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[quote name='Little Flower' timestamp='1323200553' post='2345670']
Would play hockey and ultimate frisbee and football. And we would still pray a lot. And we would wear full habits that look nice :) And the monastery would look very monaster-like and very pretty (not just like a random house) And there would be lots of other young nuns who want to play sports with me. And I like the studying charism or whatever its called so we would do that. I haven't decided if my dream community would pray the midnight DO cuz that would be hard but it would be razzle dazzle.

WHAT ABOUT YOU!?!??!?!??!?!
[/quote]

My dream Monastery would be a huge French-Gothic styled Monastery in the mountains with a group of over a hundred Monks there in beautiful, breathtaking Habits (The color of which is debated at the moment. I can't decide plain white, plain Black, plain brown, or brown and white like the Carmelites). Of course, my family would be allowed to visit me as often and as long as they like, and we would be allowed to leave Monastery grounds to go evangelize to the world.

And, of course, there would be sports such as football to be played, and we wouldn't have to wake up at four-thirty in the morning. Six-thirty will do, and on Sundays after Mass we can even go back to bed if we like.

... Does anyone know the process of making one's own Order? I'm extremely tempted now. :P

Edited by FuturePriest387
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Not to put a pox on this thread, but.... Did you ever stop to think your dream community exists in your dreams only?! I don't think there is ever a truly perfect community for anyone as we can alway

[quote name='Little Flower' timestamp='1323751862' post='2350208'] can i have some props please? i wants some [/quote] No pity props.

The one God calls me too

[quote name='FuturePriest387' timestamp='1323320594' post='2347205']

My dream Monastery would be a huge French-Gothic styled Monastery in the mountains with a group of over a hundred Monks there in beautiful, breathtaking Habits (The color of which is debated at the moment. I can't decide plain white, plain Black, plain brown, or brown and white like the Carmelites). Of course, my family would be allowed to visit me as often and as long as they like, and we would be allowed to leave Monastery grounds to go evangelize to the world.

And, of course, there would be sports such as football to be played, and we wouldn't have to wake up at four-thirty in the morning. Six-thirty will do, and on Sundays after Mass we can even go back to bed if we like.

... Does anyone know the process of making one's own Order? I'm extremely tempted now. :P
[/quote]
Gray, go for gray. :P

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Threads like this are dangerous, and its my vote that it should be closed. I realize it's fun to sit down and write out everything that YOU would like in a community, but if one enters a community expecting or hoping for that perceived "ideal," they are in for a lot of heartache.

The community you enter is not about your desires or goals -- although God may use them. It's not about what the communities offers you. It's about the gifts you add to the community, what you offer to the mission, what God is asking you to do.

In this thread, I see a lot of "gorgeous habits," unlimited family visits, the ability to do whatever one pleases. That is a misguided perception of religious life, and if one enters expecting or hoping for these material things, they will (likely) fail.

The habit it to set one apart. Nothing more. It marks the person's removal from the world. If one is concerned about "how it looks," they do not yet have that understanding.

When one enters the religious life, you leave your family behind. Jesus says it explicitly in the bible. You either drop everything and follow him, or don't bother. Your family is important, but when you enter a religious community, that community [i]becomes[/i] your family. To rely so heavily on your earthly family is to not give yourself fully.

One of the vows of religious life is Obedience. Your time is not God's time. You wake up at 4:30 to give glory to God, and much of that glory comes from the sacrifice of the act of actually dragging yourself out of bed. Taking on the mission of the community does not mean doing what you choose to do, it's doing what the superior tells you to do insofar as they are acting as the voice of God for the community.

I'm sorry for being so harsh, but a lot of the posts in this thread raised red flags. Perhaps you did only intend good fun, but I don't think an idealistic approach is the best one to have when one is discerning religious life. It's HARD and a lot of people leave. God gives the call to religious life, and God gives the grace to persevere. We wouldn't last a day without either.

