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28yrolddiscerner

Nun life vs. helping at home

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28yrolddiscerner

Hi everyone!

 I have a moral question for you. Do you think it is wrong to pursue a vocation of a nuns life when your mother could really use more help at home?? On the one hand she is overwhelmed with the amount of work she has right now.  On the other hand I am getting older for a vocation. I’m turning 29 this year.  My heart belongs to Jesus and the Church, but I also love my mom. 

Also, how to ask a priest to be my SD? I’m shy. I had one before but he retired.

God bless you and thanks for your response 

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bardegaulois

"If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple."

Our Lord has answered this one already.

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BarbaraTherese

I wonder if the quotation by bardegaulois means more to discern what The Lord is calling you to do in your life and making whatever sacrifices that might be necessary to follow that call? By following His Call you are being fully His disciple.

I think your question is definitely one for a spiritual director.  You could certainly in every way belong to Jesus and His Church in whatever vocation and role in life Jesus might be calling you to fulfil.  It is not only those in religious life and the priesthood who are fully disciples of Jesus committed to His Church in every way.

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28yrolddiscerner

Exactly BarbaraTherese! I will speak with a SD about this.  I will follow Jesus no matter what path I take. That I know.

peace of Christ 

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bardegaulois

More precisely, I mean to ask that, if given the opportunity to live the life of spiritual perfection under a rule, and opting instead to help your mother with housework, it's good then to ask if you really are following Christ. If your mother is elderly or disabled and has a real need for the help, then it could be a spiritual duty of yours to stay with her. But if she is not, then you're clearly choosing your mother over Christ. Consider the episode of Christ at the house of Mary and Martha... Are you choosing the better part, which cannot be taken from you?

Our Lord's demands upon us are often very radical, and many focus on the temporalities of life as an excuse not to follow as closely as they should. This is no sin, as there is always a gracious second path we can follow, but you would do well to ask yourself if you are among those focusing on worldly or familial concerns in an attempt to shirk certain duties before God that you are capable of carrying out.

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GreenScapularedHuman
Quote

1 Timothy 5:3-8
Honor widows who are truly widows. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let these first learn to perform their religious duty to their own family and to make recompense to their parents, for this is pleasing to God. The real widow, who is all alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day. But the one who is self-indulgent is dead while she lives. Command this, so that they may be irreproachable. And whoever does not provide for relatives and especially family members has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Quote

Luke 20:46-47
Be on guard against the scribes, who like to go around in long robes and love greetings in marketplaces, seats of honor in synagogues, and places of honor at banquets. They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext, recite lengthy prayers. They will receive a very severe condemnation.


Not to say that Luke 20:46-47 is specifically about this but it certainly shows that the gospel Jesus had great concern for widows. As did the epistles which likens to those who do not care for those specially needy family as had denied the faith and worse than unbelievers which is in the direct context of widows. Moreover:

Quote

Matthew 15:3-9
He said to them in reply, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and ‘Whoever curses father or mother shall die.’ But you say, ‘Whoever says to father or mother, “Any support you might have had from me is dedicated to God,” need not honor his father.’ You have nullified the word of God for the sake of your tradition. Hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy about you when he said:

  ‘This people honors me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me;
    in vain do they worship me,
    teaching as doctrines human precepts.’”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church has a whole section on this topic and touches on it at various other parts... the most relevant sections as my memory serves are:

Quote

Catechism of the Catholic Church
2230
When they become adults, children have the right and duty to choose their profession and state of life. They should assume their new responsibilities within a trusting relationship with their parents, willingly asking and receiving their advice and counsel. Parents should be careful not to exert pressure on their children either in the choice of a profession or in that of a spouse. This necessary restraint does not prevent them - quite the contrary from giving their children judicious advice, particularly when they are planning to start a family.

2231 Some forgo marriage in order to care for their parents or brothers and sisters, to give themselves more completely to a profession, or to serve other honorable ends. They can contribute greatly to the good of the human family.

IV. THE FAMILY AND THE KINGDOM

2232 Family ties are important but not absolute. Just as the child grows to maturity and human and spiritual autonomy, so his unique vocation which comes from God asserts itself more clearly and forcefully. Parents should respect this call and encourage their children to follow it. They must be convinced that the first vocation of the Christian is to follow Jesus: "He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me."39

2233 Becoming a disciple of Jesus means accepting the invitation to belong to God's family, to live in conformity with His way of life: "For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother."40

Parents should welcome and respect with joy and thanksgiving the Lord's call to one of their children to follow him in virginity for the sake of the Kingdom in the consecrated life or in priestly ministry.

