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Where Are You In Your Religious Discernment?

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nunsense    3,805
nunsense
[quote name='Saint Therese' post='1811208' date='Mar 18 2009, 09:51 PM']I didn't say discernment was a bad thing.

I know where God is calling me. Without a doubt.
Why keep looking?
Some discern forever.[/quote]

You are very blessed to have such a surety in your heart - but please be careful that it doesn't lead to smugness towards others who are not as fortunate. Not everyone is as clear as you are about where God wants them, so they take longer to discern His voice - but this can be a blessing as well because it creates a humble heart.

The longer a person takes to discern, the harder it can be sometimes, and the greater the temptation can be to despair - asking oneself all the time what is wrong with themselves, and if God really does want them to be in religious life, etc.

We need to support each other, no matter how long the discernment process for each of us -- because as St Paul says...

[i]If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.[/i]
1 Cor 13:1

I might be misinterpreting you, and I apologize if I have done so. I am one of those who is taking a long time to discern, so I might be a little sensitive to this topic -- I hope you will understand that I am not writing this to condemn but to inform. :unsure:

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Saint Therese    42
Saint Therese
I"m not smug.

And I"ve been discerning for ten years. I don't know why I come in here anymore. Anytime anyone in VS makes a comment everyone has to nitpick and criticize. Edited by Saint Therese

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shortnun    1
shortnun
[quote name='InHisLove726' post='1809880' date='Mar 17 2009, 02:46 PM']LOL, that's ok. I figured it out in one of your other posts. I have a friend that entered last August in your future community. :) I haven't heard from her but I've been praying about her. I will offer prayers up for you, too!!! :sign:[/quote]
Thanks!!! :lol_roll:

[quote name='Saint Therese' post='1811208' date='Mar 18 2009, 11:51 PM']I didn't say discernment was a bad thing.

I know where God is calling me. Without a doubt.
Why keep looking?
Some discern forever.[/quote]
That's true. Some do discern (in a non-helpful way) forever. I'm glad God has blessed you with the conviction of heart to know where he is truly calling you. I think I'm the one that sort of started this ball rolling and I apologize. I didn't know exactly what you meant by your original post and merely tried to see where it was you were coming from. Please know that I didn't mean anything negative or nit-picky by it (nor do I think nunsense did in her post).

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Noemi    4
Noemi
I'm Noémi and I am discerning to the Servants of Mary, Mother of Sorrows. (the so-called servitas).

Please pray for me as I will participate in a vocation retreat in a Dominican convent (5 days) then I will go "home" (servita convent). I will be away from my family for 2 weeks which is a huge period for me (not because I miss them just I haven't been in a situ like this yet.).

Maybe I can switch on the Internet in the servita convent. :)

I got my call 2 and a half yrs ago. (I was 15 years old at that time, now I'm 17.)

I still have 2 years still the school-leaving exam...

Sorry if my post wasn't gramatically correct enough, I'm Hungarian (in the heart of Europe)

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Maria Faustina    1
Maria Faustina
Wow.... what I posted is totally different from where I'm at in my discernment now!

Sooo...I went to Nashville 2 weeks ago and I went to the Nashville Dominican Motherhouse!!

IT WAS SOOOO AWESOME! Andd...it felt totally right to be there and I felt at home, even though it had been my first time there. I met soooo many Sisters and saw a few that I hadn't seen in a while.

I went to Vows the first day I was there which is the most beautiful thing I have ever been to in my entire life! It was soo ahmazing and the Sister I knew making Final Vows, looked like she was in ecstasy when she first walked down the aisle with the rest of her class.I have never ever seen someone soooo happy before. It was beautiful!

The best part about the trip was actually getting to talk to the Vocations Director Sister Mary Emily. I really connected with her and we talked for a little while. We both came to the conclusion that I should stay in high school all four years. She was awesome and such a beautiful Sister with an ahhhmazing personality!! It is hilarious to me to think how scared and intimitated I was by her! LOL!

