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"Fear of Becoming a Nun"

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  • 4 weeks later...

Here's a blog post from Sr. Silvana, rscj. I believe she lives in England. It addresses the issue not so much of fear but uncertainty. 


Sunday, 29 May 2017

An unknown future

Easter was especially early in 1818, and so 199 years ago today it was already the Feast of the Sacred Heart. And this was the day that Philippine Duchesne and her companions arrived on American soil, after a two month ocean crossing, to begin their new mission in pioneer territory. 

Everything was new and strange for them. What little they knew about the "New World" and the southern states before arriving there had largely come from enthusiastic or hyperbolic accounts, which were not necessarily complete or accurate. And even with the information which was accurate, they could only imagine or have hazy ideas about how they might adapt or cope. Really, all they could have said they knew for certain when they boarded The Rebecca in Bordeaux was the likely length of their journey, and - all being well - their likely place of arrival. It was, in so many ways, a voyage into a completely unknown future. 
I thought of Philippine when I recently came across a reference to a book about discernment by Nancy Reeves, called I'd say "Yes" God, if I knew what you wanted. I wasn't able to discover the book's tone or content, but I was struck by the title. At first glance it seems entirely reasonable... just tell me what you want, God, and I'll do it. But it is in fact written in an entirely conditional mood... I would say yes, if only I knew... The onus is on God to make things abundantly clear - which very rarely happens. Those of us who have entered religious life, for example, will say we felt called, drawn, compelled... but never entirely certain: it may well have felt right, but even so, we couldn't say we knew for sure if this was indeed what God was calling us to. We could only hope and trust it was so, trust in God's loving plans for us, and trust in the ongoing discernment at the heart of our formation processes. 

That book title speaks bluntly of all our desires for certainty and foreknowledge, of all the things we like to be sure of and have in place; and equally bluntly, it speaks of all our hesitations, doubts and what ifs. And it therefore makes that voyage to an unknown future by Philippine and her companions even more extraordinary. Their foreknowledge consisted of the broadest of broad brushstrokes, a haziness many of us would baulk at when considering booking a holiday, let alone uprooting ourselves so drastically and definitively. 

Except that Philippine did know what God wanted - a heart that holds back nothing for self, as she herself once described it. And her wholehearted, trusting, totally given "yes" to this enabled her to say "yes" to everything else, whether clear or not, including this entirely courageous, heroic voyage to America and an unknown future in a new continent. And for this she has the undying gratitude of the worldwide Society. 

Every day, but especially today, may Philippine inspire and help us all to say "yes" as she did - not out of sure foreknowledge, but from a wholeheartedness which holds back nothing. 
Edited by Luigi
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On ‎3‎/‎05‎/‎2017 at 3:16 AM, Nunsuch said:

I think this is a very "real" blog post from the "A Nun's Life" website on facing one's fears when discerning religious life: http://anunslife.org/blogs/sister-julies-blog/the-fear-of-becoming-a-nun

Excellent article - thank you :like2:......... I especially liked too the 'tad' flustered muppet gif.





Calling from God – to become a Catholic sister or to any vocation – is an amesome adventure that will bring a potpourri of feelings and thought. We just have to hang in there and know that we have it within ourselves, thanks to God, to be bold … and to take a next step.

I do notice along the way how articles on a particular vocation in The Church can sometimes apply to other vocations as well -  including for sure marriage.  Certainly, no one knows the future and to commit to a certain way of life - and for life come what may - is huge and does take trust in The Lord from which flows confidence and the confidence to be bold and creative, perhaps even think and act outside the square.

Sometimes a person can go into a certain vocation with heaps of confidence, which time and life, the journey, might erode.  It is then also that, flowing from Faith, trust in The Lord clicks into place in a marked way - the wind in the sails.  Deo Gratius.

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