Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
mariaassunta

Where Are You In Your Religious Discernment?

Recommended Posts

Saint Therese
I don't even like to use the term discerning anymore, because to me that implies some lack of certainty. I'm already know to which community I'm called for sure, and I'm just waiting to be able to enter, according to God's will.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
InHisLove726
[quote name='Maria Faustina' post='1807222' date='Mar 14 2009, 08:48 PM']thanks! They're probably my second choice (but my choices really don't count, God's do lol). I really like the Sisters of Life next, but that's pretty much it. I haven't really been exploring a lot of different communities, since I feel a strong pull to be a Dominican, especially a Nashville Dominican. The DSMME seem like an amazing order, and definetly seem worth checking out! I don't know, but I feel so comfortable and "at home" around the Nashville Dominicans that they really do seem like real sisters to me. I've never met any of the DSMME's in person before, but I may get the same reaction as the ND's. Thanks for youe advice InHisLove! I'll be praying for you also and I hope your application reaches its destination soon ;) Prayers :)[/quote]

Wonderful! Keep us updated, and I will make sure to keep you updated of my application! ;) I sent it yesterday, so it should get there this week!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest MariaJoy
Hi my name is maria. Im new here my mum talked me into coming on here.she says its good because it has vocation.So what do i do here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
the lords sheep
[quote name='MariaJoy' post='1807498' date='Mar 15 2009, 07:45 AM']Hi my name is maria. Im new here my mum talked me into coming on here.she says its good because it has vocation.So what do i do here.[/quote]


Hello Maria Joy! Welcome!

What do you do here? Well, there's a ton of information here, and people who are willing to "listen" to where you are in your pursuit of holiness (which may or may not involve a vocation to religious life) and support you as you seek to grow closer to the Lord. We'll also pray for you! (It's really a win-win situation).

As for me, dear phamily, I am in the process of applying to a community of Religious Sisters. For obvious reasons (I'm not even accepted), I will not post who on the board, but if you want to know, send me a PM (you just have to promise to pray for me if I tell you!)

In Christ,
Lauren

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DameAgnes
Nunsense, sorry to read about the loss of your father, but it does seem like God is working powerfully in your life to "restore things to fullness" in a manner of speaking. I will continue to pray for your discernment.

May I ask a question, though? In the Carmel in Canada you went in as Sr. Michael, if you go to the UK again, the abbess has already said "Michael" will be part of your name, again. I happen to love Michael, and he certainly seems like a go-to guy while you're "fighting for your vocation" which you certainly seem to be doing (and great that you're not giving up)...

But for those of us who perhaps do not understand all the ways of Carmel, does one get a new name immediately upon entering, as a postulant?

Or, is this something peculiar to you, because you were clothed in Carmel, once before?

And when you went to Canada, (and as you may go to UK) was your entrance, then, as a novice or did you have to do postulancy, again?

I've always wondered about that - if a novice leaves and then returns - either to the same house or another, does the postulancy begin again or is the novitiate taken up?

I would imagine that doing a postulancy over and over again - while a humility - could also seem a little disheartening, so I can see the argument both for and against requireing a "do-over". Can you set me straight?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nunsense
[quote name='DameAgnes' post='1808677' date='Mar 16 2009, 10:56 AM']Nunsense, sorry to read about the loss of your father, but it does seem like God is working powerfully in your life to "restore things to fullness" in a manner of speaking. I will continue to pray for your discernment.[/quote]

Thank you for your kind words. The Memorial Service was so beautiful and I really felt the Holy Spirit doing His work. I spoke about my Dad's faith and then read passages from St John's gospel that were so sweet - and afterwards so many people came up to me to say how much they love Jesus! My uncle is a Mormon but he just kept telling me how much he loves Jesus, and it made me so happy for him. And there was a Catholic lady who travels with the statue of Our Lady of Fatima and has even taken her to Russia - it was all just so inspiring for me. Just a few words about Our Lord and some Holy Scripture, and everyone just seemed so loving - God is truly good - and amazingly powerful! :clap:


[quote]May I ask a question, though? In the Carmel in Canada you went in as Sr. Michael, if you go to the UK again, the abbess has already said "Michael" will be part of your name, again. I happen to love Michael, and he certainly seems like a go-to guy while you're "fighting for your vocation" which you certainly seem to be doing (and great that you're not giving up)...