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[color=#A52A2A][size=4][b]sheesh....ever hear the old song, "everybody has a pooper thats why we invited you.....party pooper.....party pooper.[/b][/size][/color]
[color=#A52A2A][size=4][b]There's nothing dangerous in this type of fantasizing. It's downright healthy, and it is a helpful tool to lighten things up.[/b][/size][/color]
[color=#A52A2A][size=4][b]Sometimes I think that there are waaaay too many "professionals" on this forum and unfortunately they are NOT the authentic Sisters.[/b][/size][/color]

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[quote name='EWIE' timestamp='1323381175' post='2347528']
[color=#A52A2A][size=4][b]sheesh....ever hear the old song, "everybody has a pooper thats why we invited you.....party pooper.....party pooper.[/b][/size][/color]
[color=#A52A2A][size=4][b]There's nothing dangerous in this type of fantasizing. It's downright healthy, and it is a helpful tool to lighten things up.[/b][/size][/color]
[color=#A52A2A][size=4][b]Sometimes I think that there are waaaay too many "professionals" on this forum and unfortunately they are NOT the authentic Sisters.[/b][/size][/color]
[/quote]

My mom liked to sing that song to me when I was growing up. :P

I agree that "fantasizing" about an ideal community is healthy. But to impose unrealistic expectations on that fantasy... I think that doing so is begging for trouble. -- at least, that is what my spiritual director has been telling me.

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The problem I see with fantasizing about a religious community is that, oftentimes than not, the fantasies have a tendency to blossom, bit by bit, into the reality we're looking for. They replace, and very insidiously I might add, the realistic expectations we should have. Fantasy becomes a very skewed reality in the mind. Do you get what I'm saying? The labels get mixed up. What was fantasy at one point has now blossomed into what we'd like as reality, and what is really reality gets shoved to the background.

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[quote name='Deus_te_Amat' timestamp='1323359672' post='2347326']
Threads like this are dangerous, and its my vote that it should be closed. I realize it's fun to sit down and write out everything that YOU would like in a community, but if one enters a community expecting or hoping for that perceived "ideal," they are in for a lot of heartache.

The community you enter is not about your desires or goals -- although God may use them. It's not about what the communities offers you. It's about the gifts you add to the community, what you offer to the mission, what God is asking you to do.

In this thread, I see a lot of "gorgeous habits," unlimited family visits, the ability to do whatever one pleases. That is a misguided perception of religious life, and if one enters expecting or hoping for these material things, they will (likely) fail.

The habit it to set one apart. Nothing more. It marks the person's removal from the world. If one is concerned about "how it looks," they do not yet have that understanding.

When one enters the religious life, you leave your family behind. Jesus says it explicitly in the bible. You either drop everything and follow him, or don't bother. Your family is important, but when you enter a religious community, that community [i]becomes[/i] your family. To rely so heavily on your earthly family is to not give yourself fully.

One of the vows of religious life is Obedience. Your time is not God's time. You wake up at 4:30 to give glory to God, and much of that glory comes from the sacrifice of the act of actually dragging yourself out of bed. Taking on the mission of the community does not mean doing what you choose to do, it's doing what the superior tells you to do insofar as they are acting as the voice of God for the community.

I'm sorry for being so harsh, but a lot of the posts in this thread raised red flags. Perhaps you did only intend good fun, but I don't think an idealistic approach is the best one to have when one is discerning religious life. It's HARD and a lot of people leave. God gives the call to religious life, and God gives the grace to persevere. We wouldn't last a day without either.
[/quote]

Ah, well, this doesn't apply to me very much because I'm going into the Diocesan Priesthood. I agree wholeheartedly, but the reason I said the things I did is because I'm not planning on entering a community.

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There's no harm in dreaming about our 'perfect mate' or our 'prefect community' as long as we recognise that no one and nothing is going to ever live up to our ideal, as the only 'perfect One' is God.

In some ways, thinking about the things that attract us can be an indicator of our 'affinities', a perfectly legimate way to discern.

I see no harm in planning and thinking about discernment ... as long as we are mature enough to separate fantasy from reality.

And why in heaven's name should this thread be closed???? That's a bit of an overreaction isn't it??

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[quote name='nunsense' timestamp='1323400479' post='2347712']
There's no harm in dreaming about our 'perfect mate' or our 'prefect community' as long as we recognise that no one and nothing is going to ever live up to our ideal, as the only 'perfect One' is God.

In some ways, thinking about the things that attract us can be an indicator of our 'affinities', a perfectly legimate way to discern.