The next day I went to Sunday Mass at the Motherhouse, which was sooo beautiful. I really felt closer to Jesus in the Dominicans' chapel than at home. The Sisters have the voices of angels when they sing and pray, which made everything 10x more beautiful than it already was! It was sooooo hard to leave the Motherhouse!

It seems to good to be true that Jesus is calling me to religious life! I couldn't be more excited for my future with Him!!!

Please pray for me :))

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TeresaBenedicta    188
TeresaBenedicta
[quote name='TeresaBenedicta' post='1807068' date='Mar 14 2009, 06:09 PM']I've only recently begun to really "accept" the fact that, as far as I can tell, currenty and barring any huge intervention by God, I'm being called by God into religious life. And I've been slowly but surely structuring my life to reflect that (by which I really mean, I've made the decision to live as one who is going to try religious life and is committed to trying it-- ie, not looking for a more than friends relationship with a guy and continuing to do what I've been doing, working on my prayer life, daily Mass, frequent confession, etc). Last week I had a good discussion with my spiritual director about it. And either sometime this summer or next Fall I will likely go on a vocations retreat.

Aaaand that's about it.[/quote]

So, I'm pretty much on the same track as what I've posted before. Except that I am going on a retreat with the Dominicans, Mary Mother of the Eucharist in November. Will be speaking with Sister Joseph Andrew when I get there. I guess that means things are moving along?

It's been pretty much empressed in my heart that I will "know" when I go on this retreat. At least, I will know the next step. Whether that means A) I fall in love with the place and the sisters and know that I have to do some major fundraising, wanting to enter next August... or B) I love the place and know I want to be there, but need to spend a few more years in the world... or C) I learn that this is not the place God is calling me, and I can further discern where he wants me to go.

It's somewhat difficult, going into my senior year of college, not knowing where I'll be heading after graduation. Not even knowing whether I'm going to be applying for grad school, looking for a job, or what have you. But I'm at peace. God's time, not mine. And I know that I have to explore this "vocation tug" a little bit further and more concretely before I can expect him to really give me an idea of where he wants me.

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Sr. M. Faustina    1
Sr. M. Faustina
[quote name='TeresaBenedicta' post='1941089' date='Aug 5 2009, 09:33 AM']So, I'm pretty much on the same track as what I've posted before. Except that I am going on a retreat with the Dominicans, Mary Mother of the Eucharist in November. Will be speaking with Sister Joseph Andrew when I get there. I guess that means things are moving along?

It's been pretty much empressed in my heart that I will "know" when I go on this retreat. At least, I will know the next step. Whether that means A) I fall in love with the place and the sisters and know that I have to do some major fundraising, wanting to enter next August... or B) I love the place and know I want to be there, but need to spend a few more years in the world... or C) I learn that this is not the place God is calling me, and I can further discern where he wants me to go.

It's somewhat difficult, going into my senior year of college, not knowing where I'll be heading after graduation. Not even knowing whether I'm going to be applying for grad school, looking for a job, or what have you. But I'm at peace. God's time, not mine. And I know that I have to explore this "vocation tug" a little bit further and more concretely before I can expect him to really give me an idea of where he wants me.[/quote]

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Sr. M. Faustina    1
Sr. M. Faustina
JMJV

God is good- He will certainly help you know what you need to do. I remember going to an overnight event with the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist thinking that this was where I was supposed to enter. However, I spent the most of the night in prayer before Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament or before a statue of Our Lady and when I spoke with Mother Assumpta the next morning she asked me if I was asking for the papers/application and I told her that I thought I was going to, but that I could not. I wasn't sure why at the time, but Our Lord and our Blessed Mother helped me to just know that it wasn't right at that time. So, continue to trust in Him. He will guide you.
After that retreat, I thought I had my future planned out- atleast for the fall, but He changed all of that very quickly. It is in His time. Be willing to say "yes" to Him, whatever it is that He is asking, and He will show you His will in one way or the other.