I think a very basic reading of this would mean that the person to make this decision is ultimately you, it is your right and duty to choose, and no one should exercise undue or unwelcome pressure on you.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that I think there is the argument to be had that there may be some Christian moral duty to seek out someone who will take care of your mother at very least if not yourself. I don't know the situation but it is possible that you are not as needed as you suspect yourself to be or the level of care not as intensive.

Jesus certainly cared for his mother in the Gospels a great deal seemingly caring for her till he was ~30 in his secret life before the gospel narrative begins, seems to had taken her with her on most of his ministry, and upon his death on the cross adopted her over to the care of Saint John the Apostle (and really all Christians).

I lean libertine so I admit the idea of being a nun is a bit contrary to my thinking... on that ground alone I would advise against it. But it is very only your choice which you have a right and duty to choose... that I really agree with. It is your life.

But I do know my aunt, she grew up during the great depression and was a religious sister serving those in need her entire life till just a few years ago when she retired, she is quite the individual. I also know the religious order she is apart of is more in-community wearing less a habit and lives in normal apartments. Perhaps the two callings are not mutually exclusive? Maybe you can do a little bit of both? Just a thought...

Edited by GreenScapularedHuman

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BarbaraTherese

Does a person have a moral right or obligation to walk out on a mother needing help in order to enter religious life?  I think that that person would find that a sound vocations director or spiritual director would ask him or her to care for their mother first and foremost before considering religious life.  Doubtless if God is calling the person to religious life alternatives for care of the mother would be present or would become present eventually.

There can be quite some tension between what a person wants and what God is inviting a person to do in life.  This is made evident in the course of spiritual direction where quite a few variables can become evident to a spiritual direcotr.  It is the task of the director to guide the person into following God's Will and for the person being directed that can be extremely painful and difficult journey involving a detachment from self.
 

Quote

 

"The spiritual life is a stern choice. It is not a consoling retreat from the difficulties of existence, but an invitation to enter fully into that difficult existence, and there apply the Charity of God, and bear the cost."

- Evelyn Underhill

 

On ‎14‎/‎04‎/‎2018 at 9:01 AM, GreenScapularedHuman said:

Matthew 15:3-9
He said to them in reply, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and ‘Whoever curses father or mother shall die.’ But you say, ‘Whoever says to father or mother, “Any support you might have had from me is dedicated to God,” need not honor his father.’ You have nullified the word of God for the sake of your tradition.

Powerful quote above from GSH.

Edited by BarbaraTherese

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little2add
On 4/10/2018 at 3:25 PM, 28yrolddiscerner said:

Also, how to ask a priest to be my SD?

let your heart be your guide...

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GreenScapularedHuman
21 hours ago, BarbaraTherese said:

Powerful quote above from GSH.

Huh?

Edited by GreenScapularedHuman

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BarbaraTherese
On ‎11‎/‎04‎/‎2018 at 4:55 AM, 28yrolddiscerner said:

Also, how to ask a priest to be my SD? I’m shy. I had one before but he retired.

e.g. "Father I am looking for a spiritual director, would you be available?"  If he says he can't help, ask if he knows how one would go about finding a SD.  Certainly Pope Benedict said the spiritual direction is for all who want to take their baptism seriously.  https://zenit.org/articles/pope-recommends-spiritual-direction-to-everyone/

Not all that long ago really (largely pre V2) spiritual direction was regarded as only for priests and religious.  This most certainly no longer applies.

My diocese has a list of accredited spiritual directors and will send out the list for the asking with names and contact numbers.  You could try phoning your diocesan offices.

How I found my own SD and Confessor was through phoning a local religious order of priests.  I had never had contact with them before and simply phoned and asked - telling the person who answered the phone that I was looking for a spiritual director - he put me through to my now SD and confessor.  Prior to that a religious sister was my director.

Very often, if one starts to phone out, the person or organisation that answers may not be able to help, but can give contact information where one might be able to find assistance.

_________________

The first couple of sessions with a potential director focus more or less on whether you both can work together.  If you are shy, you can sit down and say for example: "Father, I am shy, you might need to help me out".  Honesty is always the best policy and most certainly with spiritual direction.

Edited by BarbaraTherese

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little2add
20 hours ago, little2add said:

let your heart be your guide...

pray on it!

Prayer is not asking.
Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at his disposition, and listening to his voice in the depths of our hearts.

Edited by little2add

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