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  1. Lil Red

    Lil Red

    Cordial Non-Catholic



  2. Nihil Obstat

    Nihil Obstat

    Church Militant



  3. MIKolbe

    MIKolbe

    Church Militant



  4. Papist

    Papist

    Church Militant



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Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/25/2009 in all areas

  1. Lil Red

    Hi, I have an announcement

    Thanks to everyone over the years for praying for me and for my family. My husband and I are beyond overjoyed to announce that we are expecting a new baby in October. We ask for your prayers for the health of the baby and for my health over these next few months. Thank you, pham. <3
    51 points
  2. MissyP89

    It's Time To Break My Silence.

    We as a phamily have been talking a lot about addictions and our own struggles this week, and ironically I’d been planning something of my own long before this even started. But this is not a testimony. This is just the cry of one woman’s heart to every other woman here, and to the men that live with and love them. I want to talk about sexual sin. I want to talk about sexual sin because for far too long, too many of us have thought it best to remain silent. I’m tired of keeping it in the confessional. I’m tired of refraining for fear of causing scandal. Do you want to know what scandal really is? It’s hiding the truth for fear of who we might offend. The truth is that women are addicted, too. We are addicted and selfish and prone to use. But more than that, we are isolated in our addiction. Have you ever noticed that when we do discuss sexual sin, it’s always from a man’s perspective? That’s because it’s not ladylike to talk about sex – not with each other, and certainly not in mixed company. We’ve been raised to believe we can’t discuss sexuality with a man, not only because of bad decorum but also because of temptation. We cannot lead our brothers to sin, they tell us. With confessing my litany of escapades to a priest comes a secret fear: am I tempting him? Is he judging me? Worse yet, is he thinking of the things that I am forced to describe in my shame? Each of us, in that painful moment with our heads buried in our hands, unable to meet his eyes, know intimately what Mary Magdalene felt upon meeting Jesus. We cannot confide in our husbands or our significant others. Sometimes, we worry it will give them an excuse to sin, or sin again. Other times, we fear hurting them and appearing unfaithful or unloving because of our addictions that we can no longer control. Men have always had each other. How often do we hear that 98% of men have fallen into sin? It’s common knowledge that men fight their battles. If one should reach out to another, there’s no shame there. But women have placed a stigma on one another. We are not only women who are addicted. Instead, we are selfish. We have no self-respect. We have no manners. We’re whores. And no woman wants to be known by that name, even if it’s only implied in the reactions of those she dares to confide in: “Oh. That’s tough. I’ll pray for you.” We seek help, but often we find no one brave enough to say, “Yes, me too. You are not alone.” I want that to stop. So I am going to say it. Women, my sisters, you are not broken beyond repair and you are not alone. After ten miserable years of my life struggling with masturbation and porn, by God’s grace I am finally (finally, finally, FINALLY) free. I’ve been clean for six months tomorrow. 185 glorious scary, tough, glorious days. Even typing that feels like a bad omen. I have used myself and used men like pieces in a chess game. I have sat up at night crying and cursing God for giving me these crosses. I have looked into the eyes of a man who loves me more than I can express and been afraid to touch him for fear of what might happen. Allow me just a sentence to say I’m sorry, both to the men I’ve wounded and the women I’ve let down in my example. And allow me the chance to say to every woman here that it is OKAY to stand up and be honest in your weakness. You will be supported and loved in your weakness AND your bravery. Sin breeds in the dark, kept down by fear and isolation and shame. The first way to beat it is to flush it into the light. It has been a long and bitter fight, but with confidence in God’s grace and the support of a few precious souls, I have [i]won. [/i]If it was possible for me in all my despair, then it is possible for anyone. Reach out to each other. Be bold in seeking support and seeking God. And most of all, be not afraid. AMDG, Melissa
    43 points
  3. BigJon16

    I Have Been Accepted!

    Got a phone call today, my Bishop has officially accepted me to become a seminarian for my diocese!! Gotta a meeting with my vocation director tomorrow to discuss the next step. Te Deum laudamus! :w00t: :w00t: :w00t: Thank you all for your prayers and support!
    41 points
  4. dominicansoul

    Peanut Has Arrived!

    [center][size=8][b]John Paul James[/b][/size] [size=5]8 lbs 3 oz....21 inches!!! [/size] [img]http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh165/hamburgerpatty_2008/Peanut.jpg[/img][/center] I wasn't doing my Godmother duties, and I failed to receive the text that MS went into labour last nite around midnite!!! CONGRATULATIONS MISSSCRIPTURE AND ROAMIN_CATHOLIC!!!!
    39 points
  5. HisChildForever

    An Announcement :)

    A rather dashing gentleman got down on his knee last night and I said yes :love: Please keep us in your prayers during this exciting time!!!
    38 points
  6. arfink

    Arfink + Ploomf

    Ploomf and I are gonna get married. ;)
    34 points
  7. Lil Red

    Hi, I have an announcement

    Our beautiful baby boy was born at 11:57pm on Sept 4. Thank you for your prayers, I am most grateful for them. He is doing well, I am tired and sore, my husband is just tired. LOL.
    33 points
  8. brianthephysicist

    I Liked It

    So I put a Ring on it.
    33 points
  9. PhuturePriest

    Ahem. Some News. Thought You Should Know.

