as me. :)

I never thought about Mary missing my prayers...but come to think of it that makes sense.

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