Blessings on your continued discernment.

In His Peace,
Sister M. Faustina, SCMC

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TeresaBenedicta    188
TeresaBenedicta
[quote name='Sr. M. Faustina' post='1941145' date='Aug 5 2009, 12:06 PM']JMJV

God is good- He will certainly help you know what you need to do. I remember going to an overnight event with the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist thinking that this was where I was supposed to enter. However, I spent the most of the night in prayer before Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament or before a statue of Our Lady and when I spoke with Mother Assumpta the next morning she asked me if I was asking for the papers/application and I told her that I thought I was going to, but that I could not. I wasn't sure why at the time, but Our Lord and our Blessed Mother helped me to just know that it wasn't right at that time. So, continue to trust in Him. He will guide you.
After that retreat, I thought I had my future planned out- atleast for the fall, but He changed all of that very quickly. It is in His time. Be willing to say "yes" to Him, whatever it is that He is asking, and He will show you His will in one way or the other.

Blessings on your continued discernment.

In His Peace,
Sister M. Faustina, SCMC[/quote]

Thank you, Sister, I really appreciate you sharing your experience and kind words. I don't know if the SMME are where God wants me (if anywhere), but based on some things that have happened in the past few months and trying to discern happenings in my everyday life, it looks as though God at least wants me to go visit them.

I don't feel certain on anything, right now, much less even my call. But I do feel a certain pull and have been mindful of God's small, whispering voice. I am certain that he wants me to be seriously open to a religious vocation (which is difficult enough in itself) and I'm fairly certain he wants me to go on this retreat. I've been trying to do my best in responding to whatever he calls me to, both in the big and the small.

Granted, everyone else seems quite certain that God's call is very clear. Maybe it is, but like I said, I have a feeling that I'll know for sure come November.

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VeniteAdoremus    7
VeniteAdoremus
I can totally relate. Really. For me the hardest part of discernment was that it did seem endless - even when I agreed to apply to the SSVM, and most certainly when my best friend put me on the plane to the Dominican Sisters of St. Joseph. I was confused and annoyed and had no idea where I was going to end up in my life.

...and then it ended. That is, I don't think discernment ever ends, and I really don't know whether I will persevere, but, you know, I like to think I'm doing OK at the moment.

Discernment can be really, really tough. I know how lucky I am. I pray for those who are still in the thick of it, that they might be as happy as I am (except for, you know, the practical stress at the moment :) ).

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TeresaBenedicta    188
TeresaBenedicta
Thanks. Yeah, it's tough and frustrating sometimes... But, ya know, I spent a lot of time worrying about it and stressing myself out about it... Until I finally realized, in a way that was more than just intellectual... that it's all God's timing. God knows I'm listening and ready to respond to whatever he calls me towards... And I think that pleases him. I used to fear that he would be making something clear and that I wasn't listening, so I'd miss it... and that's a real possibility. But I know that I am trying to listen and discern, and if all else fails, my spiritual director has caught a hold of things I had missed...

So, I'm more at peace about it now. Still a little uneasy, not knowing what I should be preparing for currently... but, this is what total trust in God is about, right?

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InHisLove726    25
InHisLove726
[quote name='InHisLove726' post='1804692' date='Mar 12 2009, 10:56 AM']Well, as you know, I'm currently applying to the Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus in Milwaukee, WI. I'm rather harried about my entrance date. I don't know when to set it! :wacko: There are days where I am happy about a possible date for October 1st, 2010 (in honor of St. Therese), then there are days when I want to move it up (I thought about it last night, LOL!). Fortunately, I haven't had any days yet where I want to push it back. On the application it asks, "What date would you like to enter if accepted?" I just put October 1st, 2010 and thought, "God, if you want me to enter sooner, so be it. I trust the Sisters will let me know in that case." :)

I've also talked to Sr. Immaculata about moving up to East Chicago to work in the Carmelite Home for Girls. She has asked me a few times how I feel about this and I can't give her an answer. There is part of me that wants to spend time with the Sisters, growing and learning about them, but then I think I would like to spend the rest of my time with my family before I leave home for good. My mom is already experiencing a little bit of the "empty nest" syndrome. :sadder: I think I am probably going to stay here for the time being and go back up to visit when I am able. Since I didn't give a definitive answer, I hope that the opportunity still remains should I change my mind.