    Ahem. As many of you know, I have had a personal journey/character transformation since first coming on here that has been... interesting and most eventful, to say the least. I need hardly name several of my biggest obnoxious accomplishments such as "The World is Full of Sheep" and "What Every Woman Should Know" (or something like that) for you to know what I'm talking about. Thanks to you very fine people, in time you patiently took what was most certainly one of the biggest obnoxious jerks you've met and turned me into a somewhat tolerable person to be around. For that and all of the social benefits I have received as a consequence (such as having friends), I thank you. Of course, I had a major personal, spiritual, and ideological transformation last year during a certain (now unfortunately infamous) internship, which has turned me into an even almost completely tolerable person to be around. Of course, all of the things I learned were things many people here had already told me, but they were lessons both ideological and personal I needed to learn the hard way. Looking back, I can see how providence put all these things in place for a purpose, and you were all part of that providence. However, there is something I kept quiet last year. In January of 2015, I begin an application with my diocese. I didn't publicly announce this because I had learned the lesson of making vocational news public only to have it fall through. About halfway through the application on March 4th, I was turned down and told to wait at least one year to focus on speech therapy, owing to my moderate stammer. To say the very least, that was both soul-crushing and horrifying. But at least I didn't have to face people asking me about how the application was going, so clearly my foresight came in handy. This previous January, I came back to my vocation director to let him see the progress in my speech. From the first word out of my mouth he began smiling, as I was having literally zero problems speaking. I was perfectly fluent, and he was more than happy to get me started back where I was in the application. Remembering what had happened last year, I didn't say anything for fear of something coming up. What if it was determined in the psychological examination that I'm crazy? I mean, obviously I am, but of the dangerous variety? What if they just determine they don't need an insufferable snot rag like me wearing a collar? Consequently, I only told a small number of very good friends, and left it at that. However, I have been informed this morning that despite all odds, I have been accepted and my acceptance meeting with the Bishop is on May 10th. This is something I've been waiting for for five years now, and it would not have happened without this community's support and whipping me into shape. It took a really long time and a lot of work on the part of a lot of people, but it all seems a short and insignificant process for such a great reward. Thank you all for helping to make this happen. I'll repay you all by becoming pope and giving Phatmassers a plenary indulgence.
    31 points
  10. Fidei Defensor

    I Am Catholic Again!

    Well, as soon as I make my full confession this afternoon and then receive communion at Mass later today. But yay!
    30 points
  11. PhuturePriest

    A Final Update On Me

    Sorry this is so long. I only meant to make a few paragraphs, but I'm sure you guys out of everyone know that when I start talking, there's never really an off-switch. ;) So, as most of you may recall, something very big and scary happened to me around March of last year, which happened because of something even scarier that happened previously. I'm not going to state here what happened to me; some of you who are really close to me and mean a lot to me know, and others who are close to me and mean a lot don't. People in both categories were overwhelmingly supportive, and I don't think I could have gotten through it without all of you. I've only ever met three Phatmassers in my life, but you were all here for me round the clock to talk to me and support me. It was truly the scariest time of my life, but it was also undoubtedly the time in my life where I felt the most love, and it came from people I hadn't even met, no less. My real life friends don't understand why an internet forum with strangers on it means so much to me, and why I consider you all to be real friends, but I think unless you go on here and regularly participate to see what the people here are truly like, it's impossible to understand. I can't explain why to them, but I know that a lot of you are real friends and do mean a lot to me, and that's all that matters even if they don't understand it, I think. The reason I'm making this thread is because, I'm happy to say, I have finally gotten over what happened to me. My therapist was awful (Let's just refer to her as Professor Umbridge), and she did nothing but harm, and absolutely no good. She was really old, and had outdated psychology (So my psychology friends tell me). It was through your guys' help and the help of my other friends that I got through it, not her. Professor Umbridge had absolutely no clue about the psychology of people that were in my situation, and she actually blamed me for what happened because I never reported it, believe it or not (See why the name is so fitting?)! She made me go a hundred steps backwards, feel awful about myself, and destroyed all the progress I had made through your help. This was all between the months of June and August, and it was during that time that I got really sad and detached from the world. I couldn't sleep, I wrote horrifying things in my journal, and it got to where one night I was in my room, and I thought "Why me?", and I very briefly thought about suicide. I didn't consider actually doing it, mind you, but I thought about it, and it takes no genius to realize that thinking about it is the first step to considering it. I realized the gravity of that thought immediately, and understandably became very upset. I did the right thing, and I started praying about it. I didn't really tell anybody about it out of fear of them -- quite understandably -- freaking out, but I think that was good: This was the darkest hour of this whole awful period in my life, and people had been there to be all the support for some of it, and now it was time for me to show how strong I was and finally get over it through my own strength, not the strength of others. This line of thinking doesn't exactly work with everyone, and it probably isn't recommended, but I'm happy to say that it worked: I'm over not being able to sleep, I can think about what happened without becoming really sad and emotional, and I'm just really happy again. My life is back to normal, I'm living a normal life again, I'm able to dedicate myself to music and the other things I love once again without having thoughts of what happened invading my mind and distracting me, and I'm able to worry about normal teenager things again. This is all because of you guys supporting me and helping me. None of this would have happened if it hadn't been for you, and I want to sincerely thank you all. It's impossible for me to possibly thank you enough, especially when I sometimes read back through that thread and see just how much support and love you all gave me. Thank you all so much. The dark clouds are gone now, and for the first time since I was eleven, I can live a normal life in the sunshine again. There are so many things to be joyful and happy about in this world, and there are so many things we think are big deals that actually aren't. This whole experience has given me a lot of perspective and strength, and I can easily see the good things that have come out of it.
    30 points
  12. FutureCarmeliteClaire

