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It's Going Too Fast...

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VocationPhamily, I need some advice! There are some things coming together in my life very quickly and I don't really know what to do.

 

At the moment I'm studying to be a high school teacher in Latin and (catholic) religion. I should graduate in February 2014. The catholic education in my country is horrible, that's why I wanted to be a teacher, to finally give some real catholic lessons. But I've found out it's very hard, my religion classes are worthless. We learn nothing. I know a lot about religion and religious stuff, but I didn't learn anything of that at college. One of the teachers is even a priest, but that does not help. He likes me, because I know a lot. I don't like him, because he never speaks about real and faithful things. We read some bible texts, but aren't told what they mean or what's in them (no, we should find out ourselves). We learn some philosofy, but usually talk and think about everything very random. We even learn more about other religions than our own. And I'm the only practicing catholic, there is even a student who is not baptised! (wich means he never will obtain permission from the diocese to be a religion teacher, he knows that but he doesn't care, religion was his second choice anyway). That's a little bit the situation.

 

Every year we have to do some internships in schools, to practice. In November I did 2 weeks, but I was dragging myself through. The subjects I had to teach for religion had nothing to do with religion, absolutely nothing. At the end I just didn't care anymore, I didn't spend much time anymore preparing the lessons, I wanted it to be over. The next week I had surgery and could stay home with the doctors permission for 3 weeks. Tomorrow I have to go back to college. I could have gone earlier, I'm much better now, but I just didn't want to. I've had it with that college, with the teachers, with the classes, with everything...

 

And now the vocation stuff kicks in. Since I went to the big Pentecost pilgrimage from Paris to Chartres in May, the calling towards the priesthood grew much stronger. From time to time there are people who already think I'm a priest. But the strangest thing happened to me about a week ago. At the reception after the only ordination we had this year, a friend of mine said something that made me think. She said I should let people help me if it was needed, that I don't have to block them. And that it is sometimes necessary to hurt people, to turn in an entire other direction, to leave everything behind, to do what you have to do to be happy, to find your place. She said she already knew long time what I want to do and what I should do. But it's up to me to do it. I was a bit shocked at that moment, because we never really talked about vocation or something. She just seemed to "know". Maybe I don't realise how I radiate the "I want to be a priest" feeling.

 

Later that week I received a phonecall from my internshipdirector at college. She wanted to know what was going on (because she didn't receive my reports from November yet etc.) and wants to talk to me about what I'm planning to do the next semester. Apparently my teachers talked and sort of agreed I don't seem interested anymore to become a teacher and they want to know if it's useful to seek a high school for my internship in February or not. At this moment, they are right. I have had it with the whole teaching education. Tuesday I have an appointment to discus this. I have no idea what I'm going to say, or what they are going to say. I guess they will advise me to stop studying, because I'm really messing things up right now. My parents will be furious if that happens. And they will want to know what I'm going to do, how my future will be without a diploma...

 

In September my community (SJM) finally started something in my country. They have sent a priest here (the only Belgian priest they have, one of my best friends), he lives in a completely renewed monastery. Well, he rents a part of it (they wanted to give it completely to the SJM, but they refused for now, because it would be to expensive to maintain). I visited him 3 times already. Last time was this weekend, because Friday the archbishop came for a visit. I spend the night there and served Mass on Saturday. It felt so right to be there, I really love everything.

 

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And now I have the feeling some pieces of the puzzle are falling in place. If I could do what I wanted right now, I'd stop studying and move to the monastery (just move, not enter, wich is unfortunately not possible here), just a while to get things straight. There I am at peace and will not be waisting my time. I could help the priest a lot, because he has tons of work to do (he actually said this weekend he would like to appoint me sacristan and also needed a secretary, without knowing what was going on in my life). And it could be a great preparation for really entering the SJM (postulancy and noviciate is in the motherhouse in Austria). But that's my crazy idea, I don't know if it's good or if it's Gods will. I told the priest about my college problems eventually, he went through sort of the same thing years ago. I didn't ask if I could come, but I know that wouldn't be a problem.

 

I also don't know what I will say to my parents. They will be furious if I stop studying. How they are going to react if I tell them I want to become a priest, I really don't know (they don't know I'm discerning, but I think they suspect something at least). Probably not very well. If I tell them I want to move out to a monastery, they likely kill me.

