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Catherine Therese

...on Returning To The World

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nunsense    3,805
nunsense

Dear CT.

 

How incredibly brave of you to come back and post here. Having been through what you have myself, I know just how hard it is to make that first post again.

 

We welcome you back to a place of support and love and comfort and assure you that you are in our prayers and our hearts.

 

Your heart belongs to Jesus, and that can be the constant in your life. Whatever happens in the future, know that your efforts to love and serve Him in religious life, and that your continuing efforts now to trust Him and find His will in your life, are gifts of love that please Him.

 

Trust needs testing - so don't worry if sometimes it seems a hard thing to do - He hasn't left you and He won't leave you. 

 

Bless you for your courage.

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Gabriela    3,074
Gabriela

CT, welcome back, and thank you for posting. I will surely pray for you. I encourage you—if/when you feel comfortable doing so—to get involved with a ministry for women who have left religious life, called Leonie's Longing: http://www.leonieslonging.org/

 

Peace to you!

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nunsense    3,805
nunsense

Be assured of my prayers.

 

Which cloistered order did you join?

 

 

Gracian - it's a good idea not to name communities online. If you want to know - perhaps you should PM her????

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graciandelamadrededios    398
graciandelamadrededios

I do not understand that at all but I respect your opinion.

 

I did not ask for the specific address of the community.

 

I was just asking what Order and that is general enough unless that Order or Congregation has only one house.

 

For example: if someone ask me what former order did I come from.  I would say I joined the Carthusian Order and left before perpetual vow.

 

 

 

 

Edited by graciandelamadrededios

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nunsense    3,805
nunsense

I do not understand that at all.

 

I did not ask for the specific address of the community.

 

I was just asking what Order and that is general enough unless that Order or Congregation has only one house.

 

Say of example: if someone ask me what former order did I come from.  I would say I joined the Carthusian Order.

 

 

I understand your confusion but it's still probably better if you talk about specifics via PM or email and not on a thread. There have been problems when doing this before. It's just a suggestion so do as you see fit, but perhaps it still might be a better idea to view her profile and then if you have more questions, PM her.

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Catherine Therese    739
Catherine Therese

Thank you so much all for your compassionate support! 


GracianDelaMadreDios - I say cloister because I was living my canonical novice year when I left, meaning that for that time I was living in cloister. I belonged, however, to an order that walks an active/contemplative tightrope :) 

Thanks for protecting my privacy and setting a boundary for what is best kept private vs. what is disclosed, Nunsense :) In my case, however, I think my secret is out of the bag - the shield in my picture displays my affiliation :) I'm OK with that much being generically known, but I agree with you, always best to protect the Congregation.

Just in case I'm somehow traceable: all opinions my own :-)

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freedomreigns    78
freedomreigns

I am a returnee also, and also left as a canonical novice in an active-contemplative community.  I may write more later, but for now I am praying for you!

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AnneLine    5,190
AnneLine

Praying for you, Catherine Therese.   Another returnee veteran of long ago... let us/me know if we can be of any help.  I was and am very grateful to the returnees of the 1980's who helped me to make that transition... and it is one of the reasons I choose to be here now.  'Pay it forward'.. that and I like the community here. ;)  . 

 

I am convinced that God gave me a temporary vocation to my community.  I was at peace making the choice to enter, and at peace leaving. Like yourself, it is almost more difficult doing the discernment to leave... but I am glad I took the time to do it.  I would both go in and leave in a second, and God is not outdone in generosity.  From over 30 years distance, I can see more of what God intended... and none of it was lost time.   There were connections that were vital, experiences that were vital.  Our God is... amazing.

 

Transition back was... interesting.  And funny in retrospect, but tough at the time.   There are reasons why veterans go off by themselves to share stories....

 

Here if I can be of help.   Feel free to PM....

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nunsense    3,805
nunsense

There must be a better label for us ex-nuns than returnee or veteran! :) I'm not clever enough to think one up but when I left one convent, my brother called me a Renegade Nun and wrote a poem about it. He said it was supposed to be sung to the tune of Psycho Dad (I don't know the song). It might be too irreverent for this place, but it was his feeble attempt to comfort me and make me laugh. Bless his little atheist heart.

 

 

 

 

Renegade Nun

 

Who's that riding in the sun ?

Who's the woman eating hot cross buns ?

Who's the woman who prays for fun ?

Renegade NUN, Renegade NUN, Renegade NUN !

 

She sleeps with a Bible and she loves His Son

Left the convent 'cos it was no fun. She's Renegade NUN.

 

A little touched or so we're told,

Left her Husband 'cos his other wives were cold

Being married to Jesus and getting old

Renegade NUN, Renegade NUN, Renegade NUN !

 

She loves the Lord

But the Carmelites made her sore.

