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The Lord works in mysterious ways.........

 

 

Let us all know if there is somewhere or somehow we can donate........

 

 

I definitely know the feeling. I think sometimes the Lord gives us a couple of "baby steps" but then just gives us a big shove into something we never thought we could or would do.

Prayers for this project.

 

 

I will also be praying for your dad. Let me know if you want/need to talk.

 

 

Prayers for you and your dad and for the new monastery, Marigold!!!!

 

 

Holding you & everyone (especially your dad) & everything in prayer. Fiat mihi! :saint:

 

A big, heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who has been praying for my dad. They've taken out his breathing tube and yesterday he was moved out of Intensive Care and into a high dependency unit. Everything is progress and I'll take what I can get. He was incredibly grumpy and told me off for not being able to figure out how his ancient radio worked - and that actually felt wonderful, as it shows he's alive and kicking instead of on six drips with tape over his mouth. I never want to go through that again.

 

By your prayers...

 

EDIT: Why isn't PM showing YouTube links as videos anymore?!

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Hi everyone! I just popped in to see how everyone is, and thought I'd let you know that I decided to stay at the community and am officially a novice. Unfortunately that means paperwork, so I'm out of

By your prayers, I have a paperwork interview on Christmas Eve, and 1-2 weeks after that, I should be free to go home to the monastery.

Just wanted to say thanks to you guys on VS for being such a great ongoing part of my life. I'm logging out at the end of this weekend, and going back to the monastery during the coming week, and hope

:) :) :) My dad's out of hospital and settled in at home. By your prayers! :) :) :)

 

I got another piece of news in the past week: one of the sisters at my former community, who left a few months after I did, has decided not to continue in monastic life. She's been living near the monastery, still as a nun until now. She was my closest friend there, and a true inspiration in the Christian life. So I feel kind of sad about that.

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Oh dear:( I understand that very well. My very best friend ever in my former community has left the community too and by now she's organizing a massive campaign against the community. This is SO sad.


I'm so sorry to hear that. It's so hard to know what to do, how to react. *hugs*
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I got another piece of news in the past week: one of the sisters at my former community, who left a few months after I did, has decided not to continue in monastic life. She's been living near the monastery, still as a nun until now. She was my closest friend there, and a true inspiration in the Christian life. So I feel kind of sad about that.

  

Oh dear:( I understand that very well. My very best friend ever in my former community has left the community too and by now she's organizing a massive campaign against the community. This is SO sad.



:console: Peace be with you both...& with these women...
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Along similar lines... there was a news program on TV this evening about a group within the Church (I won't name them because it is not my intention to be controversial in VS) who have been plagued by scandal and difficulty... there are a great many people involved in this group who are genuinely sincere Catholics seeking to give their lives to God and His Church. A couple of former members of this group who were interviewed used the scandal and difficulty within the order to justify turning away from their Catholic faith. 

 

These people have been hurt so deeply by certain events and the terrible behaviour of a few... so deeply wounded... that the only response that to them seems to make sense is a response that is actually quite absurd and will cause them greater grief as life goes on, if only they could see it. 

 

I think campaigns, books, tv interviews etc. that various ex-religious organise/publish/participate in would be fewer in occurrence if there were better pastoral support mechanisms in place and people knew where to go for a productive outlet that would help them heal, not a destructive outlet that will serve only to further embitter them and put the faith of others at risk.

 

I feel very strongly that there needs to be a serious investment of energy, money, people, time and understanding into ministering to those who try religious life and for whatever reason find themselves out in the world again, whether by their choosing or by the order of another. Every Diocesan vocations office who really wants people to try religious life should have people trained in counselling on their staff, and the whole topic of leaving the seminary/convent shouldn't be one that is treated as almost taboo. It should be openly discussed and it should NOT be a badge of shame. The pastoral needs of discerners need to be properly supported at all parts of the "discernment life-cycle", so to speak - not just when we're "roping them in".  We also need to realise that exclaustration is both a valid and licit option for people under vows for a variety of reasons, reasons to which we may not necessarily be privy, so the fact that one has left their order after vows should not be something that causes us to doubt a person's good intentions, faith or integrity. 

 

How much all of these people need the prayers of the universal church.

