Jump to content

What Should I Do?


HopefulBride

Recommended Posts

Hi Pham,

I need your advice on what to do. I am in the process of applying for the Mater Ecclesiae fund for vocations and I am gathering the documents needed (loans papers etc.) It was a bit of a struggle to make sure I had all of the documents in order to get the letter from my community and now after finally starting the application I've looked at my loan amount (which I've always known) and I am so discouraged. Granted, my payments are not huge (on a graduated schedule) but I'm just afraid one look at my loans and they will think I have not been doing a good faith effort to really pay it down and just turn me down flat, so before really starting I am ready to :giveup:

In the beginning of this process I was so excited and open to let the Lord work, I was even encouraged by the fact that without even planning it, the superior was able to send my letter to the MEFV board on the feast of the Rosary (this was after many obstacles)

I don't know if this is the evil one discouraging me but lately that is what I have been feeling, discouragement about the community I'm hoping to enter (thinking I may not be able to enter for many other reasons) and now this. I really don't know what to do, of course I have been taking it to prayer but I am at a loss. Since there is only one awarding period now I know if I do not apply now I would have to apply next year, but I am afraid I might get too discouraged to even try.

Any of you discerning (religous life, priesthood or marriage) dealt with such bouts of discouragement?

Edited by HopefulBride
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm still in school (grad school) and the idea of my student loans looming at the end scares the snot out of me. I'm not looking to enter a vocation, but rather start a family, and the idea of that much debt discourages me so much that I pretty much want to stop spending any money on anything until that is paid off, which of course is not logical. I feel, at least with my discouragement, that it is a lack of trust in God, because I KNOW that I'm where I am supposed to be, doing what I am supposed to, so I really need to just trust God to take care of the rest. And then, last night, there was a huge set-back in a major project that is required to graduate, so I may not even graduate on time, which would cause me not to be able to get a job as soon, and keep the debt mounting, etc, so it kind of spiraled out of control into despair rather quickly, which is NOT GOOD! So, i guess what I'm saying is that, while I'm not trying to get where you are, and your need to pay off debt is more pressing than mine, I do get the discouragement aspect of it. And I know for myself, I need to put more trust in God.

As far as applying goes, what is the worst that can happen? If you get rejected, are you not allowed to apply again? (I mean this as a sincere question, I really don't know how that stuff works. My sister went before college, so she had no debt)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='MissScripture' timestamp='1286897179' post='2179297']
If you get rejected, are you not allowed to apply again?
[/quote]

Yes I can apply again, but my concern is that I may not because of being so discouraged.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='HopefulBride' timestamp='1286898207' post='2179300']
Yes I can apply again, but my concern is that I may not because of being so discouraged.
[/quote]


A true vocation isn't about getting what you want, when you want it, but being open to God's will in all things. That means you may need to learn patience and perseverence, two things that will stand you in very good stead when you finally do enter a community. If you are impatient now, what's to prevent you being impatient in religious life? Take each step as it is presented to you and live in the present, not the future. Memories control the past and fears control the future, it is only in the present that we can be truly free to love and serve God. Keep you goal in mind, but let that guide your steps in the here and now.

If you get discouraged easily, then pray to God for the grace to trust Him more and practice awareness of the presence of God in every moment.

Prayers for you. :nunpray:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='nunsense' timestamp='1286898875' post='2179302']
A true vocation isn't about getting what you want, when you want it, but being open to God's will in all things. That means you may need to learn patience and perseverence, two things that will stand you in very good stead when you finally do enter a community. If you are impatient now, what's to prevent you being impatient in religious life? Take each step as it is presented to you and live in the present, not the future. Memories control the past and fears control the future, it is only in the present that we can be truly free to love and serve God. Keep you goal in mind, but let that guide your steps in the here and now.

If you get discouraged easily, then pray to God for the grace to trust Him more and practice awareness of the presence of God in every moment.

Prayers for you. :nunpray:
[/quote]

Thanks Nunsense. That's my constant prayer, to learn to trust and accept God's planning. I've always been a planner and I [i]know [/i]my plan may not be what the Lord plans but [i]knowing[/i] is defferent than [i]accepting. [/i]Thanks for the prayers; despite this feeling though, I am committed to bring it all to him in prayer. I just hope I continue to [i]trust [/i]in his Providence.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='HopefulBride' timestamp='1286896405' post='2179295']


[b]I don't know if this is the evil one discouraging me[/b] but lately that is what I have been feeling, discouragement about the community I'm hoping to enter (thinking I may not be able to enter for many other reasons) and now this. I really don't know what to do, of course I have been taking it to prayer but I am at a loss. Since there is only one awarding period now I know if I do not apply now I would have to apply next year, but I am afraid I might get too discouraged to even try.