 

The most important thing for me now is to make the right decisions in the next week(s). I want to do what God wants me to do. At this moment I feel directed to the priesthood. Is it possible He first lets me study to be a teacher and then pulls me away when I have I learned what I had to learn? (I have finished almost all the theoretical courses now). That's pretty much how I feel now. I learned enough, time to get useful and stop delaying entrance. That's also what I keep reading everywhere the last weeks, in Scripture, in the Youcat, in The Imitation of Christ. And I have Saint Therese of course, who keeps giving me roses on occasions that have to do with the church and the priesthood. I planned to go for a secure future, to get a diploma and then enter, so I would have something if it isn't ment to be. But those are my ideas and my step by step plan for the next years. I already learned God doesn't work like that, He interferes when necessary and doesn't want everything to be secure. I feel like I have to trust Him and take the big jump towards the priesthood right now, not delay anything anymore.

 

Forgive me for this very long message... It actually feels good to have written everything down, to straigthen out my thoughts this way. Please pray for me, I can use every help I can get!

 

 

 

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trust yourself and Jesus, Parents don't stay mad at children for long when they see their passion for what they do. Prayers.

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Hello NonNovi,

 

I am new to VS and I would never presume to tell you what God's Holy Will is for you, however, sometimes it's just good to hear someone mirror your thoughts back to you.

 

So, here goes...It sounds to me like you are saying that you are very tired of having to live your life on the surface.  You long to to live your life deep in the heart of God.  I recently finished a biography of St. Catherine of Siena that included excerpts from some of her letters.  She speaks of "entering into the Abyss of the Holy Trinity."  In other places she addresses Our Lord, "O Inestimable Fire..."  You probably know enough about St. Catherine to know that she made her entire life an offering to God to be consumed by Him for His good purposes.  I don't know about you, but I want to at least strive to live my life in this depth of holiness - I suspect that this is your heart's desire also.

 

Pax Christi,

 

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I once heard a Sister say "If God is calling you now, answer now".  I'm probably the last person who should be giving you advice on discernment since I'm something of a perpetual discerner without having found my community yet but I've found that the more I pray and the more I seek Jesus in His Word, the more clarity I have.  The one thing I have found is that when you have a gut feeling about something like this and a true peace in your heart, you should definitely follow it.

 

As far as your parents are concerned, God knows them better than you do and so if He is calling you to the priesthood, He knows they can handle it.  He never asks more of us than we can give.  I'm not saying it will be easy for them, so pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you tell them.  And persevere in prayer because that is where we draw our strength from.  You'll need strength to pursue this if in fact your parents are resistant.  It can cause tremendous heartache to think of disappointing your parents or leaving them but when you pray and ask God to help you, He'll guide your path.  Heaven is our ultimate destination; just keep focused on Jesus!

 

Hope this helps   :saint:

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Hello NonNovi,

 

I am new to VS and I would never presume to tell you what God's Holy Will is for you, however, sometimes it's just good to hear someone mirror your thoughts back to you.

 

So, here goes...It sounds to me like you are saying that you are very tired of having to live your life on the surface.  You long to to live your life deep in the heart of God.  I recently finished a biography of St. Catherine of Siena that included excerpts from some of her letters.  She speaks of "entering into the Abyss of the Holy Trinity."  In other places she addresses Our Lord, "O Inestimable Fire..."  You probably know enough about St. Catherine to know that she made her entire life an offering to God to be consumed by Him for His good purposes.  I don't know about you, but I want to at least strive to live my life in this depth of holiness - I suspect that this is your heart's desire also.

 

Pax Christi,

 

Welcome!

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NonNovi: To me, it sounds like you know what to do, and you're just scared. That's normal. But the point is, you know what to do. Getting to that point is the hard part! From here, it's easy. You just DO.

 

If you dread the thought of continuing your studies and feel totally at peace in the monastery, then go to the monastery and see what happens. You could always go back to school and finish up where you left off, no?

 

I suggest, also, that you go watch that TEDx talk I posted a few days ago. I think it might help.

 

As for parents: I talked to 35 nuns this year. For 36 hours. On tape. I've listened to those interviews several times each. Not every one of them had parents who were supportive of their vocations. Many of them thought, like you, that their parents "would kill them". Those in the worst situations had parents who didn't come visit them for a while. Now they come every chance they get. My point is: They'll get over it. Even if it's hard right now—and scary—God's gotcha. So just go. With God. :-)

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BTW, if you think you don't yet know God's will, look at this:

 

Every year we have to do some internships in schools, to practice. In November I did 2 weeks, but I was dragging myself through.