I've got an appointment to talk to my spiritual director today. I finished writing my short life history last night that I need to include with my application. Should he say that I don't need to change anything and I shouldn't worry about getting a job before turning in my application, I'm going to mail it back this weekend!

Please start sending your prayers if you aren't already! I'm peaceful about my decision, but of course, the nerves are still playing a small part. :saint: God bless![/quote]

Wow, looking back on earlier this year, it seems crazy that I took all these turns to get to where I am today--completely content on entering the cloistered Carmelites, not the Carmelites of the Divine Heart of Jesus. I see how impulsive I was in asking to apply since I did not truly know what I was getting into. But I understand that God leads us in all ways, and He knew I did not belong in the Carmelites DCJ order. Having Him send me to East Chicago, in the heart and soul of the apostolate, showed me how much I love prayer and yet, I do not have the necessary aptitude for serving in the world. I desire, above all things, to follow Him, and so, I continue my search in the order of the Discalced Carmelites for my true home. :))

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VeniteAdoremus    7
VeniteAdoremus
[quote name='TeresaBenedicta' post='1941250' date='Aug 5 2009, 10:11 PM']Thanks. Yeah, it's tough and frustrating sometimes... But, ya know, I spent a lot of time worrying about it and stressing myself out about it... Until I finally realized, in a way that was more than just intellectual... that it's all God's timing. God knows I'm listening and ready to respond to whatever he calls me towards... And I think that pleases him. I used to fear that he would be making something clear and that I wasn't listening, so I'd miss it... and that's a real possibility. But I know that I am trying to listen and discern, and if all else fails, my spiritual director has caught a hold of things I had missed...

So, I'm more at peace about it now. Still a little uneasy, not knowing what I should be preparing for currently... but, this is what total trust in God is about, right?[/quote]

Go you :) That's a really grown-up way of dealing with it. I'm afraid I was more of the foot-stomping, heaven-shouting type.

And the total trust in God thing is probably something that will always remain scary for me... for example, I'm really close with my siblings and they're naturally having trouble with me leaving. Do I trust God to take care of them?

...no. I know I should, but I don't :mellow: it's growing though.


[quote name='InHisLove726' post='1941262' date='Aug 5 2009, 10:37 PM']Wow, looking back on earlier this year, it seems crazy that I took all these turns to get to where I am today--completely content on entering the cloistered Carmelites, not the Carmelites of the Divine Heart of Jesus. I see how impulsive I was in asking to apply since I did not truly know what I was getting into. But I understand that God leads us in all ways, and He knew I did not belong in the Carmelites DCJ order. Having Him send me to East Chicago, in the heart and soul of the apostolate, showed me how much I love prayer and yet, I do not have the necessary aptitude for serving in the world. I desire, above all things, to follow Him, and so, I continue my search in the order of the Discalced Carmelites for my true home. :))[/quote]

It was a Carmelite DCJ who told me that I shouldn't feel bad or guilty about the twists and turns (in my case it was boyfriends, not communities) because, she said, often God leads you that way to help you later when the "What if?" comes. Because it will come. That helped me. :) And if you stay on the path, you'll find your vocation in the end, no matter how many twists you need beforehand.