    Incredibly Upset

    OK, so as you all know I pretty much have a diagnosis. I don't know if you remember when I was in the ER when my arm first turned purple. At that visit, they sonogramed my arm and said everything was fine and to go home. No clots. Or so we thought. It turns out that my clot is higher up in my arm then these people sonogramed. If we had not caught this now, I could have died. I may have been dead in a few weeks if nothing had been caught. We already know part of it dislodged and is in my lung (testing that again tomorrow), but had more of it dislodged, it could have been fatal. I am on long term twice daily injections of blood thinner. I did my first one myself today. After that my mental and emotional state went downhill. It felt like self harm. I hated myself for it. I started facing the trauma of this whole incident. I feel traumatized and violated. I have no control of anything. I just want to go home. I have major bruises and marks from the blood thinner. I am almost sure I'll have different permanent scaring down my arms. I want to go home in a corner and forget this whole thing ever happened. I'll be having surgery within the next two weeks. I get an official date tomorrow. Prayers please. I really don't know how I'm going to do this. ~FCC
    30 points
  13. missionseeker

    So....

    I'm a Mrs now...!
    29 points
  14. CatherineM

    So I Got A Letter From The Queen

    I know I can tease sometimes with titles, but not this time. As a Canadian citizen, I am now one of the Queen's subjects, and I'm being awarded a medal. My member of parliament, and Alberta's Lieutenant Governor nominated me for it. Lieutenant Governor's here aren't Governor's flunkies. They are the head of our provincial governments and sign all laws in place of the Queen. It's the Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal. It is awarded for having made an honourable service in military, police, prison, and emergency forces, or for outstanding achievement or public service. I won't receive the official citation until the ceremony on October 11th, so I don't know for sure what I'm getting it for. The LG's office won't tell me. I'm kind of floored.
    29 points
  15. Vincent Vega

    I Met A Sedevacantist In Person!

    You should have tried to sit next to him and said "Is this seat taken?"
    29 points
  16. Socrates

    Unto Us A Child Is Born!

    Bubblicious' and mine's first daughter, our first child, was born yesterday, December 9, 2011 the Year of Our Lord 2011. 8 lbs. 5 ounces. God be praised!
    29 points
  17. faithcecelia

    I Wonder...

    I have 4wks (okay, 3weeks 6 days) til I re-enter Carmel, and 828 props so far. I wonder if I can write enough 'prop-worthy' posts to take me to the thousand???? I think I need to start replying to interesting posts
    29 points
  18. dUSt

    Inappropriate Posts On Phatmass

    I don't know what happened tonight, but I had to delete an inappropriate post, suspend a member, and move a bunch of stuff to the Lame Board. Its not my business what y'all do outside of phatmass, but please don't bring it here. Sexual innuendo can be funny in some settings, but this is not the place. I would also appreciate it if y'all stopped using phatmass as the place to advertise meetings outside of phatmass, if this is the type of behavior that is occurring. God bless. Be holy.
    28 points
  19. dUSt

    Inappropriate Posts On Phatmass

    I don't appreciate the term "prude police". I am just a dude trying to be holy and failing often. I'm also a father that struggles heavily trying to raise kids with morals. If phatmass isn't a place that I'd feel comfortable allowing my 15 year old daughter visit, then there is no point in keeping this website active. Phatmass has always been open to different views, and I despise over moderation--but that was back when the well grounded, moral, Catholic voice FAR outweighed any other voice. If this is no longer the case, it is not something I will tolerate, and will be forced to clean house. I am not "holier than thou", but I am a guy who strives for perfection--as we all should--despite failing more often than not. When we become complacent with something other than perfection, we become lukewarm.
    28 points
  20. jazzytakara

    I'm Now Catholic!

    This was the most amazing night ever, so glad I have finally made it. My photos don't seem to be attaching though =( ... Oh well, tonight was amazing, no real words to describe it at the moment, need to process it and right my conversion story later. Happy Easter Everyone!
    28 points
  21. Papist

    The Newest Papist

    Has started his journey to enter this world. To be continued...
    28 points
  22. AccountDeleted

    Thank You To Church Scholars

    Catholic apoligists often get paid for answering questions about the faith. We have wonderful Church Scholars here on phatmass who spend time and thought answering questions about all aspects of Catholicism and the different aspects of the faith without (I presume) any monetary reward (well, maybe tacos, but I'm not sure about that ) so I would like to offer my thanks and I am sure the thanks of all here on phatmass who learn so much from reading the questions and answers in this part of the phorum even if we never post questions ourselves. Best wishes for a very blessed Christmas season for all our Church Scholars! And thank you all.
    28 points
  23. vee