 

"Dragging" is the exact same word one of the sisters I interviewed used when she was describing how she came to know her vocation. She was visiting colleges to see where she wanted to go, but she "dragged herself" around. Finally, she stopped and asked herself what the hell was wrong. She realized she didn't want to go to college. "That didn't make ANY sense", she said. Until she figured out why.

 

The subjects I had to teach for religion had nothing to do with religion, absolutely nothing. At the end I just didn't care anymore, I didn't spend much time anymore preparing the lessons, I wanted it to be over. 

 

I sometimes think God sent me all over the planet so that I would get good and worn out before entering cloistered life. I am so tired I don't like to drive one mile. I don't want to go anywhere I can't walk. Before, cloistered life would have felt claustrophobic. Now, it's like a dream come true. Wondering why God sent you to college if He just planned to pull you out a year before graduation? Maybe it was so you wouldn't look back every time you got discouraged in religious life and think, "Maybe I should have become a teacher..."

 

The next week I had surgery and could stay home with the doctors permission for 3 weeks.

 

Huh. Got sick, eh? Three weeks in bed gives a person a lot of time to think. Probably not coincidental.

 

Since I went to the big Pentecost pilgrimage from Paris to Chartres in May, the calling towards the priesthood grew much stronger.

 

Clearly, you want to be serving God, whatever you're doing. You seem to have figured out you can't serve God teaching religion in your country. Looks like, as soon as you figured that out, He opened another door.

 

She said she already knew long time what I want to do and what I should do. But it's up to me to do it. I was a bit shocked at that moment, because we never really talked about vocation or something. She just seemed to "know". Maybe I don't realise how I radiate the "I want to be a priest" feeling.

 

Heard this lots of times in the interviews. It's very common that other people know before you do. Most people interpret this as an external confirmation that God is indeed calling them.

 

Later that week I received a phonecall from my internship director at college.

 

Sounds like the beginning of an end...

 

In September my community (SJM) finally started something in my country.

 

And voila, a new door opens...

 

It felt so right to be there...

 

#1 way the sisters I interviewed knew where they were called to.

 

And now I have the feeling some pieces of the puzzle are falling in place.

 

As you well should.

 

he actually said this weekend he would like to appoint me sacristan and also needed a secretary, without knowing what was going on in my life

 

Door WIDE open. You think this is a coincidence? You should probably capitalize that "He"!

 

I don't know if it's good or if it's Gods will.

 

You must be kidding me. ;-)

 

I want to do what God wants me to do. At this moment I feel directed to the priesthood.

 

Sometimes a feeling is all we get, NonNovi. Don't wait for a hand from the sky or a voice or a lightning bolt or anything. You might not get it. I used to think the holiest people got those, the people who were "called for sure". Then some of the sisters I interviewed specifically said of their sensational religious experiences during discernment: "He had to do that. Otherwise I wouldn't have gotten it. I wasn't paying attention. I was trying to ignore Him." After the interviews, it hit me: "Man, can you imagine how much faith it takes to follow God when all you've got is a feeling?" Following God on a feeling is amazing. It takes massive amounts of trust. And that seems to be the main thing He tries to teach us through discernment.

 

Is it possible He first lets me study to be a teacher and then pulls me away when I have I learned what I had to learn?

 

Yup. See above. No time is ever wasted for God. My SD is fond of saying: "God is never late. But He's never early, either."

 

I already learned God doesn't work like that, He interferes when necessary and doesn't want everything to be secure. I feel like I have to trust Him and take the big jump towards the priesthood right now, not delay anything anymore.

 

Amen.

 

Please pray for me, I can use every help I can get!

 

Will do, brother. (Father? ;-)

 

 

 

 

If you look at this trajectory (above) with secular eyes, it'll just look like a kid "dropping out of college", and in Western society, that means something has gone horribly wrong. But if you look for God's hand in it, then it looks like His will is pretty clear. He's had you every step of the way. He's even showing up and talking to you. Maybe you're just not seeing it? Maybe you're thinking God cares as much about college degrees as we do? I'd bet my life He doesn't!

 

In the weeks to come, NonNovi, what should you do? START LOOKING FOR HIM EVERYWHERE. I'm betting He'll show up again. With a map. :-)

Edited by curiousing
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Non novi,

 

Will hold you in prayer in a special way in the coming days.   