But for those of us who perhaps do not understand all the ways of Carmel, does one get a new name immediately upon entering, as a postulant?

Or, is this something peculiar to you, because you were clothed in Carmel, once before?[/quote]

In Carmel, one is given a name in religion upon entering. The only changes might be before Clothing or Profession - if one wants or needs to add or change something. St Therese scholars can correct me if I am wrong here, but I think she added "and the Holy Face" to her original title of Therese of the Child Jesus - either at her Clothing or her Profession - I am not sure which. The Prioress gives one their religious name, but they often ask for input such as favorite saints or affinities. I told Reverend Mother Sheffield that St Michael was a strong advocate for me and that Our Blessed Mother brought me to Jesus through the Rosary so would like both their names if possible. I did ask her if I could use "of the Cross" because St John is my mystical spiritual director, but she said that every sister who took this title had left! So she gave me "of God" instead. At Wolverhampton I was asked to take the name of Teresa of Jesus because they hadn't had a Teresa in awhile and Mother WV wanted me to have that name. I do love St Teresa, so I felt honored, but I always felt it was a bit too important a name for me.


[quote]And when you went to Canada, (and as you may go to UK) was your entrance, then, as a novice or did you have to do postulancy, again?

I've always wondered about that - if a novice leaves and then returns - either to the same house or another, does the postulancy begin again or is the novitiate taken up?

I would imagine that doing a postulancy over and over again - while a humility - could also seem a little disheartening, so I can see the argument both for and against requireing a "do-over". Can you set me straight?[/quote]

Well, each monastery is autonomous, so although there is a six month minimum for the postulancy, some of them ask for a year instead. At WV I did six months postulancy and then was clothed in the habit for two months before I left. At Edmonton, they usually have a year's postulancy, but they told me that six months would be enough because I had already done six months and Sheffield has told me that we will see how things work out - they have a one year postulancy as well, but I might have a shorter one. The community has to vote on these things so it is not just the Prioress who decides. The Prioress has the right to ask a sister to leave without any approval from the community, but she cannot ask someone to enter or stay without the vote of the community - after all - they all have to live with her!

As for "doing a postulancy over and over again" - hah! you are so right - it is a very humbling experience, but that would be a good thing, wouldn't it? The bad thing is that it has such potential for pride as well. How is that possible, you may well ask? The thing is, that once a person has done something (speaking for myself now), they tend to think they "know it all" because they have "been there, done that"! The hard part especially, is not to make the inevitable comparisons between the different communities ("We did it this way at such and such a place.") or to get impatient because some things are too easy.

For example, at Edmonton, I was asked to carry this little prayer book in my pocket and to use it for every prayer and for processions etc. I knew all the prayers by heart, so didn't need it, but when I didn't use it, I was told that postulants were expected to use it - and that it was an act of humility for me to use it, and that I should not even have complaining thoughts about it! So, even though I had no need of the book, I dutifully took it out of my pocket and used it every time - controlling the rebellious thoughts were the hardest part at first ("This is stupid, why do I have to pretend to need this book?" etc) , but even that was ok over time - it was just something I did under obedience - no problems. So the repeat postulancy can be helpful to destroying pride, even though it is an initial source of pride - if you get what I am saying? I think the hardest part about a long postulancy is the feeling of not being a "real" part of the community yet. Being clothed is the official act of joining the community - they have voted to accept you and you are now one of them! It is also the start of the canonical Novitiate, so it feels like one finally gets started.

