Jump to content
Marsabielle

Noticing All the Things

Recommended Posts

Marsabielle

A Dominican Sister and I (go Dominicans! :smokey:) were chatting last night after they had invited a group to their convent for Vespers. A young women there said, "I know I'M not called to this life-I get annoyed just when we all were bowing out of sync on the Gloria Patri." Sister said, "I have been a Sister for so many years and never noticed that! You're so observant!" Do you think this girl was right-that someone who notices those small things is not called to community life/prayer/etc? 

 

I have always noticed those details as well.. but I never thought of it as being an indicator of not having a religious vocation. A penny for your thoughts!

Edited by Marsabielle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
beatitude

I think you're overanalysing this. I've made similar comments when with Dominicans - usually about their white habits and my propensity to spill everything I eat. ;) But I don't think being clumsy with a fork is a sign from God that I shouldn't be a Dominican.

We all have our own pet peeves. That nun probably gets bothered by things that wouldn't register with you at all. No one alive is immune to annoyances. If you have a religious vocation, you will be given grace to cope with them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Marsabielle

Ok! Another's take really does help with things. I guess I always aligned myself with St Therese (because of my great humility, dont ya see?!! :P) in that, "Oh Lord, I'm dying because of the off-key man next to me, but I want to use it for love." Then, that situation in the OP made me think.. maybe most religious just don't get that frazzled by the little things. 

 

I'm very happy that it seems I'm wrong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
truthfinder
1 minute ago, Marsabielle said:

Ok! Another's take really does help with things. I guess I always aligned myself with St Therese (because of my great humility, dont ya see?!! :P) in that, "Oh Lord, I'm dying because of the off-key man next to me, but I want to use it for love." Then, that situation in the OP made me think.. maybe most religious just don't get that frazzled by the little things. 

 

I'm very happy that it seems I'm wrong.

I was just going to mention St Therese and her annoyance with the noisy nun. 

If someone's annoyance was that great, I would wonder if they had any OCD tendencies that also manifested elsewhere. At the same time, it could just be a passing thing, what you couldn't stand doesn't seem like that big of a deal anymore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BarbaraTherese

Undoubtedly, if nuns and sisters took note with annoyance of every little thing that is out of place etc., we probably would have even fewer professed in religious life - or even worse, always annoyed and complaining nuns and sisters.  Things can and do go wrong, including in religious life, and most religious I suspect would take it in their stride without loosing step nor their smile.  Some might have a bigger smile for an involuntary opportunity for sacrifice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Marsabielle
8 hours ago, truthfinder said:

I was just going to mention St Therese and her annoyance with the noisy nun. 

If someone's annoyance was that great, I would wonder if they had any OCD tendencies that also manifested elsewhere. At the same time, it could just be a passing thing, what you couldn't stand doesn't seem like that big of a deal anymore.

Great point. Food for thought.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Marsabielle
8 hours ago, BarbaraTherese said:

Undoubtedly, if nuns and sisters took note with annoyance of every little thing that is out of place etc., we probably would have even fewer professed in religious life - or even worse, always annoyed and complaining nuns and sisters.  Things can and do go wrong, including in religious life, and most religious I suspect would take it in their stride without loosing step nor their smile.  Some might have a bigger smile for an involuntary opportunity for sacrifice.

So would that be to the point that the girl in our small group who mentioned the Gloria Patri thing wouldn't be called to RL specifically because of her annoyance, not her acute observance? I don't know if I'm being clear lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nunsuch

I think people should be paying attention to prayer and not to the quirks of others at such times.... But, no, this isn't per se a disqualification for religious life (though it may be a sign that someone needs a bit more maturity before serious discernment).

There is annoyance in all states of life. Am I not called to be a professor because I get annoyed at students who don't pay attention during lectures, or who don't put sufficient effort into their essays? Of course not. The point is to learn how to respond. Indeed, because religious life may require people to live in close proximity with individuals they may find annoying (or worse!), it is MORE likely to provide occasions for personal frustration than other states of life.

If one is called to religious life, then one is called DESPITE incidentals (liking or not liking a habit--or lack of same, whether or not the community takes "religious" names, etc.), not because of them. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Francis Clare

I dont really think you can equate to an "off the cuff" statement such as that with not being called to religious life.  Think about how many times we say things just like that.  OOPS  Just as I was writing this Nunsuch posted and stole my thunder :))  So I'll just go back to my coffee and crosswords. 