 

Finally - those of us who have left religious life and by some amazing grace-shower have been protected from bitterness and still have our faith - we have a very real responsibility to represent fellow "leavers" who may be struggling more than we are, and to support whomever we can in that situation. 

 

WE ARE our brothers/sisters' keepers.  

 

 

-------------------------

 

BTW - so many of you have supported me through my first 18 months out (THANK YOU!!  :like3: ). Just so that you know - I hope to be able to "pay it forward" and help others through as well. 

 

 

CT- I couldn't agree with you more -- this has been a neglected area of the Church ministry - taking care of those who have left religious life (or been asked to leave). It isn't the same as leaving a job or even leaving a human relationship because it is so tied in, not only with one's identity within the Church, but also the feelings of being rejected by God. And, as you point out, there can also be a loss of faith, either in God or in His Church. Perhaps this should even be a specific type of spiritual direction - recovering from the grief of leaving religious life? Good post. :)

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Really good insights. As Orthodox, one of my perennial frustrations is that the boilerplate answer to everything is 'Talk to your spiritual father. Talk to your priest.' I'm really lucky that my priest is both educated in the faith AND humanly compassionate and able to listen (I truly thank God for him) but there are things he's simply not able to address. For some amazing unknown reason, God has decided to spare me from bitterness and losing my faith (and I came close to both), but if he hadn't, I would not be here. I'm sorry, but the presence of my priest, even in confession, did little to nothing towards healing from that bad monastery experience.

 

You think you've got it bad that your systems don't work and people aren't doing their jobs in helping people coming out of seminary/monasteries. We haven't even conceived that such a thing might be needed.

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AveMariaPurissima

CT- I couldn't agree with you more -- this has been a neglected area of the Church ministry - taking care of those who have left religious life (or been asked to leave). It isn't the same as leaving a job or even leaving a human relationship because it is so tied in, not only with one's identity within the Church, but also the feelings of being rejected by God. And, as you point out, there can also be a loss of faith, either in God or in His Church. Perhaps this should even be a specific type of spiritual direction - recovering from the grief of leaving religious life? Good post. :)

A few weeks ago Leonie's Longing did a live chat about grief after leaving religious life, which can be watched here: http://www.leonieslonging.org/good-grief-chat/

 

The main site is here: http://www.leonieslonging.org/

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I think that looking at how a community handles a member leaving (at any stage of formation and vows) is something that discerners have to look at. Personally I think it is something that is very telling of the "health" of a communities formation. I feel that discerners need to know how the community would handle someone leaving. Obviously there will be some people who will have had bad experience in leaving a community. I do agree that there should be more support for those discerning out, potentially added onto a vocations office. Though this is also something that can start from the "bottom up" If you know someone that has discerned out of a community support them. 

Something else that may or may not be a contributing factor is many of the young women entering are in their college years or right after which means that for most of them they don't have strong ties to a particular parish/faith community outside of the community that they just left.

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I think that looking at how a community handles a member leaving (at any stage of formation and vows) is something that discerners have to look at. Personally I think it is something that is very telling of the "health" of a communities formation. I feel that discerners need to know how the community would handle someone leaving. Obviously there will be some people who will have had bad experience in leaving a community. I do agree that there should be more support for those discerning out, potentially added onto a vocations office. Though this is also something that can start from the "bottom up" If you know someone that has discerned out of a community support them.
Something else that may or may not be a contributing factor is many of the young women entering are in their college years or right after which means that for most of them they don't have strong ties to a particular parish/faith community outside of the community that they just left.


So true. At my former community there were ghosts of sisters past everywhere - in some cases it looked like they'd left in such a hurry that they hadn't put anything away! I remember seeing all these dried up seedlings and a watering can in the makeshift seed-growing area in the basement (which was a minefield in itself), it was a little unsettling! I asked Mother and she just laughed it off.

I think I was too young and dumb to realise that these signs might indicate an unhealthy community any quicker than I did. At that time too I was still buying into Mother's stories of how 100% of the former sisters were apparently crazy and couldn't deal with the holy radiance of her community. I know that a lot of broken people come to monastic life (I include myself) but to hear her talk, you'd think she'd encountered some of America's worst nutcases.

I'm not sure if this post slips over into gossiping, so if anyone thinks it's going too far, please call me out on it.
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