Any of you discerning (religous life, priesthood or marriage) dealt with such bouts of discouragement?
[/quote]

That! You hit the nail on the head. I just went through one heck of a huge bout of discouragement several days ago. I was trying to write a letter to a Community and once I started it on Oct 1 I could see the obstacles the devil was throwing at me. Tons of despair and discouragement and the closer I got to finishing and sending the letter the worse things became to the point that I was a jerk and hurt the feelings of a very dear phriend. She saw and understood what was going on though so even though I hurt her she still was there for me. My point being this is the devil trying to get you to stop doing something good, dont let him! He may even try to divide you from your friends, dont let him! Look at Jesus, He is calling you to Himself and guess who doesnt want you to do that? You are not in over your head! Jesus knows your debts, we all have our seemingly insurmountable obstacles, but trust Him! You may feel like you are hanging on to your faith by a thread but hold on tight even if it brings you to your knees and to tears. I will pray for you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My friend, I [i]completely[/i] understand. I'm in your same situation. And it's tough. It's [i]so[/i] tough. But we know that "God works together all things for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28). Sometimes I wonder why God would let us hear his call so early, but then make us wait so long to respond.

I was thinking about this before Mass this morning... about how badly I wish to follow my Lord's call to enter religious life. The desire is so strong! Yet, I can also see so many graces that God is granting me during this time out in the world. Graces that God gives to others through my work in the parish and graces God gives to me-- purifying my will and my desire for him alone. If I cannot come to love God's will for me [i]right now[/i], how can I think that I will love God's will for me when I'm in religious life? When I'm sent to a mission that I dislike? When I'm told to do something in a way that I disagree with? Right now is the time to live out the spirit of the counsels in a heroic way, especially obedience.

Would I rather be in the convent right now? OH YES. But only if right now is when Jesus wants me there. I recognize my desires. They are good ones. I believe that they are a gift from the Lord. But I also know very certainly (debt is a very sure obstacle) that I'm not supposed to be there [i]right now[/i]. In two months? Maybe! In six months? I really hope so! In a year? That makes my stomach go "ugh" but, if it's God's will, so be it.

One thing I do know, however, is that just because I know I'm supposed to be doing what I'm doing (working at the parish, etc), it [b]doesn't[/b] mean that I have no obligation to work toward overcoming this obstacle... in any way that I can. First and foremost through prayer. Second through my own hard work, earning money, etc. And third, through these other means-- the Laboure Society or the Mater Ecclessia Fund.

We do our best and then we let go and let God handle the rest. As my friend has said to me many a times, "If it's God's will, it's God's bill."

There's just so much to learn in our situation right now. We really do have a unique opportunity to prepare for the religious life, right here, right now.

Here is something that comes from Msgr. Pope's blog about a week ago that I found very comforting. He has a section that talks about how waiting is a mystery of God and is very much a part of the Christian life.

[i]2. Wait –How long, O LORD? I cry for help but you do not listen! I cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not intervene. Why do you let me see ruin; why must I look at misery? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and clamorous discord. Then the LORD answered me and said: Write down the vision clearly upon the tablets, so that one can read it readily. For the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint; if it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late. The rash one has no integrity(Hab 1:2-3; 2:2-4) –

Waiting is one of the great mysteries of the Christian life. Why God often makes us wait is not always clear. Perhaps He is trying to strengthen our faith. Perhaps he is helping us clarify or confirm our desires. But, truth be told, waiting on the Lord has a lot of mystery about it. Nevertheless it is consistently told us in scripture that we must learn to wait on the Lord and that there are blessings for those who do. For example:

Ps 37:8 Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil….those who wait for the LORD shall possess the land.
Is 49:23 those who wait for me shall not be put to shame.
Lam 3:25 The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.
Is 40:31 but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
And so, waiting is a fundamental of firm faith. Gospel music is replete with waiting themes. One song says , You can’t Hurry God, you just have to wait, trust and never doubt him, no matter how long it takes. He may not come when you want him but he’s always right on time. Another song says, Weeping may endure for a night but joy will come with the morning light. Other songs counsel that we must hold on and hold out:

I promised the Lord that I would hold out, he said he’d meet me in Galilee
Hold on just a little while longer, every thing’s gonna be alright
Keep your hand on the plow…Hold on
Lord help me to hold out, until my change comes!

The reading from Habakkuk above warns that the rash man has no integrity. That is another way of saying that waiting is integral to the Christian life. It is a fundamental of faith. To have integrity means to have all the necessary pieces and parts which make up the whole. To lack patience then is to lack integrity, to lack an essential fundamental of the Christian faith.[/i]

All of that being said-- keep praying!!! :)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Apply. Do not let discouragement stop you. Sometimes, we are afraid to 'try and fail' in life...and would rather not try. But this is not good. We need to grow up and realize that if we put in our best effort, we don't have to be afraid of failure.

So, again....

Apply.

If they reject you, they reject you. But give them the chance to....who knows? They might help you! And if they see how much you've paid off by next year, maybe that will be good, too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear HopefulBride, (I hope you remain hopeful!)