I understand perfectly why the postulancy is needed, and why some communities want a longer period of discernment for their candidates. But even that isn't any kind of guarantee - we are human, and we are messy. I know that some people have said that one should just persevere and they don't understand why anyone who wants to be a religious would ever leave after entering - but all I can say is that we are all different - God made us that way - and He loves each one of us the way we are. St Therese tells us that God is pleased with our efforts, not our results. Maybe my pride needs this knocking around? St Paul said that God gave him that thorn so he wouldn't get conceited. My "failures" at religious life certainly prevent me from getting big headed about my vocation, or feeling superior to anyone. I am truly and entirely dependant on the grace of Our Lord for everything. Sometimes I doubt that I even have a religious vocation - and wonder if I am just being stubborn and wilful in pursuing this desire. But then I think to myself "Satan gets no benefit from this desire, so it must be from God." and then I just abandon myself to His will, whatever that may end up being.

Religious life is not natural - it is supernatural - and we need to remember that. There is always a battle going on between good and evil - even before we ever enter. I am trying just to take it one day at a time - and boy do I pray to St Michael for help!!! :saint:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
InHisLove726
[quote name='nunsense' post='1808790' date='Mar 16 2009, 01:58 PM']Thank you for your kind words. The Memorial Service was so beautiful and I really felt the Holy Spirit doing His work. I spoke about my Dad's faith and then read passages from St John's gospel that were so sweet - and afterwards so many people came up to me to say how much they love Jesus! My uncle is a Mormon but he just kept telling me how much he loves Jesus, and it made me so happy for him. And there was a Catholic lady who travels with the statue of Our Lady of Fatima and has even taken her to Russia - it was all just so inspiring for me. Just a few words about Our Lord and some Holy Scripture, and everyone just seemed so loving - God is truly good - and amazingly powerful! :clap:




In Carmel, one is given a name in religion upon entering. The only changes might be before Clothing or Profession - if one wants or needs to add or change something. St Therese scholars can correct me if I am wrong here, but I think she added "and the Holy Face" to her original title of Therese of the Child Jesus - either at her Clothing or her Profession - I am not sure which. The Prioress gives one their religious name, but they often ask for input such as favorite saints or affinities. I told Reverend Mother Sheffield that St Michael was a strong advocate for me and that Our Blessed Mother brought me to Jesus through the Rosary so would like both their names if possible. I did ask her if I could use "of the Cross" because St John is my mystical spiritual director, but she said that every sister who took this title had left! So she gave me "of God" instead. At Wolverhampton I was asked to take the name of Teresa of Jesus because they hadn't had a Teresa in awhile and Mother WV wanted me to have that name. I do love St Teresa, so I felt honored, but I always felt it was a bit too important a name for me.




Well, each monastery is autonomous, so although there is a six month minimum for the postulancy, some of them ask for a year instead. At WV I did six months postulancy and then was clothed in the habit for two months before I left. At Edmonton, they usually have a year's postulancy, but they told me that six months would be enough because I had already done six months and Sheffield has told me that we will see how things work out - they have a one year postulancy as well, but I might have a shorter one. The community has to vote on these things so it is not just the Prioress who decides. The Prioress has the right to ask a sister to leave without any approval from the community, but she cannot ask someone to enter or stay without the vote of the community - after all - they all have to live with her!

As for "doing a postulancy over and over again" - hah! you are so right - it is a very humbling experience, but that would be a good thing, wouldn't it? The bad thing is that it has such potential for pride as well. How is that possible, you may well ask? The thing is, that once a person has done something (speaking for myself now), they tend to think they "know it all" because they have "been there, done that"! The hard part especially, is not to make the inevitable comparisons between the different communities ("We did it this way at such and such a place.") or to get impatient because some things are too easy.

For example, at Edmonton, I was asked to carry this little prayer book in my pocket and to use it for every prayer and for processions etc. I knew all the prayers by heart, so didn't need it, but when I didn't use it, I was told that postulants were expected to use it - and that it was an act of humility for me to use it, and that I should not even have complaining thoughts about it! So, even though I had no need of the book, I dutifully took it out of my pocket and used it every time - controlling the rebellious thoughts were the hardest part at first ("This is stupid, why do I have to pretend to need this book?" etc) , but even that was ok over time - it was just something I did under obedience - no problems. So the repeat postulancy can be helpful to destroying pride, even though it is an initial source of pride - if you get what I am saying? I think the hardest part about a long postulancy is the feeling of not being a "real" part of the community yet. Being clothed is the official act of joining the community - they have voted to accept you and you are now one of them! It is also the start of the canonical Novitiate, so it feels like one finally gets started.