    Pray for me

    If anyone could please say an extra prayer or two for me that would be greatly appreciated. As is obvious by the fact that I'm posting here I am no longer in a community. All I can say is that God's ways and paths are known to Him alone.
    27 points
  24. Era Might

    First Confession 12 years

    Examined my conscience, parish has confessions today, just need the courage to go...
    27 points
  25. fides' Jack

    Wife Had Some More Babies

    A couple beautiful baby girls. (sorry, we don't want to post our kids' pics on the internet) Thanks to everyone who was aware and offered prayers for us. Asking for more prayers to help get through the newborn/sleepless phase.
    27 points
  26. the171

    It's The Final Countdown

    I enter the eastern province of the Salesians this Sunday. please pray for me and the other women saying yes.
    27 points
  27. Lilllabettt

    I'm Coming Out

    as a catholic tomorrow. seriously - I am. Mostly because I will have a black smear on my face and will be forced to explain why I am not going to wash it off. Faithful Catholic religious observance is not something that is accepted in my living, working and learning circles. I spend time with other Catholics at church, but I don't know any openly practicing Catholics among my neighbors, classmates and coworkers in "real" life. Some have gotten very hostile at the mention of the idea. Others have merely laughed and ridiculed. When these people find out that an observant catholic has been among them the whole time I am guessing they may be some mixture of surprised, embarrassed or pissed off. I do know of a couple people I expect will be supportive, because that is just their personality. so please say a prayer for me and join me in hoping I don't ruin my career.
    27 points
  28. Katiebobatie94

    Wonderful News!

    I would just like to let everyone here on Phatmass know that I was accepted into the Salesian Sisters' formation program as an Aspirant today!!!!! :nun2: :nun2: :nun1: :woot: :woot: I will be entering on August 31 of this year! I fell so incredibly blessed and humbled to be having this happen. Thank you all for being so supportive! Please keep me in your prayers, as you will all be in mine! Maria Auxilium Christianorum, Ora Pro Nobis!
    27 points
  29. missionseeker

    Some Exciting News I Want To Share

    I have been offered a contract to sell my pictures in someone's stained glass/art/locally designed and crafted jewelry shop. I am really excited. It's in Nebraska and I was there last summer and learned that I actually do have a little bit of an artistic side. Lol. Anyway, she saw my photos and asked if I would be interested in selling them in her shop. I honestly never thought anyone would look at them and say "I want your pictures to hang in my shop. You know right next to all the real art and the beautiful glass creations" but she did! I CANNOT BELIEVE IT. And I just wanted to share. :bounce:
    27 points
  30. MissyP89

    I Liked It

    I am the lucky lady with the ring on it. I still can't believe it! The whole story will come very soon -- the last 24ish hours have been a whirlwind, and I'm leaving to go back home to New Jersey tomorrow. For now, we humbly ask for the prayers and support of our Phatmass phamily as we try to determine the best time and place to marry. We have a lot of decisions to make, and we need all the help we can get! Also: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    27 points
  31. SoonerCatholic

    Goodbye Pm & Vs!

    I'm sorry for not starting a countdown thread sooner, but I've been busy! In one week I'll be entering the Carmel of Terre Haute! I wish you all the best and will remember you in my prayers. Thanks for all the information even if I was more of a lurker than a conversationalist. :D
    27 points
  32. Ash Wednesday

    Lord please ease my suffering or take my life

    Pray that things turn a corner with my health, life and suffering soon -- otherwise, I just want the Lord to take my life. I don't know how much more of this I can take. i try to "offer it up" but I am not a saint and I can only bear this for so long.
    26 points
  33. Strictlyinkblot

    Goodbye

    While I'm not entering until Monday evening I just wanted to say goodbye to everyone as I probably won't have internet access once I leave my parents' house. I will be praying for you all and I hope to hear from some of you at some stage. God Bless
    26 points
  34. Maggyie

    Baby born!

    It took almost 2 whole days but finally our baby was born! Her name is Mary Madeline. She is very perfect. Thank you everyone for your prayers!
    26 points
  35. cappie

    With a humble heart...

    "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves..." -Philippians 2:3 You can do nothing worse to someone who observes a sacred religious practice than to demean it. If people wear religious garb, or have religious practices or views that are different from yours, do not ridicule them. You may even be right, but don’t ridicule. That is not what Christ teaches. He teaches us humility and love. So, if you want to convince others to change their views a bit, approach them with love, compassion, and a listening and humble heart. For those of you on the stricter side of things, realize that not everyone sees things the way you do. If you feel exacting about certain things, it is good that you be gentle, especially if you’re right. Don’t stand on your bully pulpit, don’t preach, and don’t post things online. Christians need to have an ethic about the Internet, and about what we say because real people read those posts and really get hurt. Might we just agree for a minute that we will stop that? We can be above it and have real dialogue with one another. For the sake of love and people that are hurting, let’s agree to stop bickering, judging, and ridiculing one another. Can we agree on that?
    26 points
  36. dUSt