 

It does sound as if you have discerned very clearly that the path you were on isn't the right one.  Perhaps at some point God will want you to return to college, but it really makes more sense to return at some point if / when God lets you know the right direction for you.

 

I've been where you are now -- many, many years ago, I dropped out after one year and only returned many years later when I knew more what God wanted and what classes/training I would need.  My family was pretty upset at the time, but later on they realized I'd made the right choice. 

 

The only change I would have made would have been to see if there was any way I could put the scholarship that was initially available to me on hold so I could have had access to it after I realized what God wanted from me.   The only way I was able to get out of college was by deliberately flunking out -- and it was a BIG problem to get it resolved many years later.  I did end up graduating with honors... but had to really over-work to get there.  Try to make a better choice than I did.... ;).

 

If you can't join the priest from your community as sacristan/assistant, perhaps there is some sort of a 'volunteer in exchange for room & board' type of internship in a totally different area you could do while you discern your next steps.... 

 

You also might want to see if there is a career/college and/or guidance counselor at your school who could help you look at your options.... including some exploration of your values and interests... because you might be surprised how much they will confirm what you know... and challenge you in healthy ways.  A good counselor won't tell you what to do -- they will help YOU figure it out and work on a plan for how to get from here to there....

 

Hang in there... we're rooting for you and we are praying for you....

 

 

Edited by AnneLine
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Ok point one: It sounds like the program you are in is a pretty bad program for what you are hoping to do in general. (I mean I'm guessing you told your parents you want to go there to become an awesome religion teacher correct?) . I think as a parent I would be more upset if my child continued in a bad program rather than dropping out and taking some time to redirect. 

Point two: You have a great opportunity to take some time out and re-evaluate. You basically have a "job offer" on the table, go for it.

 

I have been in a very similar situation to you. If you have discussed this with your potential community and taken the decision to prayer follow through on that.

For me my hopeful future community asked me to complete my degree because I am in a good program. Just take it one step at a time, you have an opportunity here which seems like a really good one. 

Parents are tricky, the one thing that I have learned is that I need to follow what I want to do. At some point I will no longer be under the influence of my parents and as you become an adult you have to realize that maybe they don't always know what is best for you.

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I feel your frustration in your religion department. I've experience much of the same thing in religious education. It sounds like you have a great desire to learn good and true theology. I can relate to that, too. I quit my job last year and I've been studying philosophy and theology in a very orthodox school, with good priests as professors and students who are as serious about their intellectual and spiritual formation as I am, and it's been an incredible gift. I feel like I'm learning what I should have been taught from the beginning. (Not blaming my parents but the structures that were in place for my religious education that my parents didn't realize were grossly inadequate.) This is a common experience for many of our generation. What I'm trying to say is, your desire for good religious education/faith formation is valid and it's important. I encourage you to make it your first priority.

You say you've had it with the program you're in. You've tried to make the best of it but you've come to realize it's inadequate for what you truly want to learn and want to do, that it's a dead end for you. It sounds like enough is enough, and you need something different to do for a little while, while you reflect, discern, and eventually prepare for your next step. And the community you love just moved to your country and the priest would love to have you to help him out for a while?! What providence! Go for it!

As an adult you're responsible for respecting and honoring your parents, but not for making decisions for your life that will please them. It's hard. Very hard. Be gentle with them, and pray for them, and go where your heart leads you. If you join a religious community or seminary, you will be continuing your studies, which is what you say your parents want, and you will be moving forward in your vocation, which is also what they want, even if right now it's not the studies and the vocation they had in mind. Most likely, they'll come around to see this, too. Parents want their children to be happy, healthy, and in respectable, productive vocational roles. By following your heart you'll be doing the best you can do to honor your parents even if it takes them a while to appreciate it.

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Thank you so much for the replies and the prayers everyone!! This has been really supporting.

 

So, here goes...It sounds to me like you are saying that you are very tired of having to live your life on the surface.  You long to to live your life deep in the heart of God. [...]  I don't know about you, but I want to at least strive to live my life in this depth of holiness - I suspect that this is your heart's desire also.

Uhu, exactly :proud:

 

 

 It can cause tremendous heartache to think of disappointing your parents or leaving them but when you pray and ask God to help you, He'll guide your path.  Heaven is our ultimate destination; just keep focused on Jesus!

