You feel called.....now what!


#1

So you are fairly certain you have a vocation to consecrated life........then what? How on earth does a person find the community God is calling them to!!

I have struggled with this for a few years. I have no real attraction to a specific apostolate apart from prayer and liturgy if that can be considered an apostolate. I have visited 10+ active orders and one cloistered order. All of them were nice but none 'felt like home' and somehow cloistered life scares me and I feel drawn to some form out outward activity.

I tried the whole pro/con list and every other kind of list but it just seems to 'me' centered. If God is calling me to the consecrated life then surely He knows where and will show me where rather then me hunting down every order in North America and yet this is what I have been doing! Perhaps I need to stop and wait for God to show me but that seems too passive. So confused!


#2

Sometimes you just need to calm down and let God speak to you, whether it seems passive or not. That's the only way that you'll truly find out. I tried this, and it seems very clear what He's saying. Take it to prayer and sooner or later He will answer you.


#3

I have the same thing going and have been catholic for a year now. My first reaction was that this is too early and cannot be. I was actually thinking: what are you doing to me Lord? How can this be?

Feel a strong connection to the dominicans, but at the same time a bit scared. I know their life consists of study, preaching and knowledge. Me, i miss two subjects to have my full papers from secondary school and have no university degree.

But a friend told me: if God wills it, it will happen.

Not sure what to do. One hand, i would like to speak with my priest about it, but he will might advice me to forget the whole thing and i`m thinking: It will be crazy of me to bring this up now.

Can one go to a vocation or a visit at a monestary just to get an idea what it is really about? I know the closest possible place for me is in Lund, Sweden.

Are there anyone out there that has went through the same and what is your advice for me?


#4

Well, first me must understand that searching for a Religious Order is even something married people can do. I am well aware that the seach will be a bit different if you would like to become a monk/nun.
What I’ve done is talking to people about religious orders, looking up facts on the internet, visiting eligious orders and of course looking deep inside my heart and offering Mass for vocations.
Remember: there is a Good Friday, then a Holy Saturday and finaly a Easter Sunday.
Holy Saturday doesn’t sound fun but it’s there and everythig might be dark for us but Easter Sunday will come.


#5

I was in a similar situation as you until recently. I have felt a call to religious life for about 5 years. For a while I thought I would never find the right order. I would obsessively search the internet, make lists and contact vocation directors. After a while I just got frustrated and gave up. I finally let God show me where to go. Then about a month ago I stumbled upon an order, went to visit and fell in love. Now I am moving into a process of discernment with them.

Even though it seems counter intuitive, sometimes you really do have to just sit back and let God in the driver’s seat. This doesn’t mean being lazy or passive; you need to actively listen to the Holy Spirit and pay attention to how He is working in your everyday life. It might be helpful to talk to someone who knows you well and has a knowledge of religious orders - maybe they can direct you to some that might fit well.

It might help narrow your search if you figure what kind of spirituality you are attracted to - Franciscan, Benedictine, Dominican, etc. or if you have special devotion to Mary, the Sacred Heart, the Holy Family…

Otherwise just think about what you want in an order (on some level it does have to be about you), what your deepest desires are and how you want to live out your call from God.

God Bless!


#6

[quote="piobaire, post:1, topic:265784"]
So you are fairly certain you have a vocation to consecrated life........then what? How on earth does a person find the community God is calling them to!!

I have struggled with this for a few years. I have no real attraction to a specific apostolate apart from prayer and liturgy if that can be considered an apostolate. I have visited 10+ active orders and one cloistered order. All of them were nice but none 'felt like home' and somehow cloistered life scares me and I feel drawn to some form out outward activity.

I tried the whole pro/con list and every other kind of list but it just seems to 'me' centered. If God is calling me to the consecrated life then surely He knows where and will show me where rather then me hunting down every order in North America and yet this is what I have been doing! Perhaps I need to stop and wait for God to show me but that seems too passive. So confused!

[/quote]

If you're attracted to prayer and liturgy, then that could be a sign of cloistered life. I have been discerning and I now believe I am called to cloistered religious life. This took me many years to come to - when I first felt the call, I was terrified and ran away from it. When it came back, I tried to bargain and thought okay I'll be apostolic because cloistered life seemed so strange and scary. But in the end I had to put my life in God's hands and say "God, I want to do your will. I surrender my will entirely to you." And there it was, my calling to cloistered religious life. Now I can't think of anything more wonderful. So even if you are scared by it, keep praying and be open to it because God will only call you to what will bring you joy.

Try reading the works of various saints who founded religious orders. Part of my calling is not only to cloistered life but particularly to Benedictine life. I read the Rule of Saint Benedict and I knew that was it, that was what I was called to. It takes a lot of prayer - and I meant a lot of prayer. You can't pray too much when it comes to discernment.

A community may not necessarily feel like that perfect home straight away. It may take time to feel at home in a community. Perhaps consider revisiting a community you may have really liked but not felt that 'at home' feeling yet.


#7

I remember feeling the same way before I discerned my vocation to Carmel. A friend suggested I pray to St. Joseph. I’ve made a novena to him several times, and he has never failed to help me, usually in a very important way. (Through him I found my monastery and a way to pay my loans)
St. Joseph is the protector of the Church, and he cares about vocations very much. I can’t recommend him strongly enough:D


closed #8

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