    I Will Be Restricting Access To Vocation Station

    It has been brought to my attention that certain members make Vocation Station a rather hostile place to be. This is unacceptable. This board is not the Debate Table. This board is suppose to be a holy place people come to discern and discuss vocations. Therefore, I will be speaking to my mods and various members to get a good sense of who needs their Vocation Station access revoked. They will be welcome to debate and participate on other parts of the phorum, just not here. God bless you guys!
    26 points
  37. PhuturePriest

    I'm Back With Important News

    Well, I'm back from my journey to Seminary. Let me first begin with saying that I had a good time there. I didn't talk to the guys in my group very much at all, but I talked to the seminarians so much. They were very nice, and I had a good time talking with them. My best conversation by far was the one I had in confession. It was in this little music room and it was face-to-face, which I didn't mind much. He was a Benedictine Priest and he made these really funny jokes that would have taken off any edge I might have had (Though I don't generally experience edginess anymore). I got to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament twice, listen to the stories of the seminarians, and I even watched a good play the Seminarians created and put on called How I Became A Pirate. In all, it was a lot of fun other than the silent eight hour drive there and back. The Church they have there is not a Church, it is a basilica, which they explained meant the architecture made it a basilica. It was beautiful, and the tabernacle was in a side room of the basilica where there were these kneelers. Anyway, yesterday when there was free time I went into that room with the Tabernacle and went to the kneeler closet to it (which was about four feet away), and I prayed to Jesus in silence and solitude for around forty minutes. In that time, I felt peace and I was able to talk and be honest with God, and I was able to listen to Him better. In those forty minutes I had an overwhelming sense of sadness at my realization that the feeling I had experienced since I got there was true: I am not called to the Priesthood or religious life. I didn't feel at home at the seminary, and the experiences I had there (Which were not in themselves bad) let me know that this is not where I was called to. I talked to Jesus about it, thinking about how I have been discerning for two years just to get to this point, but I knew there was a reason for it all. I became devout because of it, I became a much better person and future spouse because of it, I started studying because of it, and I even made great friends both online and in real life, including many Priests and religious. I thank you all so much for all of the praying and support you have given me, and I thank you so much for the friendship you have given me. I ask that you please continue to pray for me as I study for college and look for a future spouse there. I won't say I'm not really sad by this, but this is what I have realized in my heart, and I am very optimistic about the future and what it may hold.
    26 points
  38. dUSt

    I Am Looking For A Penis...

    ... on the sonogram picture of my new baby. #4 is on the way. Due date: Dec 31st. (by the way, I cannot find a penis... yet)
    26 points
  39. AccountDeleted