 

Hope this helps   :saint:

That's a little bit the problem, I already dissapointed them seriously a few times. Don't know if they can take it once more...

 

 

NonNovi: To me, it sounds like you know what to do, and you're just scared. That's normal. But the point is, you know what to do. Getting to that point is the hard part! From here, it's easy. You just DO.

 

If you dread the thought of continuing your studies and feel totally at peace in the monastery, then go to the monastery and see what happens. You could always go back to school and finish up where you left off, no?

 

I suggest, also, that you go watch that TEDx talk I posted a few days ago. I think it might help.

I'm scared to death right now :blush: But yes, I know what to do. That TEDx video only confirms my thoughts, thank you for posting it.

 

 

Ok point one: It sounds like the program you are in is a pretty bad program for what you are hoping to do in general. (I mean I'm guessing you told your parents you want to go there to become an awesome religion teacher correct?) . I think as a parent I would be more upset if my child continued in a bad program rather than dropping out and taking some time to redirect. 

Point two: You have a great opportunity to take some time out and re-evaluate. You basically have a "job offer" on the table, go for it.

I wanted to become an awesome religion teacher indeed. But the whole educational system for religion here is rotten, even if I get the diploma I will get frustrated and will have to "fight the system" forever. My parents know the program is bad, I complained enough. But they think I should hold on for a while and bite through the apple. That's how I also reasoned before, but not anymore. I just can't do it anymore.

 

 

You say you've had it with the program you're in. You've tried to make the best of it but you've come to realize it's inadequate for what you truly want to learn and want to do, that it's a dead end for you. It sounds like enough is enough, and you need something different to do for a little while, while you reflect, discern, and eventually prepare for your next step. And the community you love just moved to your country and the priest would love to have you to help him out for a while?! What providence! Go for it!

I really wanted to do my best but in this country it will be impossible. The whole system has a catholic name but isn't catholic anymore in itself. Enough is indeed enough. The priest became one of my best friends, I know he wouldn't mind if I lived at the monastery for a while. The 3 secular sisters who live there also wouldn't mind, on the contrary. They've only seen me 3 times, but they actually want me to stay every time. Saturday one of them came to me and said: "You like it here, don't you?" So yeah, I guess I'm welcome if I want to.

 

This morning I went to see the internship director. We talked for half an hour. I told her everything. At the moment they failed me for my last internship. But if I turn in some medical attests and my reports, it maybe could be arranged that they give me a higher grade. So they still want to give me a chance if I want to. She respected my feelings for the priesthood (but didn't completely get it I think) and then sort of tried to convince me to finish my program so I will have some security in the future. The secular look on dropping out :).She also thought I should tell my parents as soon as possible (today or tomorrow), wich is true, but today will be to soon. I'll ruine Christmas anyway. I will also have to decide if I will take my exams in January or not. I'm not really in the mood for studying right now, especially because I was offered to visit the SJM-boarding school in Germany for a few days in the first week of January (wich is also the second week of Christmas break here, and valuable study time).

 

Deciding what I'm going to do exactly the next few days is going to be hell. If I drop everything right now, I'll have some nice trips to look forward to. If I continue to study, even part time or something, I'll have to cancel some really great spiritual things. First the visit to the SJM-school (wich is in a castle, with water around it and a bridge and everything). I know the superior, he was superior of the motherhouse when I visited it for the first time. He already asked me a few times when I will come back to Austria for a visit. In April I can participate in a pilgrimage to Lourdes. I've been to Lourdes this summer for the first time, it's wonderful. So yes, I wouldn't mind to go back, especially when the people who organise the pilgrimage want to help me financially (just for me :saint2: ). And in August, a friend of mine will visit the Petites Soeurs de la Consolation in France. She wants me to go with her because I know these Sisters.

 

Again, thank you all for the support! :nun1:

 

 

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Inperpetuity (in my doubleposted thread)

The last sentence of the second to last paragraph says a lot.  Is it just a feeling or can you say that you believe it?  Did you talk to your spiritual director or confessor?  I will ask the Holy Child Jesus and St. Therese to help you. We can never really know what the reactions of others will be ahead of time.

It's more than a feeling. Sometimes you just "know" what you will do, even if you resist at first. So yes, I believe I'll have to jump and trust. I have no SD, because there are no good priests around here. A lot of them mean well, but sometimes I wonder if they still believe, if they have the faith (even my bishop doesn't seem to really believe anymore, how bad is that?).

