Jump to content

Convents And Family Visits Per Year


Recommended Posts

 

 

 

I know that I destroyed my chance at one community when I simply disagreed with the Prioress in a conversation about prayer and St John of the Cross. She told me that all Carmelite prayer should be dry, and I stupidly opened my mouth and said, "Well, what about the Living Flame of Love or the Spiritual Canticle? He couldn't have written those if there wasn't more to prayer than just dryness. Yes, dryness is part of prayer, but union with God is the goal, isn't it?" At that moment, I signed my death warrant. She called me a 'know-it-all' and told me that she wanted me to leave the next day as there was obviously nothing she could teach me that I couldn't learn in the world. I got on my knees and begged for forgiveness and asked for more time to become what she wanted, but she was adamant and wouldn't even let me see the sisters to say goodbye. I was hurried out into a taxi the next morning and sent to the airport! So, yes, one does have to discern whether speaking their opinion is worth it or not.

 

 

My gut reaction is, "Thank God you're not there!" It sounds like a blessing that you got out, however miserable it was at the time of the event. (My gut is sometimes wrong, though.)
 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 75
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • AccountDeleted

    15

  • emmaberry

    6

  • PhuturePriest

    5

  • graciandelamadrededios

    5

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

The restrictions are not about lack of love of family...to be cloistered is a vocation to be more present for God...to listen to Him & intercede for others. Contemplatives' life of prayer must be

I think you are taking some of this a little too personally because of your daughter being in religious life, just as Emma reacted when I mentioned the military. We usually tend to get a little defens

Actually Lilllabettt, you really have no idea what type of community I am in nor can you comment on my thoughts or feelings as you are not privy to them. I simply stated my experience of both healthy

After one has been in a community for a time, the community really  does begin to be "your family." There does remain however the joy of being able to share time with one's own family with the community ... spreading the joy and love. Often many families get to know one and other, and become one big happy family. A true sense of community is created, very beautiful to experience.

 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Community can be a very beautiful experience, including those very real challenges that can crop up with members quite difficult with which to relate. And these can occur in any and all communities to which one might belong, secular or religious. Rare indeed to my experience is a community where all is peaches and cream and always - in fact if I go wrongly by my experience alone, such does not exist. :)

 

  It is a fine balance and gift of The Holy Spirit whether to accept the challenge (in the spirit of St Therese and Sister Peter) or whether it might be more rightful for one to abandon the community and to move on.  The question can be how to achieve balance and recognize the gift of The Holy Spirit and the particular prompt - which direction.  Personally, I don't think one can know for sure and one needs make a prayerful decision and be confident about it and being the weak fallible creatures most of us are, at times we might choose wrongly - at other times spot on.  It is not being right or wrong that is the more important to me, it is the sound and faithful, consistent, heartfelt desire to live in God's Will always. After all, in the example above, either choice is not sinful and therefore within the ambit of God's Will. To my way of thought, God's Will most often presents two or more choices of one's will in freedom.  Only sin presents God's Will as fixed and for all time, be it an incidence of either mortal or venial sin.  Undoubtedly to my mind, Final Judgement will have many surprises as it unfolds for us where one was spot on and where one veered - or such Final Judgement is to my imagination is better!  Whether one was spot on or veered, The Lord embraces our choice and continually leads to holiness as mysterious as this can be.

 

The more transparent religious communities are (and far more transparent for sure nowadays than pre V2), the better one is in a position to make a choice in accord with the way one seems to be led by The Holy Spirit i.e. one community a better 'fit' than another if they are indeed - and from the start at enquiry level - willing to be open and quite transparent.  I think personally that this is a better road than a person entering and finding out as the days unfold that the community and attitudes within are not a good fit at all and hence may decide to leave.  It can ask quite a lot of a person entering to make all the changes necessary in secular life prior to entry.

