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The strictest orders

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29 minutes ago, Swami Mommy said:

I should think that in choosing how strict of an order one might wish to join, it would be useful to consider one's long-term capacity for a rigorous life of deprivation, realizing that the stringency of the austerities one may be able to bear as a younger person might be considerably more difficult to manage in old age as the body begins to weaken in its energy reserves and one's health begins to decline.  Personally, I can't imagine sleeping on a straw mattress in a cold bedroom with bones aching from arthritis!  

(Said from a 63 year-old perspective.  LOL!)

If one enters the life young (which one typically does), one grows accustomed to the austerities. I'm not as old as you, but I'm old enough to know that it absolutely boggles the mind what the human body and mind can adapt to. We're flexible like that.

If, in old age, an austerity becomes so difficult that it is unbearable for a religious, dispensations are always available. Religious life isn't about torturing people. It's about doing whatever is necessary or beneficial to free up and develop our more-fundamental humanity.

That being said, I don't think one ought to consider one's long-term capacity for a rigorous life of deprivation, because one cannot possibly know whether one will ever have arthritis, or even if not, what one's real tolerance for such deprivations is. One doesn't make decisions about RL based on what one thinks will happen or how one thinks things will turn out. Only God knows those things. One decides based on trust, love, and attraction.

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Physical penances certainly seem radical when we speak about them and they can be good for the spiritual life but if you are looking for real penance life usually provides what you need. I would

I have to be honest with you - this sends off big alarm bells for me.  Thinking in black and white is something that doesn't go well with community living.  It's something that most psychologists woul

Yes, I wasn't referring to silent acceptance of everything and especially not of big decisions.  I was thinking of more mundane conversations.  For example, one sister might insist that the temperatur

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When looking at sacrifice. I have a few thoughts. 

Heated rooms. No problem for me I have ice blood. 

My own room. I share a room with my two sisters. But a private cell for private prayer and private penance, is more what I would look for. 

Straw bed, planks. Well i have never been to sleep on ether. How ever i just spoke with my father. And he said if I ever wanted to try a non heater room with planks for a bed I could have the back room cleared and a plank or straw bed put in there. Would be maybe somthing to try before going forward. 

Cause clothing. I have used under supervision a hair shirt before. I can stand it. So cause clothing will be easy compared. 

Closed cloistered. I have never been away from my family and I'm 25. I guess though this is not that uncommon though in girls like me. So I hope I can adjust to less. 

Penance, as is said I have used a hair shirt under supervision. As for the rest. I have never been asked too and I don't even if they are used any more? 

Finaly if i was old and could not hack it any more then I would have to search my heart then. At 25 my body is perfectly capable of hacking it and I do feel ready to accept that. 

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Again, what may be strict for you, may be very dealable for others!

One of my friends is really into fitness. He goes to the gym 5 times a week. For him, it's normal routine and he likes it. To me it sounds absolutely totally noway that 's ever going to happen crazy.

When i was on retreat with the poor clare colletines, they all told me that they felt very drawn to the midnight matins, even though it is hard for the body to wake up in the middle of the night!

but, if you're looking into orders that are more strict (again, always look per house, since often the houses are independent) often these are contemplative orders like:

- benedictines, in particular the trappists

- carthusians and the monastic family of betlhehem

- carmelites

- the victimes of the sacred heart of jesus (they are in marseille, france)


but don't forget the active orders! im thinking of:

- the little sisters of the lamb

- the missionaries of charity


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47 minutes ago, Peace said:

The strictest orders?

It has to be marriage, straight up. 

Do ya'll females EVER stop nagging? 

I'm just saying.

Just becuase I'm looking to go into a where I accept that men are superior and right.  Lol


Also i may have silence to deal with so better get all my talking done now. 

Think that covers it. 

 feisty Katie. Hehe

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So so weird.....

Anyway back to the sort of question i asked. 

4 hours ago, Katie Bell said:

Penance, as is said I have used a hair shirt under supervision. As for the rest. I have never been asked too and I don't even know if they are used any more in religious orders? I rember seeing it mentioned in, a nun's story. But that's a film. 




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Katie, I remember you sharing that you are a young woman with autism and that you are very obsessed with religious life. In the past you have spoken about wanting to dress up in a habit and asked for advice on where you could buy one. This is making me cautious about answering these kinds of questions, and I'm also concerned that there is someone somewhere who would authorise the use of a hairshirt by a very young woman with neurodevelopmental disabilities who has this type of fixation.

If you approach a community purely because they use hair shirts, or other physical penances, you are unlikely to get a favourable response from them. You have written a lot about externals - habits, plank beds, etc. - but not much about what draws you in terms of spirituality and charism, and that is what matters more. If you are spiritually at home in a place then you will be able to live with its customs; if you're not, then you won't be able to stay no matter how much you like the customs.

It could be that you are just wanting to make a list of strict communities because of your strong interest in religious life, and not out of any intention to join. If that's the case, then fine, but I'm saying this in case you do have a vocation. It may not be what you want to hear but concentrating on habits and hair shirts isn't going to help you in your journey (and this is true for any discerner, autistic or not). Do you have a spiritual director? Some real-life guidance from a trusted person is essential here, preferably someone who knows a bit about ASD.

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Yes that was years ago. I do have mild autism. How ever i have managed to get on top of that. It has been a process where my family and Jesus have helped me grow as a person and overcome limitations that i have lived with most of my life. It will never leave me but learning how to live and cope with it is the best I will ever get. 

I have been interested in religious life and I have been drawn to it since I was 14. But till now I have always felt like the girl who was looking in. That's why I was interested in owning a habit too experience it. How ever this was all part of the problem. And not normal. I understand that. In fact this phorum helped me alot turn a corner there. 

Finaly the use of hair under the supervision of my church, is a step I have worked up too. They are aware of my condition and  have worked with me in pray sessions for a two years. The limited use is somthing that i requested but I left in the hards of the Father. It was looked into and over time has been introduced and used for rosary prayer and the stations of the cross. This however is infrequent and only suggested by my supervisor. 

The reason I am here asking the questions and trying to get perspective is i want to know whats rubish and what is right. 

My mother,  father and my priest all feel now is the time too follow my heart and too open my self up to the word and light of God. And like a cup see if he fills it up. I am attracted to stricter orders but I need to know what is what and if it's for me. I have no interest in wasting any ones time in a order before I was sure this is what I wanted. 

Oh and a major inspiration to me is Saint Maximilian Kolbe. His selflessness and sacrifice is somthing that that we can only aspire too. kolbe.jpg


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I remember an article of one of the franciscan sisters of the sorrowful mother, tor, about how her friend who is married lives a "harder"/stricter life than her ;)


" She began to recall the day that she canonized me and all that she had said. She laughingly began to take back her canonization as she said, “Do you realize that I now wake up not just at 5 AM, but at midnight, at 2AM, and at 4AM?  I never get a full night’s sleep since I have had children.”  She went on, “And I never get to leave my house because I have three little ones that I have to dress and bring with me.  There are days when my patience won’t allow it.”  She topped it all off by saying, “And do you realize that I haven’t had a glass of wine since my honeymoon because I have either been nursing or pregnant?”


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So insightful. 

I'm not sure i would make the best mother in the world. But it's not that simple is it. You have to find a soul mate get married and then plan. 

My parents have looked after me and still are looking after me and I'm 25. It must be rough for them. Just becuase the people around me feel I am going so much in the right direction that i can explore the possibility of religious life does not mean it's been easy getting me here. 


They have worked so hard and loved me so hard! 


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