I see no harm in planning and thinking about discernment ... as long as we are mature enough to separate fantasy from reality.

[b]And why in heaven's name should this thread be closed???? That's a bit of an overreaction isn't it??[/b]
[/quote]

**Bold part is my doing**

I agree. It's not hurting anyone or badmouthing anything. Imagination is an amesome thing. ;)

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[quote name='Francis Clare' timestamp='1323393347' post='2347617']
The problem I see with fantasizing about a religious community is that, oftentimes than not, the fantasies have a tendency to blossom, bit by bit, into the reality we're looking for. They replace, and very insidiously I might add, the realistic expectations we should have. Fantasy becomes a very skewed reality in the mind. Do you get what I'm saying? The labels get mixed up. What was fantasy at one point has now blossomed into what we'd like as reality, and what is really reality gets shoved to the background.
[/quote]

I agree with this.

Sometimes those (especially early on in discernment) can get caught up in their "ideal," the "perfect" community they dream up, and confuse the reality with their fantasy. It tends to cheapen the beautiful, sacred vocation of religious life by focusing on petty differences instead of focusing on what's important: the consecration itself, and the calling from God which leads a person to make that consecration. Yes, some aspects of religious life are non-negotiable in my opinion, and that's ok: a habit, community prayer, faithfulness to the Pope and the Magisterium, etc. And some are confident enough in their call to be able to narrow it further to things like cloistered life, etc. But I don't like the idea of dreaming up a "designer community." It just doesn't sit well with me.

In thinking up my reply, I thought, "Well, be balanced ... make sure you include that there isn't harm in a[i] little[/i] bit of fun," but the more I think about it and especially pray about it, the more I just can't say that I think that. I have seen women literally put off and delay a potentially authentic religious calling because a certain community wasn't [i]exactly[/i] what she wanted; their habit wasn't "full" enough, or it wasn't the right color, or they didn't play the right games together, or they weren't in the "right" location, or they didn't have the exact horarium they wanted, etc. God can sometimes use things like that to turn one's attraction to a different community He desires for them, but I personally believe the opposite is more common an occurrence. Unfortunately, especially in young women, oftentimes they [i]aren't[/i] mature enough to separate fantasy from reality, even if they think they are. In regard to something this sacred, I think it's best to discern without dreaming up what your "perfect" community would be. Yes, it's good to have an idea of what you are attracted to and what your heart desires. But focusing too much on little things that would make a community "perfect" in your mind? Not such a good idea, in my opinion.

Think about it: you dream up the perfect community. Then you think, "Ah well, no community exists like that," and then you think, "Well why not? I bet there's one that's close!" And so you try to find a community based on your personal specifications, and not [i]God's[/i] specifications for you. Yes, God can use our own personal attractions (even in little things) to draw us to the community He desires for us, but I definitely believe by the same token, our personal attractions (even in little things) can often distract us from where He really intends us to be.

I'm not a killjoy or a party pooper. If you know me, you know I love to laugh and make jokes. You'd know I'm creative and have a grand imagination and am full of ideals. But when it comes to issues like this, I guess I'm just of a different mindset than most people. I just don't think it's appropriate. Not in a sinful way, but in a way that could unfortunately negatively affect someone's discernment and make it harder for them to hear God's voice and answer His call.

I don't think the thread necessarily needs to be closed. But for those who take part, just keep in mind that this is PURE speculation, and should not be applied to your actual discernment. You are not going to find the "perfect" community. You will find the community [i]perfect for you[/i] if God is calling you to religious life, but it's not going to fit every single one of your preferences. And you might think, "Oh but Cherie, it [i]does[/i] fit every one of my preferences!" Just wait until you enter. You will find things that are not perfect, and part of growing in virtue is charitably, lovingly, and responsibly dealing with and accepting those imperfections. That's what's going to help you become a Saint.

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[quote name='CherieMadame' timestamp='1323442919' post='2347931']

I agree with this.