Though I didn't have to go through the debt situation, I have had much anxiety throughout my journey to the religious life. This caused me much doubt about my vocation. Finally I opened up about it to both Reverend Mother at the community I could very well be entering in a couple of months and the priest I have been talking to and this helped me so much. After more discernment I realized that the cause of the anxiety and doubts it caused was my lack of trust and willingness to surrender. I tried to much to understand rather than to trust. I can also say that knowing this now has helped so much, and the anxiety has gone away. We must constantly ask Our Lord to help us be more trusting, simple, and willing to surrender to His will. I pray that you will do the same. Without trust in Him and without the willingness to surrender to Him completely we will not go much further. Give all of what your experiencing to Him and ask Our Blessed Mother to help you say yes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[i][b]Memories control the past and fears control the future, it is only in the present that we can be truly free to love and serve God.
[/b][/i]
Nunsense-- what a beautiful way to express it. We should all learn to live this way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='HopefulBride' timestamp='1286896405' post='2179295']
Hi Pham,
I need your advice on what to do. I am in the process of applying for the Mater Ecclesiae fund for vocations and I am gathering the documents needed (loans papers etc.) It was a bit of a struggle to make sure I had all of the documents in order to get the letter from my community and now after f
Any of you discerning (religous life, priesthood or marriage) dealt with such bouts of discouragement?
[/quote]

Hey : ) I totally know how you feel. I was forced to drop out of my grad program because people discriminated against me (I have a slight stammer)--and I've been sad, and upset, and furious, but through it all, I've gotten closer to God. Sometimes I wonder if when I'm old I'll look back on this time and remember it is a momentary annoyance--but while I'm sure that will (hopefully) fade with time, I AM sure that how much closer I've gotten to God will not fade. Being so upset and distraught has in a sense made me feel like 'I can't count on other people, but I CAN count on God.' At least he empathizes with me! : ))

So basically, I feel your pain, and I'm sorry and hope for the best for you. I hope you don't get discouraged <3 I think of this time (for me) as a moment of trial, when I'm being tested, ie. Do I cleave to God just when I'm happy? How do I act when things are upsetting/bad? It always makes me happy/comforted to think of this trial as a test, because I always like to do well on tests LOL! I don't know if any of this will resonate with you/make you feel a little better, but I hope you do feel better <3<3 : )

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was all set to enter and had been accepted but suddenly felt I was too young, not 100% certain etc etc. I applied for nursing instead of going forward.The panel interviewing me said I had the qualifications but my heart was not in it (true!). I went to my Grandmother's house and found a book - The Story of a Soul. My Grandmother does not know where the book came from. When I read it I was struck by St Therese's utter conviction about her vocation that overrode everything else. I was 19. I thought to myself 'I could wait 10 years but I know I will come back to the same feeling, the same conviction. Why am I waiting for the thing I want more than anything else?' That was 20 years ago. I am a Franciscan Sister Minoress. God is everything - nothing else matters. Ups and downs - yes! Joys and sorrows - yes! Comfort and crisis - Yes! Don't be discouraged now. Never be discouraged.
Prayers and blessings. :nunpray:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='HopefulBride' timestamp='1286896405' post='2179295']
Hi Pham,

I need your advice on what to do. I am in the process of applying for the Mater Ecclesiae fund for vocations and I am gathering the documents needed (loans papers etc.) It was a bit of a struggle to make sure I had all of the documents in order to get the letter from my community and now after finally starting the application I've looked at my loan amount (which I've always known) and I am so discouraged. Granted, my payments are not huge (on a graduated schedule) but I'm just afraid one look at my loans and they will think I have not been doing a good faith effort to really pay it down and just turn me down flat, so before really starting I am ready to :giveup:

In the beginning of this process I was so excited and open to let the Lord work, I was even encouraged by the fact that without even planning it, the superior was able to send my letter to the MEFV board on the feast of the Rosary (this was after many obstacles)

I don't know if this is the evil one discouraging me but lately that is what I have been feeling, discouragement about the community I'm hoping to enter (thinking I may not be able to enter for many other reasons) and now this. I really don't know what to do, of course I have been taking it to prayer but I am at a loss. Since there is only one awarding period now I know if I do not apply now I would have to apply next year, but I am afraid I might get too discouraged to even try.

Any of you discerning (religous life, priesthood or marriage) dealt with such bouts of discouragement?
[/quote]

Somedays, I wonder if God really knew what He was doing choosing me. Then I remember : God knows everything and [b]He makes no mistakes[/b]. The devil likes to discourage us and make us doubt ourselves.

Do you know the story of Peter trying to walk on water? I learned of an argument that said the Peter didn't doubt Christ--Christ knew Peter and had chosen [i]him[/i]. Peter couldn't walk on water because he doubted himself.

These doubts and fears can take hold of us and shake us to our cores. Let God run your life, and cling to Him. Better days are ahead!

Link to comment
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
×
×
  • Create New...