    Our Lady Of The Rock Benedictine Monastery

    [b][i]My thoughts and feelings about the visit[/i][/b] When I first got to the monastery I had a lot of expectations about how things would go. I was full of my own experiences from previous monasteries and also full of my own self-importance as a discerner. I thought that the nuns would be eager to get to know me and to tell me all about their community in the hope that we would all be a ‘fit’. I expected some structured meetings with the community and questions from the Prioress. None of my prior experiences in Carmel or elsewhere prepared me for what happened during this visit. On my arrival day, a Thursday, I didn’t see any nuns at all. I was picked up by the Intern and another guest. I was shown to my bedroom by the Intern and then she drove me up to the chapel in the gator (the first and last time – after that we walked every day) where we attended Vespers. There were books provided to follow along while the nuns chanted. Vespers was followed by the Angelus and then Compline and Asperges. Afterwards, we went back to the house and had supper with the men, eating food prepared by the nuns and either delivered to the guest house earlier in the day by a nun or picked up by the Intern from the monastery (depending on the day and who was cooking - as some of the nuns used the monastery kitchen to prepare food and others used the preserving room kitchen for this, which was next to the guest house). After supper, we chatted for awhile and then went to bed. I didn’t see a nun on that day at all. I felt a little ignored but after all, it wasn’t even my first whole day yet. On the first day, Friday, we walked up to the chapel for Lauds/Prime at 6am but the nuns didn’t come so we returned to the house for a quick breakfast before going back to the chapel for Terce and Communion service at 8am. As we left the chapel, one of the nuns came out of the enclosure and started speaking to the Intern about things she had to do that day, and as an afterthought she mentioned that I might want to follow the Intern around and help her with feeding. That was all I saw of her that day. I did help feed and then later in the day went for a walk and helped clean the chapel. We attended Vespers/Compline again in the evening but I felt even more ignored on this day and was starting to feel upset about this. [img]http://i860.photobucket.com/albums/ab166/nunsense/IMG_3804.jpg[/img] [i]Chapel with monastery in background[/i] NB: It turns out that during the winter they have Lauds at 6.30am so we just hadn’t waited long enough! The Intern hadn’t been in the habit of going to Lauds so she didn’t know what time it was and the schedule in the guest house was out of date. We found out the right time and when I told the Intern that I planned to go, she started going with me. The second day was Saturday and on this day I fed animals and walked some more but still no nuns. By this time I was getting impatient and wondering why I had paid so much money and come so far to do a discernment visit with nuns who didn’t seem to care if I was there or not. I was also starting to get frustrated. In my copious spare time I read books. On Sunday the day seemed much as the previous ones. I was looking forward to Mass but the priest who had been scheduled to arrive for the Mass didn’t turn up so we had to have another Communion Service instead. I was so upset by this time that I cried a lot and slept a lot and was really feeling angry at God for playing games with me again. We got a new female guest, a Jewish woman who had known the nuns forever and had often visited. She and her husband were also benefactors of the monastery, and had donated a lovely painting of Jacob wrestling with God that is in the chapel because she felt they should have something from the Jewish scriptures as well. (I once used the term ‘Old Testament’ with her and she said ‘You mean the Jewish Scriptures?’ We laughed about it.) She had done a Spiritual Director’s course with a Catholic college, and although she didn’t direct Catholics as a general rule, she had a great understanding of the Catholic faith and our love for Jesus. She attributes her own return to the Jewish faith to one of the nuns from the community. I loved her from the moment I met her and gained much comfort from her wisdom and kindness during this time. She stayed for nearly a week and I was very sad when she left. If she hadn’t come that first week, I might have gone insane. [img]http://i860.photobucket.com/albums/ab166/nunsense/IMG_3812.jpg[/img] [i]Chicken Heaven[/i] On the Monday, I was invited to attend a singing class with the Intern in the afternoon. It was fantastic and I loved learning about Gregorian chant. I was told that I have a lovely voice, and this encouraged me since I don’t have much confidence in my singing. The Intern and I have voices that match very well and the music nun was very happy with us, so I was very happy too. That was the first nun I really got to spend any time with even though it wasn’t to discuss vocations. The rest of the day was much as usual, the Office and feeding chores and walks and reading. By now I was starting to feel really abandoned by God. I was also starting to hurt inside. I felt He didn’t want me to be a religious and I even went so far as to wonder if He loved me. It wasn’t a nice feeling. On Tuesday, two people from another island were coming to pick up their two sheep that had been left for breeding so one of the nuns asked all the guests to come help do a roundup of the sheep and get the two into the van that these people had brought. This was a lot of fun, and as some friends of the couple who had the sheep also came along, afterwards we all went to St Joseph’s for a cup of tea and a chat. The sheep nun, who is in charge of vocations as well as guests, came with us and we all sat around while she told us about her travels to Costa Rica and the lovely birds there. This was the longest I had spent in her company since I arrived, so I enjoyed it but it wasn’t at all personal for me, so still very unsatisfying. I began to think that they were using St Benedict’s test of making a newcomer wait three days outside the monastery before letting him in, except that this was the fifth day and I still hadn’t spoken to a single nun about my vocation! I was frustrated beyond words. [img]http://i860.photobucket.com/albums/ab166/nunsense/mrhildegardringingbell.jpg[/img] [i]Ringing the bells for Office[/i] Finally on the Wednesday morning, one of the nuns took me to Onesimus to see where she made herbal tea and mustard, and while we were there, she made us a cup of tea and we sat and talked about my vocation for about an hour. It was wonderful. She is also the music nun so I felt I knew her a little bit already. We had a good rapport and I enjoyed the talk. I wanted more of this kind of thing but the rest of the day followed the usual pattern of Office, chores, walks and reading (very much like the daily monastic life!!! ). Thursday marked one week since I had first arrived. Another female guest arrived to stay for the weekend and a man for two days and one night. The Jewish guest and I went to the local shop in her car where I bought a Diet Coke and some candy bars to help me cope with my frustration, anger and grief. . On the drive back I told her how abandoned and ignored I was feeling by the nuns and by God as well, and I started crying. We spent a long time sitting in the car and chatting and I felt a little better. In the afternoon I went for a long walk and cried my heart out. I got so angry at God that I was shouting at Him and crying at the same time. Fortunately I was at a deserted beach (winter is a quiet time on the Island) so no one could hear me. I don’t even remember everything I said to Him but I know I dragged up all my experiences over the past five years of trying to become a religious and told Him that it was time for Him to help out a little, that I had done as much as I could already and was ready to give up. I went back to my room and slept and refused to get up for Lauds the next day. I was punishing God! On Friday I felt a little better but very tired, despite my sleep-in. One of the older nuns came to visit the Jewish lady and I was invited to stay while they chatted. I heard lovely stories and was glad that I had a chance to meet