Edited by Francis Clare

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
chrysostom

To me that's like saying you're not called to marriage because you get annoyed when the person you're dating is always five minutes late.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sister Leticia

And just to add to what everyone else has said...

Whenever anyone says "I can't possibly be called to religious life because I'm too impatient/not generous enough/whatever" I'd say there goes someone either trying to avoid thinking about it, or secretly hoping someone will disagree with them and enter into conversation about a possible call.

(This doesn't mean they ARE called to religious life, just that public declarations that you can't possibly be called to or meant for something can be a way of avoidance, or they can be a way of calling attention to thoughts and feelings you can't express more directly)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BarbaraTherese

Discernment is not an event but a process; hence, an isolated incident is not an indication of, or lack of, a religious vocation.  "God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called".  Discernment actually within religious life, from postulancy onwards, is around 6years or so.

Those called to religious life are not perfect but called to the state of perfection and if faithful will grow towards perfection with heaps of OOPS's along the way experienced and donated, freely given.  Annoyances are frequent in the temporal sphere too, while community in religious life is sort of a hotbed of annoyances brought about through living closely together.  I read in a document on fraternal life in community, that annoyances and the like are permitted by God to invite to holiness (i.e. one's reaction to annoyances).

“We would have to keep ourselves shut up in a box not to be exposed to some annoyance or other!”
– St. Vincent de Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Antigonos
12 hours ago, chrysostom said:

To me that's like saying you're not called to marriage because you get annoyed when the person you're dating is always five minutes late.

ANYONE who is married is annoyed by dozens of little things all day long.  For 40 years [Oct. 14 was our anniversary] I haven't managed to get my husband to put the toilet seat down or clean the toothpaste off the spigot in the bathroom sink.  And I'm sure he's got a list of my foibles which drive him nuts [in fact, I know he does].  It's life.

IMHO, there is a certain degree of OCD in living according to a Holy Rule.  The question is how extreme the behavior is, and how a person responds to it.  Most who persevere in their vocation, like married folks, manage to cope with the small, repeated annoyances.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Marsabielle
22 hours ago, Sister Leticia said:

And just to add to what everyone else has said...

Whenever anyone says "I can't possibly be called to religious life because I'm too impatient/not generous enough/whatever" I'd say there goes someone either trying to avoid thinking about it, or secretly hoping someone will disagree with them and enter into conversation about a possible call.

(This doesn't mean they ARE called to religious life, just that public declarations that you can't possibly be called to or meant for something can be a way of avoidance, or they can be a way of calling attention to thoughts and feelings you can't express more directly)

I had not even thought about that aspect of what the girl was expressing! I guess my surprise and the gravity of the situation came from Sister's response.  I had expected her to say, "oh, everybody notices that, and it's a continual struggle to get your mind back on prayer. You're not alone! God gives so much grace in our life!" I may be misinterpreting what happened, but it seemed like Sister was more like, "Wow. Ok. You definitely might not be called if you were noticing and getting annoyed by semantics during the Office." This is an experienced and mature religious. I trust her judgement. It just made me wonder.

 

Thanks for all the replies. I'm really tempted to just keep posting all my questions, so I can get more of your insights. I'll try to be moderate lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sister Leticia

I, obviously, didn't hear the sister's tone of voice, and don't know how well she knows the young woman and what was happening around you all. It could be that the young woman has said this sort of thing before, more than once, and this is how the sister has decided to respond, especially if she's talking with other people or has other things to go and do. Maybe at a later time she'll sit down with her and say "you remember last week, when you said..." 

It certainly is not an indication of not being called to religious life, just an area for personal growth. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BarbaraTherese
On ‎1‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 12:32 AM, Marsabielle said:

So would that be to the point that the girl in our small group who mentioned the Gloria Patri thing wouldn't be called to RL specifically because of her annoyance, not her acute observance? I don't know if I'm being clear lol.

Apologies @Marsabielle, I missed your comment above until this morning.   Must start out by stating that I do not have a religious vocation; hence am not even discerning.  I do have (short) experience in the past of religious life.

I have read in a few places here and there over years now that professed religious have commented that sometimes it is the unlikely who enter and the unlikely who stay.  By that very same comment, sometimes it is the likely who enter and the likely who stay the distance.  Mixed bag as it were.