 

There does seem to be some confusion in some areas. Pre V2 one entered into postulancy and quite blind really.  Nowadays, there is the enquiry period and then aspirancy prior to postulancy.  To my mind it is during enquiry and certainly aspirancy that clarity and real transparency should be presented as to the community and prevailing attitudes and direction, reasons for attitudes and direction.  A person should be free to ask any and all questions and have them willingly and openly answered quite honestly. Not told that they will find out when they enter postulancy if it eventuates. The confusion can enter in in not recognizing that from enquiry through to temporary vows it is a discernment period up to Final Vows (with some increasing commitment along the way) and that the community should recognize this and in a spirit of community and Charity, mutual care and concern, preparedness and readiness interiorly.  It is part and parcel of religious life with possible new entrances over time that there will be those who leave up to Final Vows possibly - or even after.  The potential is there and part and parcel of religious life it seems to me that does ask a spirit of sacrifice and detachment - a readiness for community membership changes.  It bemuses me that a person leaving a community can be disruptive.  Of course, it is saddening if a loved member decides to leave, but then to my mind the community should recognize the possibility and be embracing of God's Will for the person and indeed for their own selves at the same time.  It presupposes necessary psychological and spiritual maturity in the community - an ability to handle one's personal problems without being overly demanding on the rest.  But then who am I to speak, not considering religious life on any level and coming from two unhappy previous entrances over a span of years i.e. some insight only drawn from quite limited experiences.  :)

 

If a person feels that they need contact with their family on some sort of a regular basis, then to my mind they are entitled to ask all the questions necessary for them in that connection prior to entry into a community.  It rests with leadership - and a call to them to my way of thought - to be open and transparent and to recognize if their own community's limitations in respect to family may not be a good fit for the person, and therefore quite possibly not God's Will to which leadership are committed lifelong one hopes.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Nunsense:  I only know you through VS and while I have been confused by your many entrances and leavings of different communities - it's really none of my business, but I have to take exception to your comments on the military.  My sister is an officer in the Army and a West Point grad.  She is certainly not brainwashed and part of her training has been how to respond to an illegal order or one that she believes is incorrect - no American Army officer could ever rely on the Nazi defense "I was following orders."  There is a chain, an AG, the JAG, the chaplain and many ways to object if a solder believes he or she has been asked to do something wrong.  There is certainly a culture in the Army, the same way that there is in IBM, the Peace Corps, the Nashville Dominicans or any organization - that doesn't make the Army or any of these groups a cult or their adherents brainwashed.  In my discernment, I have met some communities that have more rules and a lifestyle that is more restricted than I am seeking.  The community I will most likely apply to, the Apostles of the Sacred Heart, encourages family involvement with the community and will treat me like an adult.  This is the community where I think I will fit in the best and where I am most comfortable.  I agree with you that a group could be perceived as cultish if it cut off family contact, read personal letters and demanded the unquestioned loyalty of members.  I would hope that most communities of sisters don't do that - certainly I don't feel that the ones I have met are cultish.  And I certainly don't think the Army is.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Nunsense:  I only know you through VS and while I have been confused by your many entrances and leavings of different communities - it's really none of my business, but I have to take exception to your comments on the military.  My sister is an officer in the Army and a West Point grad.  She is certainly not brainwashed and part of her training has been how to respond to an illegal order or one that she believes is incorrect - no American Army officer could ever rely on the Nazi defense "I was following orders."  There is a chain, an AG, the JAG, the chaplain and many ways to object if a solder believes he or she has been asked to do something wrong.  There is certainly a culture in the Army, the same way that there is in IBM, the Peace Corps, the Nashville Dominicans or any organization - that doesn't make the Army or any of these groups a cult or their adherents brainwashed.  In my discernment, I have met some communities that have more rules and a lifestyle that is more restricted than I am seeking.  The community I will most likely apply to, the Apostles of the Sacred Heart, encourages family involvement with the community and will treat me like an adult.  This is the community where I think I will fit in the best and where I am most comfortable.  I agree with you that a group could be perceived as cultish if it cut off family contact, read personal letters and demanded the unquestioned loyalty of members.  I would hope that most communities of sisters don't do that - certainly I don't feel that the ones I have met are cultish.  And I certainly don't think the Army is.

 
Emma
 
If you will just take a deep breath and relax, we can take a giant step back from your automatic defense mechanisms and look at what I actually did say - ok?
 