I understand perfectly why the postulancy is needed, and why some communities want a longer period of discernment for their candidates. But even that isn't any kind of guarantee - we are human, and we are messy. I know that some people have said that one should just persevere and they don't understand why anyone who wants to be a religious would ever leave after entering - but all I can say is that we are all different - God made us that way - and He loves each one of us the way we are. St Therese tells us that God is pleased with our efforts, not our results. Maybe my pride needs this knocking around? St Paul said that God gave him that thorn so he wouldn't get conceited. My "failures" at religious life certainly prevent me from getting big headed about my vocation, or feeling superior to anyone. I am truly and entirely dependant on the grace of Our Lord for everything. Sometimes I doubt that I even have a religious vocation - and wonder if I am just being stubborn and wilful in pursuing this desire. But then I think to myself "Satan gets no benefit from this desire, so it must be from God." and then I just abandon myself to His will, whatever that may end up being.

Religious life is not natural - it is supernatural - and we need to remember that. There is always a battle going on between good and evil - even before we ever enter. I am trying just to take it one day at a time - and boy do I pray to St Michael for help!!! :saint:[/quote]


That is so beautiful, and you are certainly learning how to surrender all for God. Thank you for sharing your stories! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DameAgnes
Annie, thank you for the great answers.

Your story about using the prayerbook under obedience reminded me of A Right To Be Merry. In there, Mother M. Francis writes about entering the Poor Clares after being - I think - a postulant but not a novice of an active order. As she knew the magnificat by heart she did not read it from the book, and her abbess instructed her to do so. "But I know it by heart," she said proudly, "I don't need to read it."

The abbess, if I remember correctly, smiled sweetly at her and said, "and yet, here, you will read it from the book, each day at Vespers."

It might seem to be unreasonable, but I suspect the reason sisters are expected to "read" the prayers even when they know them is the same reason priests will "read" the canon of the mass, even though they "know" it - because sometimes the mind simply bails on one, and goes blank, and then what a mess it makes in the liturgy, whether it's the mass or the office. You make a big mistake, you screw it up for everyone.

I know even for myself, when I am at prayer, sometimes the brain just goes into lalaland and suddenly I'm thinking, "wait...Our Father...Our Father..."

I have a cousin who is a priest and he says when you're saying mass for the third time of a Sunday, you darn well "read" it, because otherwise you risk the brain shutting down on you; it's happened to him!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mariaassunta
JMJT

Dear Friends,
Praised be Jesus Christ, I am very touched by the openess on this board, esepcially with those discerning religious life. And make a common on the topic of humility. I was in the Religious life for almost 4 years and entered at a young age. I would like to say, going through formation again no matter what stage is nothing, compared to His love and your willingness to be His Bride. For us humans we hold on much to our ego and pride if I may say, then this becomes a destructive thing in anyway of life. So what I am trying to say is no matter what formation we have to repeat in this life or religious it humbles us all the more. After all we are nothing more than dust. From dust we were created and to this we shall return. God will not ask how you did something or how much you know?, but with How much love you did it. In this end this is all that matters. Our whole life time will be that of formation until the Day we return to God. God Bless you all and Happy St Patricks Day.

In the love always. Angel of Mary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
shortnun
[quote name='Saint Therese' post='1807376' date='Mar 14 2009, 11:57 PM']I don't even like to use the term discerning anymore, because to me that implies some lack of certainty. I'm already know to which community I'm called for sure, and I'm just waiting to be able to enter, according to God's will.[/quote]
Hmm, I'm a little puzzled by your statement. I think discernment can be a good thing. Pausing to reflect on the gifts God has given us, and taking the time to see where he is leading our heart, I think this kind of discernment (though it may lack certainty or even clarity at times) can be a good thing.