Thank you for your prayers.

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I was wondering what happened to my post, lol!  I know what your talking about, the situation is very bad especially in some places.  I have the same problem here.  Well, but you can talk to the priests from the community you are joining right and maybe even by phone?  I just keep asking our Lord to open a door so that I can walk through it.  Sounds like you have THE open door.  :smile4:

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NonNovi: To me, it sounds like you know what to do, and you're just scared. That's normal. But the point is, you know what to do. Getting to that point is the hard part! From here, it's easy. You just DO.

 

If you dread the thought of continuing your studies and feel totally at peace in the monastery, then go to the monastery and see what happens. You could always go back to school and finish up where you left off, no?

 

I suggest, also, that you go watch that TEDx talk I posted a few days ago. I think it might help.

 

As for parents: I talked to 35 nuns this year. For 36 hours. On tape. I've listened to those interviews several times each. Not every one of them had parents who were supportive of their vocations. Many of them thought, like you, that their parents "would kill them". Those in the worst situations had parents who didn't come visit them for a while. Now they come every chance they get. My point is: They'll get over it. Even if it's hard right now—and scary—God's gotcha. So just go. With God. :-)

 

 

BTW, if you think you don't yet know God's will, look at this:

 

"Dragging" is the exact same word one of the sisters I interviewed used when she was describing how she came to know her vocation. She was visiting colleges to see where she wanted to go, but she "dragged herself" around. Finally, she stopped and asked herself what the hell was wrong. She realized she didn't want to go to college. "That didn't make ANY sense", she said. Until she figured out why.

 

I sometimes think God sent me all over the planet so that I would get good and worn out before entering cloistered life. I am so tired I don't like to drive one mile. I don't want to go anywhere I can't walk. Before, cloistered life would have felt claustrophobic. Now, it's like a dream come true. Wondering why God sent you to college if He just planned to pull you out a year before graduation? Maybe it was so you wouldn't look back every time you got discouraged in religious life and think, "Maybe I should have become a teacher..."

 

Huh. Got sick, eh? Three weeks in bed gives a person a lot of time to think. Probably not coincidental.

 

Clearly, you want to be serving God, whatever you're doing. You seem to have figured out you can't serve God teaching religion in your country. Looks like, as soon as you figured that out, He opened another door.

 

It's very common that other people know before you do. Most people interpret this as an external confirmation that God is indeed calling them.

 

And voila, a new door opens...

 

Door WIDE open. You think this is a coincidence? You should probably capitalize that "He"!

 

Sometimes a feeling is all we get, NonNovi. Don't wait for a hand from the sky or a voice or a lightning bolt or anything. You might not get it. I used to think the holiest people got those, the people who were "called for sure". Then some of the sisters I interviewed specifically said of their sensational religious experiences during discernment: "He had to do that. Otherwise I wouldn't have gotten it. I wasn't paying attention. I was trying to ignore Him." After the interviews, it hit me: "Man, can you imagine how much faith it takes to follow God when all you've got is a feeling?" Following God on a feeling is amazing. It takes massive amounts of trust. And that seems to be the main thing He tries to teach us through discernment.

 

Will do, brother. (Father? ;-)

 

If you look at this trajectory (above) with secular eyes, it'll just look like a kid "dropping out of college", and in Western society, that means something has gone horribly wrong. But if you look for God's hand in it, then it looks like His will is pretty clear. He's had you every step of the way. He's even showing up and talking to you. Maybe you're just not seeing it? Maybe you're thinking God cares as much about college degrees as we do? I'd bet my life He doesn't!

 

In the weeks to come, NonNovi, what should you do? START LOOKING FOR HIM EVERYWHERE. I'm betting He'll show up again. With a map. :-)

 

This. In addition to bringing the biggest smile to my face and making me laugh out loud several times, everything curiousing said I whole-heartedly agree with! 

 

GO FOR IT, FRIEND!!! 