I, too, have a relative in the military, my daughter in fact, and although she is not an officer, she is a sergeant and she is a 'lifer' so she is dedicated to her job. She started of as a cook and is now a medic - which was the job she wanted in the beginning, but they had no vacancies for that when she entered. So I am in no way trying to disparage the military or to say that they would do what the Nazis did. In fact, my actual words were:
 

"My own daughter is in the US Army and she has been posted in the Middle East so I know that she has been 'brain washed' or 'programmed' or 'trained' or 'formed' (the term used in religious life) to respond according the needs of the military, but I would certainly hate the thought of her ever treating another human being as if they were less than human simply because she had been brainwashed into thinking that blind obedience would be an excuse - the excuse the Nazi soldiers used when confronted with their actions - 'I was just obeying orders.' "

 
I have emphasized the part where I try to say that I would hate it if I 'thought' that this were happening to her. Perhaps I did not make myself clear enough. The word 'brainwashing' was used because I was trying to respond to a question that was asked, if we don't call it brainwashing, what do we call it? And I said it doesn't matter what you call it - it is all a form of conditioning, of uniting individuals into a unit such as a community or a military unit etc. 
 
Later, superblue added this comment:
 
 

I appreciate the response nunsense, and i am seeing similar things the conforming part, and  i just wasnt able to distinguish the vocabulary for the word brainwashing, " conforming ".


I think that the word 'conforming' is probably less confronting than 'brainwashing' so I have no problem with this word being used instead. Or, as in religious life, the word 'formation'. In the military, maybe they just use the word training?
 
There are many words to describe the impact that a certain type of training or formation has on human beings - and some of these words are negatively charged and some positively charged. No one objects to the word 'formation' but as soon as the word 'brainwashing' is used, it seems to create panic. That is understandable. No one likes to think they can be brainwashed, but psychological experiments have proved that human beings can be psychologically manipulated into doing things that they think they would never do under normal circumstances. This is brainwashing - to call a spade a spade.
 
That is why it is very important that those in authority are responsible and ethical and value individuality, as well as conformity. If you think that no American soldier has ever done something that is ethically or morally unsound because they felt they were obliged to do so (either through peer pressure of their unit or orders from their commanding officers), or that no officer has ever abused their position and used their authority to encourage illegal behavior, then I think you are very naive. We already know that torture has taken place at some US military detention centers and the movie "A Few Good Men" is about soldiers who killed another soldier under orders from their superior. It may have been fiction, but abuses do happen and some soldiers still do believe that they are compelled to obey orders, especially those further down the chain of command. That's a bit like postulants, those with the least amount of power in any situation feel the most compelled to obey. 
 
So when discerning religious life, we need to ensure that the community we enter not only has all those lovely external elements that we so desire (habits, certain types of Masses, way they pray the Office, etc), that they also truly appreciate that every one who enters is an individual and will remain so forever - because that is what God wants - each one of us to be an individual flower in His garden. We may indeed be part of a community, and it will become our family, but we will also be someone whom no one else can ever be - each one of us special and beloved of God.
 
As for my entrances and exits into convents, I have no idea why you even mention them unless is it a subtle form of criticism - a sort of "I won't say anything about it, but boy, you sure do enter and exit convents a lot!" If you are trying to say something, then by all means, say it - don't be shy. You think I haven't heard it all before?
 
I covered much of my discernment in my blogs which I posted over several years, but I have since taken them down because, as you so rightly point out, it really is none of anyone else's business how or why I choose to make the decisions I did at the times I did. Some of my exits were my choice and others were not. I have been called many names and told many times that I am following my Will and not God's, and yet for some reason, communities continue to accept me - so either there is a vocation and I just haven't found the right community yet, or God has His own reasons for everything that has happened, and my job is simply to respond with trust and continue to believe that 'In the end we will be judged by love alone.' (St J of C)
 
I have met wonderful (and horrific) people along the way, and experienced more in my lifetime than most people ever will. My spiritual director tells me she is still trying to comprehend all that I have been through, but she assures me that nothing is ever wasted. God uses all things for good. I have been blessed with the experience of having lived in convents that still practiced pre-Vat 2 customs, which gives me an insight into what it must have been like for those now who have been in religious life 50+ years. When they talk about some of the old customs, I know exactly what they mean, because I have lived them too! It is as if I have lived 50 years in a matter of 8. I imagine that I have been very blessed by God and that He has been particularly good to me - but it hasn't always been easy to see this side of it. When I went on the Camino pilgrimage, I didn't have a shred of self-esteem left and felt that God had totally abandoned me. After walking 300 kms I still couldn't figure out what had gone wrong and why He was treating me this way. I thought I would never ever ever ever ever try religious life again. There was nothing left of me to make the effort. Even when I came here to this community for a live-in visit, I almost didn't get on the plane - I didn't know WHY I was doing it. God had abandoned me, what was the point? And I still can't see the future. 