I've just finished applying to a community (in the Sacred Heart Family Tree) and was accepted. :taco: I hope to enter in August, provided I can fundraise my debt away. Pray for me, please!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mariaassunta
[quote name='shortnun' post='1809227' date='Mar 16 2009, 08:28 PM']Hmm, I'm a little puzzled by your statement. I think discernment can be a good thing. Pausing to reflect on the gifts God has given us, and taking the time to see where he is leading our heart, I think this kind of discernment (though it may lack certainty or even clarity at times) can be a good thing.

I've just finished applying to a community (in the Sacred Heart Family Tree) and was accepted. :taco: I hope to enter in August, provided I can fundraise my debt away. Pray for me, please![/quote]


I was replying to a statement made before about repeating formation, simply what I was saying was no matter what formation we repeat in our life or in religious life its always a humbling experience and gives us more humility realizing that without God we can do nothing, hope this helps!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
shortnun
[quote name='angelofmary' post='1809239' date='Mar 16 2009, 08:34 PM']I was replying to a statement made before about repeating formation, simply what I was saying was no matter what formation we repeat in our life or in religious life its always a humbling experience and gives us more humility realizing that without God we can do nothing, hope this helps![/quote]
I think I was quoting "Saint Therese" not you "angel of mary"....... :unsure:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AbsconditaInDeo
[quote name='nunsense' post='1808790' date='Mar 16 2009, 02:58 PM']Thank you for your kind words. The Memorial Service was so beautiful and I really felt the Holy Spirit doing His work. I spoke about my Dad's faith and then read passages from St John's gospel that were so sweet - and afterwards so many people came up to me to say how much they love Jesus! My uncle is a Mormon but he just kept telling me how much he loves Jesus, and it made me so happy for him. And there was a Catholic lady who travels with the statue of Our Lady of Fatima and has even taken her to Russia - it was all just so inspiring for me. Just a few words about Our Lord and some Holy Scripture, and everyone just seemed so loving - God is truly good - and amazingly powerful! :clap:




In Carmel, one is given a name in religion upon entering. The only changes might be before Clothing or Profession - if one wants or needs to add or change something. St Therese scholars can correct me if I am wrong here, but I think she added "and the Holy Face" to her original title of Therese of the Child Jesus - either at her Clothing or her Profession - I am not sure which. The Prioress gives one their religious name, but they often ask for input such as favorite saints or affinities. I told Reverend Mother Sheffield that St Michael was a strong advocate for me and that Our Blessed Mother brought me to Jesus through the Rosary so would like both their names if possible. I did ask her if I could use "of the Cross" because St John is my mystical spiritual director, but she said that every sister who took this title had left! So she gave me "of God" instead. At Wolverhampton I was asked to take the name of Teresa of Jesus because they hadn't had a Teresa in awhile and Mother WV wanted me to have that name. I do love St Teresa, so I felt honored, but I always felt it was a bit too important a name for me.




Well, each monastery is autonomous, so although there is a six month minimum for the postulancy, some of them ask for a year instead. At WV I did six months postulancy and then was clothed in the habit for two months before I left. At Edmonton, they usually have a year's postulancy, but they told me that six months would be enough because I had already done six months and Sheffield has told me that we will see how things work out - they have a one year postulancy as well, but I might have a shorter one. The community has to vote on these things so it is not just the Prioress who decides. The Prioress has the right to ask a sister to leave without any approval from the community, but she cannot ask someone to enter or stay without the vote of the community - after all - they all have to live with her!

As for "doing a postulancy over and over again" - hah! you are so right - it is a very humbling experience, but that would be a good thing, wouldn't it? The bad thing is that it has such potential for pride as well. How is that possible, you may well ask? The thing is, that once a person has done something (speaking for myself now), they tend to think they "know it all" because they have "been there, done that"! The hard part especially, is not to make the inevitable comparisons between the different communities ("We did it this way at such and such a place.") or to get impatient because some things are too easy.