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InHisLove726    25
InHisLove726
[quote name='VeniteAdoremus' post='1941381' date='Aug 5 2009, 07:21 PM']It was a Carmelite DCJ who told me that I shouldn't feel bad or guilty about the twists and turns (in my case it was boyfriends, not communities) because, she said, often God leads you that way to help you later when the "What if?" comes. Because it will come. That helped me. :) And if you stay on the path, you'll find your vocation in the end, no matter how many twists you need beforehand.[/quote]

:) God has shown me that if I trust Him, He'll lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. This prayer rings true in my vocational discernment:

[i]My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me
Nor do I really know myself,
And the fact that I think I am following your will
Does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you
Does in fact please you.
And I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this,
You will lead me by the right road
Though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though,
I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
And you will never leave me to face my struggles alone. Amen.[/i]

Coincidentally, I first found that prayer on the Carmelite DCJ website! ;)

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TeresaBenedicta    188
TeresaBenedicta
[quote name='InHisLove726' post='1941388' date='Aug 5 2009, 08:32 PM']:) God has shown me that if I trust Him, He'll lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. This prayer rings true in my vocational discernment:

[i]My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me
Nor do I really know myself,
And the fact that I think I am following your will
Does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you
Does in fact please you.
And I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this,
You will lead me by the right road
Though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though,
I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
And you will never leave me to face my struggles alone. Amen.[/i]

Coincidentally, I first found that prayer on the Carmelite DCJ website! ;)[/quote]

One of my favorite prayers. Written by Thomas Merton.

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StGiannaismyhero!    0
StGiannaismyhero!
[color="#9932CC"][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]
It's so true that our choices don't count. I always told God that I didn't want a white habit because I am an amazingly messy eater, and food always ends up on my clothes. So what color is the habit of the order I'm going to join? White of course.

[quote name='Noemi' post='1941075' date='Aug 5 2009, 05:17 AM']I'm Noémi and I am discerning to the Servants of Mary, Mother of Sorrows. (the so-called servitas).

Please pray for me as I will participate in a vocation retreat in a Dominican convent (5 days) then I will go "home" (servita convent). I will be away from my family for 2 weeks which is a huge period for me (not because I miss them just I haven't been in a situ like this yet.).

Maybe I can switch on the Internet in the servita convent. :)

I got my call 2 and a half yrs ago. (I was 15 years old at that time, now I'm 17.)

I still have 2 years still the school-leaving exam...

Sorry if my post wasn't gramatically correct enough, I'm Hungarian (in the heart of Europe)[/quote]
I will be praying for you. It is very hard to be away from family for the first time. I'm also 17.

[quote name='Maria Faustina' post='1941084' date='Aug 5 2009, 07:48 AM']Wow.... what I posted is totally different from where I'm at in my discernment now!

Sooo...I went to Nashville 2 weeks ago and I went to the Nashville Dominican Motherhouse!!

IT WAS SOOOO AWESOME! Andd...it felt totally right to be there and I felt at home, even though it had been my first time there. I met soooo many Sisters and saw a few that I hadn't seen in a while.

I went to Vows the first day I was there which is the most beautiful thing I have ever been to in my entire life! It was soo ahmazing and the Sister I knew making Final Vows, looked like she was in ecstasy when she first walked down the aisle with the rest of her class.I have never ever seen someone soooo happy before. It was beautiful!

The best part about the trip was actually getting to talk to the Vocations Director Sister Mary Emily. I really connected with her and we talked for a little while. We both came to the conclusion that I should stay in high school all four years. She was awesome and such a beautiful Sister with an ahhhmazing personality!! It is hilarious to me to think how scared and intimitated I was by her! LOL!

The next day I went to Sunday Mass at the Motherhouse, which was sooo beautiful. I really felt closer to Jesus in the Dominicans' chapel than at home. The Sisters have the voices of angels when they sing and pray, which made everything 10x more beautiful than it already was! It was sooooo hard to leave the Motherhouse!

It seems to good to be true that Jesus is calling me to religious life! I couldn't be more excited for my future with Him!!!

Please pray for me :))[/quote]

I'm so glad that you had a good time! I will most surely be praying for you!