All I can say is from today's Mass reading: "There is a season for everything, a time for every occupation under heaven: ... "   (Ecc 3:1)

 

I am very happy for you that you have found the community where you feel you belong, and that you do not think it is cultish at all. That is such a grace. And although I realize that you may never have experienced any communities that are 'cultish', all I can say is, lucky for you! God is blessing you in different ways than he has blessed me. But it's all good. Because we are individuals, and our lives are not meant to be the same path. I wish you all the best on yours and may God please not bless you with any of the 'graces' He has shown to me :) LOL 

 

 

Edited by nunsense
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

A thought from the other side of the coin.  In general religious communities have to deal with a variety of families, supportive and even unsupportive ones.  There have been saints who have had their families very strongly attempt to keep them from religious life (aquinas getting locked up) or even try to literally drag them from teh convent (st clare iirc.)  My guess is that through history communities have developed policies and customs that try to walk that line between keeping in contact with family, and keeping a vocation safe from people would do anything to not see them there.  Limited contact is not always a bad thing.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

As a veteran family member dealing with restricted visitation, please, please stop with the "cultish" labels. We are catholic - which means universal after all, so we have developed religious orders that have charisms and also charters that encompass all persons personalities and preferences. My vocation to marriage and motherhood is not the same as my daughter's vocation to the religious cloister, which is not the same as my good friend's vocation to the diocesan priesthood, etc. and nor are they lived out in the same way, but goodness, they all have validity and purpose and Beauty and Truth in our beautiful, universal church.

As an aside, it is kind of disheartening, not to mention disconcerting, when I have more "Catholics" than non-Catholics, when enquiring about my daughter expressing dismay at her vocation on a daily basis. (I deal with the public in a family business, so it comes up a lot.) "But what does she do all day?", because prayer is not a tangible thing. *Sigh*. "Making scapulars and sewing vestments." usually satisfies them, since I can't get into theology and charism in a sound bite.

But by living out her vocation, one thing she and all her fellow Sisters do daily is help us all grow in our faith walk by their love, acceptance and example. I can't tell you how many people come up to me daily and tell me how thinking about her life has enhanced their faith. This is a grace and a blessing to me. Almost makes up for the lack of grandchildren. ;-)

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

As a veteran family member dealing with restricted visitation, please, please stop with the "cultish" labels. We are catholic - which means universal after all, so we have developed religious orders that have charisms and also charters that encompass all persons personalities and preferences. My vocation to marriage and motherhood is not the same as my daughter's vocation to the religious cloister, which is not the same as my good friend's vocation to the diocesan priesthood, etc. and nor are they lived out in the same way, but goodness, they all have validity and purpose and Beauty and Truth in our beautiful, universal church.

As an aside, it is kind of disheartening, not to mention disconcerting, when I have more "Catholics" than non-Catholics, when enquiring about my daughter expressing dismay at her vocation on a daily basis. (I deal with the public in a family business, so it comes up a lot.) "But what does she do all day?", because prayer is not a tangible thing. *Sigh*. "Making scapulars and sewing vestments." usually satisfies them, since I can't get into theology and charism in a sound bite.

But by living out her vocation, one thing she and all her fellow Sisters do daily is help us all grow in our faith walk by their love, acceptance and example. I can't tell you how many people come up to me daily and tell me how thinking about her life has enhanced their faith. This is a grace and a blessing to me. Almost makes up for the lack of grandchildren. ;-)

 

 

I think you are taking some of this a little too personally because of your daughter being in religious life, just as Emma reacted when I mentioned the military. We usually tend to get a little defensive when the topic touches on an area where we have some personal experience.

 

But I do hope you are not misunderstanding anything that I have posted to somehow mean that any community that is cloistered or that limits visits is a cult. After all, I am in a cloistered community myself, and prayer is my vocation too. I love the Church, in all her diversity and the fact that there are ways for every individual to live out their vocation within the Church. In fact, there are so many ways, that it would take too much time to list them all here. I think one of my comments way back several pages ago was that I couldn't think of a valid reason why a community would not allow family visits (of some kind) but then, once again, if a person knows this in advance and is perfectly fine with it, who am I to say it's wrong for that person? Even the military doesn't allow family or friends to just show up any time or day or night and visit their loved ones (at least when my daughter was in boot-camp they didn't) - and I wouldn't have wanted to embarrass her like that anyway!