For example, at Edmonton, I was asked to carry this little prayer book in my pocket and to use it for every prayer and for processions etc. I knew all the prayers by heart, so didn't need it, but when I didn't use it, I was told that postulants were expected to use it - and that it was an act of humility for me to use it, and that I should not even have complaining thoughts about it! So, even though I had no need of the book, I dutifully took it out of my pocket and used it every time - controlling the rebellious thoughts were the hardest part at first ("This is stupid, why do I have to pretend to need this book?" etc) , but even that was ok over time - it was just something I did under obedience - no problems. So the repeat postulancy can be helpful to destroying pride, even though it is an initial source of pride - if you get what I am saying? I think the hardest part about a long postulancy is the feeling of not being a "real" part of the community yet. Being clothed is the official act of joining the community - they have voted to accept you and you are now one of them! It is also the start of the canonical Novitiate, so it feels like one finally gets started.

I understand perfectly why the postulancy is needed, and why some communities want a longer period of discernment for their candidates. But even that isn't any kind of guarantee - we are human, and we are messy. I know that some people have said that one should just persevere and they don't understand why anyone who wants to be a religious would ever leave after entering - but all I can say is that we are all different - God made us that way - and He loves each one of us the way we are. St Therese tells us that God is pleased with our efforts, not our results. Maybe my pride needs this knocking around? St Paul said that God gave him that thorn so he wouldn't get conceited. My "failures" at religious life certainly prevent me from getting big headed about my vocation, or feeling superior to anyone. I am truly and entirely dependant on the grace of Our Lord for everything. Sometimes I doubt that I even have a religious vocation - and wonder if I am just being stubborn and wilful in pursuing this desire. But then I think to myself "Satan gets no benefit from this desire, so it must be from God." and then I just abandon myself to His will, whatever that may end up being.

Religious life is not natural - it is supernatural - and we need to remember that. There is always a battle going on between good and evil - even before we ever enter. I am trying just to take it one day at a time - and boy do I pray to St Michael for help!!! :saint:[/quote]

Congratulations on your acceptance into Carmel! I've heard many good things about Sheffield Carmel!

I hope you don't mind me asking, but how long did you have to wait before you could enter a different carmelite monastery when you left your former one? And, in your experience between these carmels, what would you say are the differences between them?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
InHisLove726
[quote name='DameAgnes' post='1809124' date='Mar 16 2009, 06:00 PM']Annie, thank you for the great answers.

Your story about using the prayerbook under obedience reminded me of A Right To Be Merry. In there, Mother M. Francis writes about entering the Poor Clares after being - I think - a postulant but not a novice of an active order. As she knew the magnificat by heart she did not read it from the book, and her abbess instructed her to do so. "But I know it by heart," she said proudly, "I don't need to read it."

The abbess, if I remember correctly, smiled sweetly at her and said, "and yet, here, you will read it from the book, each day at Vespers."

It might seem to be unreasonable, but I suspect the reason sisters are expected to "read" the prayers even when they know them is the same reason priests will "read" the canon of the mass, even though they "know" it - because sometimes the mind simply bails on one, and goes blank, and then what a mess it makes in the liturgy, whether it's the mass or the office. You make a big mistake, you screw it up for everyone.

I know even for myself, when I am at prayer, sometimes the brain just goes into lalaland and suddenly I'm thinking, "wait...Our Father...Our Father..."

I have a cousin who is a priest and he says when you're saying mass for the third time of a Sunday, you darn well "read" it, because otherwise you risk the brain shutting down on you; it's happened to him![/quote]


Thank you for reminding me! I remembered I had heard a similar story about that once before but I couldn't remember where! I love "A Right to Be Merry." :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
InHisLove726
[quote name='shortnun' post='1809227' date='Mar 16 2009, 07:28 PM']Hmm, I'm a little puzzled by your statement. I think discernment can be a good thing. Pausing to reflect on the gifts God has given us, and taking the time to see where he is leading our heart, I think this kind of discernment (though it may lack certainty or even clarity at times) can be a good thing.

I've just finished applying to a community (in the Sacred Heart Family Tree) and was accepted. :taco: I hope to enter in August, provided I can fundraise my debt away. Pray for me, please![/quote]


WONDERFUL!!!!!! Which community, if I may ask???

:thumbsup: :taco: :dance: :twothumbsup: :woot: :yahoo:

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
Sign in to follow this  

×