this nun, even if she and I didn’t really have any personal conversations. I had seen her in choir but hadn’t met her yet. Otherwise the day was much as the others were. Saturday, I was asked to help one of the nuns with laundry from the previous guests and while the clothes were in the machine, this nun spent an hour chatting with me about my vocation. I told her how bad I was feeling and she was wonderful, accepting and understanding. She had been a late vocation too (in her fifties) and she knew some of what I was going through. She answered my questions and helped me to understand a little about the way the monastery worked. She asked if I had told my concerns to the nun who handles vocations and visitors, but I told her I felt uncomfortable talking to that nun because she seemed not to like me and I felt she was ignoring me. This nun told me that it wasn’t true, that I wasn’t to take her manner personally as it was just the way she was. She said that I would now probably be meeting with each sister and getting to know them, but on a day to day basis as they went about their work. They don’t have a structured program of introduction for discerners. They just live their lives and allow the person to come and see them as they are, and to get to know them slowly over time. That is why they recommend a three month visit after the first visit, to allow the rhythm of the monastery to sink in and to come to know each nun naturally. I could see that I was still working within the ‘Carmelite’ structure and framework I had known before and that the Benedictine one was much different. Not better or worse, just different. The 'individuality' that had been an obstacle for me in Carmel, was welcomed and encouraged here. I only had to be ‘me’, but the ‘me’ that God had intended me to be, and my journey was not about trying to suppress that me, but to discover it and work with it, through His grace to become all that I could be. Not I, but Christ in me. I didn’t have to impress these nuns, but to discover for myself, with God’s help, if this was where I was meant to be. They weren’t going to try to convince me or persuade me or even encourage me, just support me in my discovery process. If God wanted me here, then so did they. If not, then they were happy to have me as a guest. It was really almost liberating to see things from their perspective, and I definitely started to understand that they work with the Holy Spirit as guide and not according to some set procedure or process. From this point on, I began to think like a Benedictine instead of a Carmelite and as I did, I started to feel as if I was ‘coming home’ again. All those years of fighting to try to fit into the Carmelite shoe, and here I was slipping on Benedictine spirituality like a comfortable old slipper. Once I grasped the idea of simply allowing the natural process to unfold, things began to change for me and I started to change inside as well. I stopped worrying about time and performance and impressions and anything external but allowed myself to breathe in the beauty and rhythm of life in the monastery. As I relaxed and opened up to Him I felt Him fill me. From then on, I felt His presence all the time. And things started to happen externally as well, once the interior was taken care of. Although my good friend, the Jewish guest, had just left, that afternoon I met with the music nun again and from that day onwards, I seemed to be busy non-stop with one nun or another. I was so busy in fact, that I stopped recording my activities in my diary, as I didn’t have time to do it! I never had any more ‘vocation’ talks with the nuns (until the end), I just came to know the nuns through working with them, helping them, chatting with them, driving with them, taking ferries with them, and visiting them in hospital. [img]http://i860.photobucket.com/albums/ab166/nunsense/Picnikcollage4.jpg[/img] [i]Washington State Ferries[/i] Then one day the vocations nun came and picked me up in her car and we took two of the dogs for a run near the beach. She walked with me and we chatted about a vocation to the monastery. She asked how I felt about being there and I said I wanted to stay. She said I would need health insurance of some kind and that the Prioress would like me to continue with my online transcription work until I was sure that I would be staying with them because if I left, I would still have an income. I told her I could do this if I had Internet access and she said that would be arranged and they were happy for me to come back. Then she said she would meet with me again before I left and she dropped me off at Onesimus so I could do some work there with the Intern. I didn’t see her again until the day I left when she just asked me again how I was feeling, and I said again that I didn’t want to leave but was looking forward to coming back. She said that she and I would stay in touch via email and they would prepare a place for me. By this time I had arranged for health insurance and for a US bank account. The only thing left to do in the US is to change my California driver’s license for a Washington one. [img]http://i860.photobucket.com/albums/ab166/nunsense/motherhildegardwithmaeveen-1.jpg[/img] In the last week, the Intern and I spent a lot of time together with the nuns, learning new things and helping them as well as each other. She and I became very close even though she is the same age as my daughter. I almost felt as if we were postulants together during that last week. She drove me to the ferry on the last day and we were hugging each other and promising to stay in touch via email. She really wants me to return before she leaves in May, and I am really working hard to do so. So my visit ended with plans being made for me to return at the end of March (if I can get things tied up in Australia in the next six weeks). When I do return, I was told that I would be put in a separate accommodation from the guests (probably above the Chaplain’s house) so that I would have the opportunity for silence and solitude, although I will still have my meals with the guests at St Joseph’s. The music nun is going to help the Intern with her violin (she used to play) while I am away so that she doesn’t get too far ahead of me in chant class and we will start that up again when I get back. I will also be learning Latin when I get back and more of the Office (it is different from Carmel since they chant in Latin and also do Prime, and they use a Benedictine breviary and Proper). In addition to chores, I will keep the monastic schedule as much as possible and also work on my habit. The nuns each sew their own habit and Postulants wear the tunic part of the habit (the dress), with a belt and a modified black veil, but they don’t wear the scapular or the white headband and wimple until they become a Novice. I will stay outside the monastery for 2-3 months, and then will be taken inside as a Postulant, although I won’t sleep in the monastery proper, but will stay in the Novitiate cottage with one other nun instead, as they like to keep the postulants and Novices separate from the professed community. I would share in meals and some Recreations with the nuns. The way I am feeling now, time doesn’t matter to me anymore. Once I was very anxious to ‘get through’ the visits and the postulancy to get to Clothing and Profession, and I felt a sense of impatience at any form of waiting, but since I already feel as if I am exactly where I am supposed to be right now, none of that matters. Everything will happen in its own good time. Once I finally knew that I belonged there, I also thought I would worry about having to leave again to go back home, but despite a few tears while walking back to the guest house after Communion today (more tears of love and gratitude than anything else), I really feel a great sense of peace in my heart. I know what I have to do when I get home, so I will just do that in preparation for returning to the monastery. The consuming feeling for me right now is peace. I am happy beyond words, but not in an excited way, in a deep and peaceful way. Perhaps contentment is the right word. I am content. Or as my French Canadian sister-in-law used to say… ‘Je suis bien contente.’ Deo gratias. [img]http://i860.photobucket.com/albums/ab166/nunsense/bigphoto5.jpg[/img]
    26 points
  40. faithcecelia