 

And while it is true that many Catholics as well as non-Catholics  do not really understand the value of a contemplative vocation, I have found that sometimes when asked what I do all day or why I am not 'doing some good in the world' like nursing or missionary work, I can take the opportunity to express what is in my heart about prayer and why there is meaning in my vocation. In fact, recently, a friend asked me this very question in an email and I was able to express to her my own feelings behind a life of prayer for the world. She wrote back and told me she had never thought of it quite the way I expressed it before and now she feels she understands a little better. So don't be disheartened when people ask what your daughter does. If you don't have time to really explain it, then sometimes you just might have to describe her 'activities' like making scapulars and vestments - as you said, a sound bite. But sometimes you might be able to say more - an expression from the heart. At least that is what I have found. And that can open up a whole range of beautiful exchanges.

 

The whole conversation about brainwashing and cults here has become a sort of 'aside' and I didn't really want it to take over this thread but hijacking happens, sometimes without anyone ever really intending it. Yes, cultish behavior does exist in some religious communities, that was my main point, but how wonderful if we can focus on the good ones instead. And you sound very blessed that your daughter is in such a community. If her visits with family are limited, and she knew this from the beginning, then there is nothing more to be said - we all make choices - just as Antigonos said - sometimes that involves moving far away from family or family visits being curtailed for whatever reason - not only religious life. 

 

But honestly, nothing I have said (or I have read really) has been intended to put someone off religious life or even the cloister. But there is good reason for a person to be well informed about the place where they will hopefully spend the rest of their life. 

 

I would love to stay online more but one of our sisters here is at death's door and we are holding a vigil for her at her bedside. Please keep her in your prayers - she is elderly and in ill health, so it is not unexpected, but it is still hard. Her secular caregiver came to see her tonight and she was in tears. Her sisters all know that she will be going to Jesus, if He calls her tonight and we will miss her terribly but if He grants her a little more time, then we will be blessed with her presence for as long as God wills it. I ask for your prayers for her.   :pray:

Link to post
Share on other sites

visiting with family, i started to reflect on my own situation, and i realized... i am not so much concerned with being able to see my immediate family when i want; and God was kind enough to get me home for Christmas ever year i was in the Army. I needed that time back home while i was in the military; but my thoughts have changed, it isn't so much about keeping traditions with family as it is the welfare of my parents, and if i ever make it into a religious order or the diocesean priesthood, i realize now , my commitment to my parents will change and be thus turned over to my siblings who will have to step up to see to their well being and making sure to interact with them on a regular basis.

 

I have this dread of leaving my mother alone to just be tossed aside and left to some old folks home or the like, so that means i am needing to working on trust within my own family regarding my siblings and that is hard to do for me....

 

Luckily right now my main concern is finishing college.  And unfortunately my diocese is not going to reconsider me for the seminary, probably ever... which i find heartbreakingly sad.  One bad interview, one mistake and its like like nunsense has stated everyone turns their back on you so fast, no goodbyes, just shut the gates, board up the windows and get this person out of here as fast as possible.

 

Then i guess one can say, where one door is closed another one opens. lol but then what happened to " knock and the door will open " ?

 

Any how the quest continues to see where i best fit with in the big scheme of things and how with what ever i got can best serve Christ,  Doesn't have to be in a religious order or a diocese, but it would be a much more productive way for me i think.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
graciandelamadrededios

The enclosure of nuns has its own valid reason and was sanctioned by the Church in response to the laxity of religious observance during the medieval period.  Laxity also includes sexual transgression of Nuns, Monks and other ecclesiastical members of the Church.  The Council of Trent responded by decreeing strict enclosure of nuns in solemn vows.  St. Charles Borromeo laid down a strict instruction on how the buildings of nuns were to be constructed.  This gave us the grilles, curtains, high walls, specific measurements, etc. discouraging egress of nuns and ingress of outsiders.

 

The above regulation also limits the nuns visiting their family in the parlor and during visitation hours, the third party – a nun monitors or audits the conversation. 

