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Marsabielle

Noticing All the Things

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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

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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.

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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)

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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

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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.

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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

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