[quote name='VeniteAdoremus' post='1941234' date='Aug 5 2009, 01:21 PM']I'm entering in a month. Whoah.[/quote]
YEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's amazing! I'm so happy for you!

[quote name='TeresaBenedicta' post='1941242' date='Aug 5 2009, 01:35 PM']Thank you, Sister, I really appreciate you sharing your experience and kind words. I don't know if the SMME are where God wants me (if anywhere), but based on some things that have happened in the past few months and trying to discern happenings in my everyday life, it looks as though God at least wants me to go visit them.

I don't feel certain on anything, right now, much less even my call. But I do feel a certain pull and have been mindful of God's small, whispering voice. I am certain that he wants me to be seriously open to a religious vocation (which is difficult enough in itself) and I'm fairly certain he wants me to go on this retreat. I've been trying to do my best in responding to whatever he calls me to, both in the big and the small.

Granted, everyone else seems quite certain that God's call is very clear. Maybe it is, but like I said, I have a feeling that I'll know for sure come November.[/quote]
I am also going on the discernment retreat with the SMME. I'm so excited about it!

I have known for the past five years that I'm going to be a nun. In November of 2007 I was pretty sure that I had it narrowed down to three orders. The Servants of God's Love, the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist (both in Ann Arbor MI) and the Sisters of Life ( in New York City). I was reading something about the Servants of God's Love and I found that they run a foster home. I thought that that was what I was called to and I got really excited and was like oh my gosh! I know where He wants me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :bounce: :bounce: Then the fact that they don't ware the traditional habit started bugging me, but I honestly thought that He was calling me to sacrifice my desire to ware the habit and that what they do is the important thing, not what they ware (which is true by the way...). Eventually I just got so fed up with myself that I told God, ( in a very exasperatted manner ) "Okay God, I'm just going to pretend that didn't happen and if you want me to join the Servants of God's Love, then you are going to have to give me something more then that because I'm really struggling with this." So I just completely started over.
In January, I got a phone call from one of my Catholic Homeschooling friends. She was calling to invite me on the March for Life with a big group of Catholic Homeschoolers. (To understand how much God was in this you have to understand that I hadn't done anything with the Catholic Homeschool group in two years. ) I kind of had an expectation going into the trip that this would make up my mind one way or the other for the Sisters of Life. I can't point to one moment in the trip when something happened, but after I got home I kept feeling like maybe something happened. But then I started doubting myself and kept going beck and forth between, did something really happen or do I think that something happened because I wanted something to happen? I kept on doing this for about two months. At the end of March, I went on retreat with my youth group. At retreat my small group leader and I were talking and she asked me if I knew what I was going to do after high school. I told her what was going on and she said to me " Betsy, if you really think that Lord is calling you to do this then pursue it and if it's not where He wants you then He'll let you know that before you take your final vows." I was like "Oh, that makes sense." So now I'm just waiting and trying to learn as much as I can and grow deeper in my relationship with Jesus.

JMJ+
~Betsy

Totus tuus Maria![/color]

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InHisLove726    25
InHisLove726
[quote name='StGiannaismyhero!' post='1941459' date='Aug 5 2009, 09:43 PM']It's so true that our choices don't count. I always told God that I didn't want a white habit because I am an amazingly messy eater, and food always ends up on my clothes. So what color is the habit of the order I'm going to join? White of course.[/quote]

LOL, too funny! :lol_roll: I thought I'd never want to wear something that was long-sleeved and around my neck. Now God keeps pointing me to the Discalced Carmelites who wear a traditional habit. :P

[img]http://www.religiouslife.com/images/vocationsearchmembers/reg_25.jpg[/img]

Either God has a cruel sense of humor, or it's just another way that we can shed our preferences and go to where He wants us most. Or both... :))

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Julie de Sales    211
Julie de Sales

At the part of praying for my dream, hoping it's God's too, searching for a SD, trying to have a decent spiritual life, reading about the congregation I feel called to and keeping contact with them, abandoning myself in the arms of God and...resting.

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