 

St. Teresa adapted same strict regulations for her discalced nuns, a reaction she had from her many years of stay in Incarnation Convent where in name, they were enclosed nuns but in practice, they were Beatas – a group of devout Spanish women who does not observe cloister.

 

The same regulation has been enforced, up until the convocation of Second Vatican Council, which calls for spiritual renewal of Church, realigning its views to the changes of time.  The Council produced decree on the Renewal of Religious Life, encouraging the religious to return to the source of Christian Life, original inspiration of their respective founders or foundresses and adaptation to the signs of times.

 

All religious institutes, congregations or orders convoked a special chapter to address and discuss the decrees issued by the council and rewrite their fundamental code and its complementary codes.

 

After the Council, with each fundamental codes of religious orders duly approved by the Church, the community is to decide how to enact certain prescriptions of their approved codes such as enclosure, habit, prayer schedule, etc.  Whereas, the Pre-Vatican II fundamental codes enforce uniformity, the Post-Vatican fundamental codes were flexible.

 

The Carmelite Rule was written prior to the implementation of strict enclosure for Nuns.  Therefore, it does not have special prescriptions on how to deal with family visits.  This is the reason why religious institutes, congregations or orders created the Constitutions, to supplement what is missing from the Rule.  The Constitutions were originally legislations enacted during the chapter or general chapters.  The Carmelite Constitutions were modeled after the Dominicans - which were influenced by the Cistercians and Premonstratensians.

 

Also, the Rule of Carmel was written from a group of hermits living in the East, therefore, modifying them to conform to the Western way of religious life was necessary.  It was the first modified version of the Rule that St. Teresa had chosen for her reform.

 

The 1990 Constitutions of OCD Nuns stipulated that a nun couldn’t visit their relatives or family member in their last moments. 

 

On the other hand, the 1991 Constitutions did not specifically prohibit nuns visiting their families but in 118. Permission to leave the enclosure can be granted by the Prioress only for truly serious reasons.  It also cited the code of canon law 667,4:

 

The diocesan Bishop has the faculty of entering, for a just reason, the enclosure of cloistered nuns whose monasteries are situated in his diocese. For a grave reason and with the assent of the Abbess, he can permit others to be admitted to the enclosure, and permit the nuns to leave the enclosure for whatever time is truly necessary.

It is not our business to judge any community who do not allow their members to visit their family for any other reasons, grave or not.  It pertains to each community on how they enforce their fundamental code and it is certainly being voted during their chapter meetings.  Whatever their reason is, it is VALID and we have no right to call it NOT VALID just because we do not agree with or conform to their decision.

 

I also object the labeling of communities that has traditional values called cult-like.  They should never be referred to as such and quite frankly, it is rash to call them that.

 

The communities who do not allow nuns to go out to visit their family has their own valid reason and they are certainly not against their own family.  There is nothing wrong with their decisions or there is nothing wrong with them either.  To say that is quite judgmental and it sounded like a defense mechanism – sour graping.  There are OCD communities who no longer observe strict enclosure and can go out on their own will and they too, have their valid reasons.

 

Pope John Paul addressed the OCD Nuns during the approval of the 1991 Text and I quote: “The differences do not refer, therefore, either to the substance of the Teresian Carmelite contemplative charism, or to the necessary and contant return to the primitive inspiration.  They correspond rather to the diverse modalities of interpreting adaptation to the changed conditions of the times.”

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

visiting with family, i started to reflect on my own situation, and i realized... i am not so much concerned with being able to see my immediate family when i want; and God was kind enough to get me home for Christmas ever year i was in the Army. I needed that time back home while i was in the military; but my thoughts have changed, it isn't so much about keeping traditions with family as it is the welfare of my parents, and if i ever make it into a religious order or the diocesean priesthood, i realize now , my commitment to my parents will change and be thus turned over to my siblings who will have to step up to see to their well being and making sure to interact with them on a regular basis.

 

I have this dread of leaving my mother alone to just be tossed aside and left to some old folks home or the like, so that means i am needing to working on trust within my own family regarding my siblings and that is hard to do for me....

 

Luckily right now my main concern is finishing college.  And unfortunately my diocese is not going to reconsider me for the seminary, probably ever... which i find heartbreakingly sad.  One bad interview, one mistake and its like like nunsense has stated everyone turns their back on you so fast, no goodbyes, just shut the gates, board up the windows and get this person out of here as fast as possible.