Once accepted into a community the formation process is quite intense.  The person entering is going to change over the formation period which is lifelong, or probably will not stay the distance.  Pre V2 anyway that change was called "conversion of manners" or a "fitting into the mould of religious life".   It takes place in striving to live the religious life in community itself - and it is during that period that the community and the actual person discern a call to the life, or the lack of it up to final profession.

Growth means change and no growth without change including in one's spiritual life.  And that includes those not in religious life nor discerning RL.  It includes Laity in the temporal order in secular life too.  However, religious life is a completely different way of life to secular life.  It is another state and way of life completely.  RL has a completely different role in The Church.

In short, one incident cannot indicate I don't think that a person has or has not a religious vocation.  In the journey of life there are going to be heaps and heaps of 'incidents' both negative and positive.  It is the human condition and those negative and positive aspects of the human condition do not conclude once one enters RL, not even after final profession.   Holiness makes for a more human person, not a less human person. More human does ask recognition and embrace of the human condition.   It reminds me of a community address I read by a Benedictine prioress.  She commented that that nun that continually annoys with endless chatter whenever she can is the same nun always very willing to joyfully help out wherever she can.  "We are all saints somewhere, we are all sinners somewhere."  The shift of perception will be ideally from emphasis on the sinner, to recognition and appreciation of the saint.  It will also ideally involve a recognition, a Peaceful recognition, of oneself as both sinner or saint somewhere or other. That will involve at once an embrace of The Gratuitous Generosity and The Loving Mercy of God for self and for others. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Francis Clare

Marsabielle....the reply from the Sister you had in quotes in your first post is much different than what you quoted the Sister as saying in your later post.  IMO it’s a huge leap from one quote to the other.  So.....are the replies your interpretation of what was said (2 quite different comments) or are they verbatim?  I believe it might show your bias of what a  religious SHOULD say or behave......or perhaps what you wanted her to say.  Is it a bit misguided to make the leap from a rather innocuous and offhanded remark about being irritated to questioning the judgement of an “ experienced and mature religious.”?  Are you making a mountain out of a molehill?  Frankly, I can’t seem to find where “the gravity of the situation” is at all.  It was just an offhand remark followed by another offhand remark.  Not every word can be taken so seriously.  Perhaps it’s my age and experience talking, but please, lighten up a bit. It’s not as serious as you seem to believe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Marsabielle
1 hour ago, Francis Clare said:

Marsabielle....the reply from the Sister you had in quotes in your first post is much different than what you quoted the Sister as saying in your later post.  IMO it’s a huge leap from one quote to the other.  So.....are the replies your interpretation of what was said (2 quite different comments) or are they verbatim?  I believe it might show your bias of what a  religious SHOULD say or behave......or perhaps what you wanted her to say.  Is it a bit misguided to make the leap from a rather innocuous and offhanded remark about being irritated to questioning the judgement of an “ experienced and mature religious.”?  Are you making a mountain out of a molehill?  Frankly, I can’t seem to find where “the gravity of the situation” is at all.  It was just an offhand remark followed by another offhand remark.  Not every word can be taken so seriously.  Perhaps it’s my age and experience talking, but please, lighten up a bit. It’s not as serious as you seem to believe.

But being solemn is such fun!:jester:  The first comment was verbatim, the second was what I perceived the attitude to be.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Francis Clare

There is a huge difference between “being solemn” (whatever that means in this discussion) and being perhaps a bit irresponsible by extrapolating something you WANTED the Sister in question to say. Is this perhaps what YOU are going through yourself?!  You jumped from point A to point F by inserting what YOU wanted the Sister to say and how she should have responded.   Nowhere did I read that the Sister said your friend was unsuited for RL...you seem to have assumed that yourself. By putting your own spin on the words of others in a negative way might be discouraging to less mature discerners who visit/post on VS.

I can assure you from my professional experience as a SD that discerners are often plagued by their own doubts and insecurities about their suitability for RL and don’t need help by reading about imaginary, peripheral problems that they might equate to similar feelings, whether imagined or real.  It’s not a game, so I would ask you to be considerate of those here who are seriously discerning.

From your last comment and emoji it seems like this is not a really serious subject for you.

Edited by Francis Clare

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×