Sometimes those (especially early on in discernment) can get caught up in their "ideal," the "perfect" community they dream up, and confuse the reality with their fantasy. It tends to cheapen the beautiful, sacred vocation of religious life by focusing on petty differences instead of focusing on what's important: the consecration itself, and the calling from God which leads a person to make that consecration. Yes, some aspects of religious life are non-negotiable in my opinion, and that's ok: a habit, community prayer, faithfulness to the Pope and the Magisterium, etc. And some are confident enough in their call to be able to narrow it further to things like cloistered life, etc. But I don't like the idea of dreaming up a "designer community." It just doesn't sit well with me.

In thinking up my reply, I thought, "Well, be balanced ... make sure you include that there isn't harm in a[i] little[/i] bit of fun," but the more I think about it and especially pray about it, the more I just can't say that I think that. I have seen women literally put off and delay a potentially authentic religious calling because a certain community wasn't [i]exactly[/i] what she wanted; their habit wasn't "full" enough, or it wasn't the right color, or they didn't play the right games together, or they weren't in the "right" location, or they didn't have the exact horarium they wanted, etc. God can sometimes use things like that to turn one's attraction to a different community He desires for them, but I personally believe the opposite is more common an occurrence. Unfortunately, especially in young women, oftentimes they [i]aren't[/i] mature enough to separate fantasy from reality, even if they think they are. In regard to something this sacred, I think it's best to discern without dreaming up what your "perfect" community would be. Yes, it's good to have an idea of what you are attracted to and what your heart desires. But focusing too much on little things that would make a community "perfect" in your mind? Not such a good idea, in my opinion.

Think about it: you dream up the perfect community. Then you think, "Ah well, no community exists like that," and then you think, "Well why not? I bet there's one that's close!" And so you try to find a community based on your personal specifications, and not [i]God's[/i] specifications for you. Yes, God can use our own personal attractions (even in little things) to draw us to the community He desires for us, but I definitely believe by the same token, our personal attractions (even in little things) can often distract us from where He really intends us to be.

I'm not a killjoy or a party pooper. If you know me, you know I love to laugh and make jokes. You'd know I'm creative and have a grand imagination and am full of ideals. But when it comes to issues like this, I guess I'm just of a different mindset than most people. I just don't think it's appropriate. Not in a sinful way, but in a way that could unfortunately negatively affect someone's discernment and make it harder for them to hear God's voice and answer His call.

I don't think the thread necessarily needs to be closed. But for those who take part, just keep in mind that this is PURE speculation, and should not be applied to your actual discernment. You are not going to find the "perfect" community. You will find the community [i]perfect for you[/i] if God is calling you to religious life, but it's not going to fit every single one of your preferences. And you might think, "Oh but Cherie, it [i]does[/i] fit every one of my preferences!" Just wait until you enter. You will find things that are not perfect, and part of growing in virtue is charitably, lovingly, and responsibly dealing with and accepting those imperfections. That's what's going to help you become a Saint.
[/quote]


Well, I guess I can kind of understand these reservations. It is a bit like a woman who dreams of her ideal man and then can’t appreciate the one God sends her because he doesn’t match up to her list of height, hair colour, eye colour, etc. It can certainly happen in discerning a religious community as well, but I’m not sure that anyone here is really assuming that their ‘ideal’ is necessarily where God wants them and I have seen this thread as similar to the one started ages ago on the PPC, the phatmass religious community that we all dreamt up and then chose religious names and colour of habit etc. It was fun.

And sometimes people also imagine what it would be like to start their own community and how they would like it to be. These things don’t hurt if the person is aware that reality and fantasy aren’t the same thing. I would hope that most people who are discerning religious life, are doing so with the help of a spiritual director… and that their director is keeping them balanced and focused on the essentials rather than the daydreams.

I don’t think it hurts however for a person to consider different aspects of religious life and to really think about whether they and the community are going to be a ‘fit’. After all, that is why many communities today use psychological testing – to determine if there are going to be problems adapting to the realities of religious life. I know for myself from experience that there are certain things that are non-negotiable for me to consider a community. And there are many things that just don’t matter one way or the other.

Besides, we all know that when we want to make God laugh, we only have to tell Him our plans (or our ‘dream community’) :)

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i think every Catholic should spend a month in a convent or monastery. It should be required at Confirmation. This way, those with authentic callings may have their callings nurtured, while those with fantasies about religious life will have their fantasies put to rest... :smile2:

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