 

Then i guess one can say, where one door is closed another one opens. lol but then what happened to " knock and the door will open " ?

 

Any how the quest continues to see where i best fit with in the big scheme of things and how with what ever i got can best serve Christ,  Doesn't have to be in a religious order or a diocese, but it would be a much more productive way for me i think.

 

 

superblue

 

Your post touched me very much because I could feel your pain. There is really nothing that I can say to take the pain away but I do want you to know that when you knock, the door will open - but not always in the place or at the time you expect. You have suffered a rejection and that hurts - not only because you are grieving for a lost dream, but because that dream was specific. God knows the dream in your heart, but He has plans for you that may fulfill it in a way that you can't even imagine right now.

 

If you can try to focus on your studies and on your mother, while you have her (mine is unfortunately long gone), and allow God the time to prepare the way He has planned for you. I will certainly keep you in my prayers. I know the heartbreak of grieving for lost dreams.

 

God be with you.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

It is not our business to judge any community who do not allow their members to visit their family for any other reasons, grave or not.  It pertains to each community on how they enforce their fundamental code and it is certainly being voted during their chapter meetings.  Whatever their reason is, it is VALID and we have no right to call it NOT VALID just because we do not agree with or conform to their decision.

...

 

 

I also object the labeling of communities that has traditional values called cult-like.  They should never be referred to as such and quite frankly, it is rash to call them that.

 

 

 

 

Once again I have been misunderstood in what I was trying to say, but I don't have time right now to go into your whole post in any detail. Our ill sister made it through the night and is now on hospice care so we are a little busier than usual taking care of her and also attending to our regular duties.

 

So I will just address these two points. One, I do have a right to my own opinion, and I also have a right to post it here, just as you are, and everyone else (unless it goes against phorum rules). I have stated that I (that's me personally) that I do do not think that it is any longer valid to prevent a nun from having her family visit her, or to attend the funeral of a parent. I do accept that there are communities who do not allow this, and of course, the reason is valid to them. I was speaking personally for myself. I have that right.

 

All of your long discourse on the history of Carmel, the Rule and the Constitutions etc is really not necessary if you are trying to convince me of something. I have lived in 5 Carmels, both 1990 and 1991 and have had the Rule and the Constitutions and Carmelite history (from many different perspectives) explained to me along with Vatican 2 documents, which the 1990 and 1991 communities interpret differently (and explain their point of view to the postulant - why they are right and the others are wrong) and I have also had the Carmelite 'split' (1990 vs 1991 Constitutions) explained to me in many different ways by different Novice Mistresses, depending on which side of the fence they were on. 

 

I am living in Carmel now. I don't know if you are in Carmel, or if all your knowledge is based on theory over all your years of reading and studying, but I have lived Carmel and am living Carmel. It isn't quite as cut and dried as you appear to make it. Religious life isn't just a history lesson - it is a living experience, and as you pointed out, things have changed over the years - and things will continue to change over time - to accommodate the times (your own examples prove that).

 

As for suggesting that I am calling only traditional communities 'cult-like' - that is a misquote. I called cult-like communities cult-like. Any organization can be cult-like - to describe one as such isn't based on whether or not not they allow family visits but on my own personal experience and usually based on the way the community is governed and the psychological health of the members of that community. I am sorry that you cannot see the difference because you are misrepresenting me badly and unfortunately, not everyone may realize this.

 

If I didn't believe in Carmel, I wouldn't be a postulant now, nor would I have continued to make the effort to become a Carmelite nun despite some really horrific experiences of cult-like communities. The only reason I don't write examples of some of the REALLY bad things that happened is the same reason I didn't leave my blog online and won't write a book about my experiences although several people, including a Carmelite priest who gave me spiritual direction, is because I don't want to do anything that would injure the Church or Carmel. What I post in this thread is very carefully worded to try to inform people of possible problems in order to help them avoid going through what I have gone through, but despite it all, I am a Carmelite at heart and always will be. I really wish you would just respect that about me, even if you disagree with my point of view. Sure, you have every right to post your point of view, but please respect that our opinions are simply that - opinions - both yours and mine. But there is a little difference between reading about the life and living the life. Just saying.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



It costs about $850 a year for Phatmass.com to survive–and we barely make it. If you’d like to help keep the Phorum alive, please consider a monthly gift.



×
×
  • Create New...