 

God has blessed you so massively. Thanks be to Him! Mother Mary and all the Saints (plus all of us here) are cheering you on so much!  :winner:

Edited by ToJesusMyHeart
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Sometimes a feeling is all we get, NonNovi. Don't wait for a hand from the sky or a voice or a lightning bolt or anything. You might not get it. I used to think the holiest people got those, the people who were "called for sure". Then some of the sisters I interviewed specifically said of their sensational religious experiences during discernment: "He had to do that. Otherwise I wouldn't have gotten it. I wasn't paying attention. I was trying to ignore Him." After the interviews, it hit me: "Man, can you imagine how much faith it takes to follow God when all you've got is a feeling?" Following God on a feeling is amazing. It takes massive amounts of trust. And that seems to be the main thing He tries to teach us through discernment.

 

YES CURIOSING YES! You are right on here. People tend to respond to my vocation story with, "I guess I am less special because I haven't had an experience." This could not be further from the truth! God giving a sensational experience to someone is almost like a parent spanking a child..in that it is usually a wake-up call (think Saul/Paul's conversion). For most discerning mature people, they don't need a smack/experience.. God surely must be more pleased with the second type of person!

 

I am enjoying your insights here., curiousing. :like:

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First, congratulations on your English!  Terribly difficult as the language can be, you handle it beautifully.

From long-ago experience, I would agree that all of the above messages give you excellent advice.  If you're at home in the monastery and not at all at the university, what do you think the Lord is saying?  There is a great line in an old Irish song, "I know where my heart belongs."  Following your heart to where it belongs sounds like a very good idea.  If things turn out differently, the university will still be there, and maybe the way will be pointed to a different field of study.  The courses that you have already had will surely count for something.

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First, congratulations on your English!  Terribly difficult as the language can be, you handle it beautifully.

 

Thank you! :)

 

 

I just received a Christmas card. The first thing I saw when I opened the envelope is this text:

 

When the wind of change blows, some build screens to block it. Others build windmills.

:eek:

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Praying for you, my borther. Trust in Him. God always outdoes us with his generosity when we follow him. (easier said then done, I know)  Pray. Hope. Don't worry.

 

 

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Praying for you, NonNovi.....   

 

I almost called you 'Novi' -- and that may be prophetic, because I think you DO 'Novi' a lot more than you did a few weeks or months ago!

 

It strikes me that by letting go of the things that you have been doing, you are reaching out to the Poor Infant in a very radical way... and He will reward you for that generosity in letting go of what was safe but wrong.

 

Let us know what happens with your parents. 

 

I do think you are making a wise decision to let college go for now.... you can always come back and finish it when you know more about what God wants.

 

Praying hard.....

 

 

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Thank you! :)


I just received a Christmas card. The first thing I saw when I opened the envelope is this text:

:eek:
NonNovi,

I just got back from a vocations retreat, and I had several things that came to me I think you would benefit from. First we are all called differently. Some people answer right and some get it wrong, like when Jesus called the one and he said, let me go bury my father the next said let me go say good bye to my mother. Both of these were told that were unfit for looking back, while the rich young man was told to wait...go sell everything give it away and THEN come follow, he didn't want to give up his stuff. While it may seem difficult to do it, to me is seems like you MUST at least tell your parents about your discernment and you should probably be looking at walking a door that has been opened to you. While your parents MIGHT be disappointed at first; you might be the tool God needs to use in their lives too. As well God is merciful, it often seems like if we don't discern perfectly then our entire lives will be messed up, If you TRY to seek after and follow God, he will use that experience to help you grow. If you are NOT meant to be a Priest then he will beat you in the head with a giant stick and let you know. Trust God, seek after Him. I think you already know where you are called and are just afraid of what that means. A Priest is called to pious suffering for those in the Church, to bring others to holiness. All of the Great followers of God were not used by God untill they were willing to give God everything they have and are. Edited by PadrePioOfPietrelcino
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I almost called you 'Novi' -- and that may be prophetic, because I think you DO 'Novi' a lot more than you did a few weeks or months ago!


:hehe2: You should get a new tag here, Phatmass prophet ;)

 

Meanwhile I still haven't said anything. My sister returned from London for Christmas and I didn't want to ruin my parents happiness. It would be twice as painful if I said it just before, that would spoil the family visits and parties. But I have had it with the whole family Christmas celebration, it doesn't feel right anymore. Everbody is worrying about the food and the presents. I worried about getting to the midnight Mass... (wich I attended alone, the rest of the family stayed home). On Christmas I went to Mass with my family in the church where I was baptised (not our parish anymore, we moved). I don't like it there, they have 3 women with some sort of function who seem to think they are female priests (wearing an alb and an orange shawl hanging down one shoulder). I stood up and knelt at the appropriate times (and seemed to be the only one who know exactly when), received kneeling on the tongue and sang out loud (not mumbling and acting like I know the song). My family is embarrassed when I do those things, every time again. That's why I'm happy we don't go to Mass together very often. Long story short, al the Christmas things are getting too loud and busy for me, I'd rather be left alone and pray in silence, celebrating the real meaning of Christmas.