    For Those Who Know Sr Faith Cecilia

    Thank you for posting this Max, and for the prayers and support from all of you. In case any of you don't know the situation, I have been asthmatic since childhood but very well controlled and it hasn't affected my life except for when Ive had the odd chest infection, etc. 16mths ago I had such an infection and got the usual treatment, but when the infection cleared, the asthma continued to get worse. Back in the summer I was diagnosed with Brittle asthma and since then have been in and out of hospital, so far Ive spent a total of about 6mths in hospital and the asthma is still not controlled even though I am now on about 30 drugs, including a continuous infusion of one of the reliever drugs under my skin, steroids and 3 nebulised drugs. Its breaking my heart to be leaving Carmel again, this time knowing its highly unlikely I will be able to return to religious life at all due to my health (it is a life-threatening condition, and I have been extremely ill many times since it started). I'm also having to adjust to being considered disabled and unable to work. Please continue to pray for me, and for the community I will be leaving. Thank you xx
    25 points
  41. FutureSister2009

    Feeling Suicidal

    I'm feeling extremely suicidal right now. Its not the first time I have felt this way. I'm not sure what I'm going to do but I know I need help and prayers. Sometimes I am confident that God does hate me.
    25 points
  42. DiscerningCatholic

    I Has News

    Here it is, pholks After talking with Sr. Joseph Andrew and having a totally awe.some weekend with the sisters - I'd be happy to just be there even without the retreatants; I didn't want to leave - everything I was feeling was confirmed. I went worried that I'd leave knowing that it wasn't for me, but the exact opposite happened. And so, following the orders of Sr. Joseph Andrew, I plan to - Lord willing - go back in November, get application papers and apply for postulancy for 2014. Provided that, of course, God doesn't tell me otherwise. ;) :nun2: :nun2: :nun2: :nun2: :nun2:
    25 points
  43. CoffeeCatholic

    For my marriage

    My husband suffers from depression and anxiety but it's totally out of control . It has been a rough year for sure, but I busy found out that he's also been having an emotional affair with a woman he works with. We started counseling this week. Pray for healing and forgiveness and for our 4 children under 6 not to be seriously affected.
    24 points
  44. arfink

    Group Picture! (read Before Sun Jun 16!)

    http://weaselsgonarf.blogspot.com/2013/06/daily-draw-island-of-awesome.html Go check it out! It's much much too huge to put onto the phorums at full resolution, so here is a smaller size:
    24 points
  45. HopefulBride

    Hopefulbride's Countdown To Entrance Into Postulancy

    Hi all, Happy Palm Sunday! I received my paperwork from MEFV yesterday and I am still incredibly awed and amazed at the wonderful miracle that will enable me to enter. I have spoken to Mother, SrMC and SrMJ and the date that works best for my entrance is May 31st. I really wanted to enter on the feast of St. Joseph but the Lord's timing is one that I must trust so I am excitedly looking forward to May 31st. In two months and 7 days, I will become a postulant with the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Church and I am super excited. I absolutely cannot wait. :yahoo: :nun2: :dance: 68 days!!! :bounce: :nun2: :w00t:
    24 points
  46. PhuturePriest

    Common Sense Statement

    Dear people of Phatmass, I love each and every one of you dearly. You have all stuck with me through difficult times, and I cannot ever repay you for this. However, there is something of importance I must say. Some of you have taken a liking to making jokes about my sexuality. I thought they were funny at first, but it progressively has gotten worse, and I have something to tell you: joking about somene's sexuality isn't funny. At all. It's a serious issue. It's hurtful for those who are gay, and hurtful for those who are not. Yes, I know I love romance stories and have been writing them since I was eleven. Yes, I like One Direction and the theater and I openly cry during romantic comedies. And yes, one of my favorite books is even Anne of Green Gables. I realize it's easy to take a cheap shot at someone when they like these things. But I get enough of the jokes about my sexuality off the Internet that I have no desire to see them on the Internet as well. Not one of the things I posted above means I'm gay and you have no right as a human being to joke about me or anyone else in that way. Thank you for your time.
    24 points
  47. dUSt

    Hey There! So... Wanna Talk?

    1. Tell him. 2. He'll either accept you or reject you. 3. You will either be happy or get over it. 4. The end.
    24 points
  48. Lilllabettt

    For Those Discerning.. (How We Present Ourselves)

    Dress according to your station in life. If you are a young, single Christian woman, dress like a young single Christian woman ought: modestly and and beautifully. When and if you ever become a nun, that will be the time to dress like a nun.
    24 points
  49. faithcecelia

    Im Going In!

    Within the next hour or so I will finally enter Notting Hill Carmel. I want to say thanks to everyone here, especially dUSt for the friendships and love I have known. Some of you especially I have come to know and love dearly, and I have been greatly humbled by how much some of you have shared with me both publicly and privately. I will be aking all your intentions with me - those known and unknown. I will especially be praying for those of you soon to have children, its been an exciting time sharing your journeys. May God bless you all. Faith x
    24 points
  50. MIKolbe

    I Have To Report To Jail On Saturday

    Yes. They need to do background checks and training. I will be helping some Deacons teach RCIA to the inmates.
    23 points
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