She's Renegade NUN !

 

Who's that riding in the sleigh ?

Who's that drinking Diet Coke along the way ?

Who's looking up YouTube vids on Christmas day ?

Renegade NUN, Renegade NUN, Renegade NUN !

 

Who's that riding across the plain ?

Who's happy now that she’s left the pain ?

Who's the woman who's plumb insane ?

Renegade NUN, Renegade NUN, Renegade NUN !

 

 

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Sr Mary Catharine OP    1,610
Sr Mary Catharine OP

Catherine Therese, leaving the convent was the most difficult thing I have ever done. I left in my 2nd year as a novice. I likened it to jumping into a pool that I knew didn't have any water! I didn't have anyone really to talk to after I left as even my spiritual director was transferred about a month after I left.

 

I'd suggest that you don't think of yourself as an "ex-nun". You are a woman who tested her vocation to religious life and found that that was not where God is calling you to become a saint.

 

I found the book I BELIEVE IN LOVE very helpful during my time of adjustment. Maybe you would, too.

 

Stay close to Jesus through prayer and the sacraments, holy Mass, the rosary! I remember being severely tested in my faith in the months after I left the convent.

 

God bless you and I will be praying for you!

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VeniJesuAmorMi    510
VeniJesuAmorMi

God bless you Catherine Therese. I will be keeping you in prayer. :) I am understanding of your situation and so I pray that our Blessed Mother will keep you safe and ever close to Jesus. I thought I would share a couple of letters that Saint Maravillas' spiritual director wrote to her. I always enjoy going back to read them, as I find them encouraging. Maybe you will also, and maybe for others on here as well, but here they are anyway:

 

"He is leading you by very painful paths, but you are very much His; He is placing you in His divine will, and in this lies everything. If you could understand how clearly I see all of this! To walk without a path is a blessing, and the more intense the darkness becomes, the clearer is God's light in the depths of the soul. What happens is that souls do not see it, because they would lose the treasure of the cross, and the Lord does not want them to lose it. Let us allow the Lord to act and be ever more lovingly abandoned to Him, seeing everything as the mercy of God." Saint Maravillas added, "and forget myself. In that simple approach we find God, and that is His path."

 

"Very well, then. I tell you once again that all of that is the pure mercy of God. Because He loves you, He sends you many gifts of His love, and much for your own good. And this is where one nearly loses one's mind. How can the Lord have so much love for souls, who do not even deserve to be in His Divine Presence? Thinking of this is enough to make one go crazy.

       Aside from this, I tell you that the way by which you are traveling, so dark and painful, leads most directly to the Lord. I would not remove you from it for anything in the world, even if it were in my power. I bless the Lord because He has you on it! You have nothing to do but blindly abandon yourself in the Lord's Hands, rejoicing in knowing that He desires to be glorified in this way. God is Truth Itself, and on that truth our faith and hope are based. He cannot fail us. God loves us with an infinite love, although we may be most unworthy of that love, and no one can take that away from us. We must surrender and abandon ourselves on this immovable rock. Where will we go, if not to Him? Isn't that the only thing we can do in such situations in order to glorify Him? So let us glorify Him and leave our cares forgotten among the lilies. Offer Him the desires He gives you or puts in your heart. He will satisfy them.

      "But again I repeat to you a thousand times: do not be afraid, because it is the Lord, the most loving and merciful Lord. One star after another will go before you to illumine this darkness, until there comes the day without shadow when your work will be to love God as He wants to be loved. By His mercy that day will arrive."

 

(These letters are from the book, "Following the Path of Divine Love" by the Discalced Carmelites of Cerro do los Angeles and La Aldehuela, Spain)

 

Also, here is a prayer to share to our Blessed Mother:

 

"Take my hand, O Blessed Mother

hold me firmly, lest I fall.

I am nervous when I'm walking

and on Thee I humbly call.

 

Guide me over every crossing

watch me when I'm on the stairs

let me know that You're beside me

listen to my fervent prayer.

 

Bring me to my destination

safely, every single day.

Help me with each undertaking

as the hours pass away.

 

And when evening falls upon us

and I fear to be alone

Take my hand, O Blessed Mother,

once again, O lead me home."

 

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Maggyie    2,541
Maggyie

Welcome back CT! I remember when you entered. I hope it is some comfort to you that the experience of "returning" is a common one, especially in some congregations, and so many women have successfully walked this road before you. I second Sister Mary Catherine's recommendation of "I Believe in Love." I have never been in religious life but that book has been helpful in many of the challenging transitions I've made in my life.

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brandelynmarie    1,808
brandelynmarie
Much love & prayers, yes, let us pray for one another that we abide in His Will! :) I really enjoyed what I read on your blog too, btw...very thought-provoking insights between the ordinary & the Divine...

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