 

Today I went to confession. I spend 30 minutes in the confessional, must be my longest visit ever. I told my confessor (an old Capuchin) everything, because not telling is starting to feel a bit like lying. At first he was trying to advice me to hold on and graduate, because that's what my parents would want and because I'd have the security of the diploma. I actually didn't expect that, that's what everybody says/would say. Then I said that what he said is a pure human way of thinking, that God doesn't want us to have security. I told him about my possibility to stay a while at a monastery (without really entering). He thought that it is a good way to get to know "the life" and started to tell about his youth and entrance. He actually entered without the security of even a high school diploma. According to him, in those days it was possible, but now, in this society it's important to have security and blablabla.On the other hand he could feel I was very serious and that I trusted God very hard. And he agreed that our religious education is very bad, so he kind of understood I have issues with my current study. He suggested that, if I really want to stop, maybe my priest friend could come to talk to my parents. Anyway, he's going to pray for me.

 

This was very confusing, because he gave me such a worldly view on things. It's only because I insisted he started to look for other possibilities. I do have to tell my parents something, and soon. As for now, they think I'm preparing for my exams in two weeks. But today I received e-mail from my SJM-friend, in wich he invites me again to accompany him to the SJM-boarding school wednesday and thursday. So I'll have to tell or I can't go. And I really want to go...

Edited by NonNovi

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Oh, Novi.... :nunpray:

 

I'm not really in a postion to give advice right now, but I can say this: The only reason I've ever spoken to my parents (and I'm too much of a coward to talk to my father, so I've only talked to my mother) about either becoming Catholic or my discernment is that Jesus basically commanded me to. He seems to be softening their hearts, as well. I'd say to just trust and obey, and pray to God for wisdom in what to say. If He wants you to talk to your parents now, He will give you support as you need it, just as He gave Moses the words to say.

 

I'll pray for you. :nunpray:

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Little update: Just received a call from my friend. He was a little bit worried because I didn't answer his e-mail yet and wanted to know how I was doing. He confirmed that I'm still welcome at the monastery any time I want. I told him I might just take that offer after I tell my parents, because I'll probably want to be out of their sight for a while. He adviced not to delay things any further, to bite through and tell them, if not it will only get worse (and he knows what he is talking about, it took him almost a year before he told his parents).

Yesterday I bought a German dictionary (actually 2, one in each direction) and a grammar book. I speak enough German to understand a lot and to speak with people, but if I want to enter in Austria I'll have to improve. Otherwise studying philosophy and theology will be a disaster later on ;)

 

Thank you, Christina Thérèse :priest: I didn't think of Moses yet, but it's a good comparison. Lately I can identify myself to so many bible verses and steps in Jesus' life. Right now I'm like the suffering Lord. I prayed so much in anxiety, but want to do whatever God's will is. The waiting and not telling is like being whipped and beaten, it hurts more and more. Every remark about my future from my family is like a thorn pressed in my head. And now I'm carrying my cross up the hill, towards the moment of truth. There I'll have to be the child Jesus telling his parents He belongs in the house of his Father...

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NonNovi, it sounds like things are moving along. So happy for you, and prayers for you.

 

Do you have any books in German on philosophy or theology? Or any book with a Christian vocabulary (such as a saint's writing)? Every subject has its own vocabulary so it's helpful to read things that will teach you the words you'll actually be using. Just an idea.

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My two cents of advice: 

 

Talk to the vocaction director of the order what they think, what they want. I was ready to drop grad school 1 1/2 before finishing it, because I so wanted to enter. But my community said to finish. So I did. Was not easy, but still I took it as their decision, lived my life until entrance also very fullfilling with a lot of things and a lot of maturing that would not have happened if I had entered earlier. 

 

Figure out how long the credits you earned towards your degree would still be "valid". And have that certified somehow, so that if you discern that this order is not your vocation, you have something to start on. It would not mean finishing this degree that you are clearly not interested in, but maybe some credit can get transfered, etc. 

 

So far to the practical side..... Otherwise: Pray! 

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