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InCordeJesuEtMariae

Discernment

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InCordeJesuEtMariae

Hello All. When researching discernment it seems like phatmass vocation station has a lot of people here with wisdom about this topic so I thought I’d sign up and ask here. 
 

First off, I don’t have a spiritual director right now but I’m in touch with a priest friend who is in Rome but that isn’t much help right now. I thought maybe those with more experience can maybe just throw out some words of wisdom! 
 

So I’m 31 years old and I have attempted religious life two times within the past 10 years. After my second time I just figured door closed and not for me. That was tough to get through but I moved on and went to school and a lot of good things have happened for me thanks be to God for His mercy. Well I started to get more involved in deepening my relationship with Our Lord and that’s something I kind of pushed away for a few years now. 
 

Well I’ve been thinking of all my plans and wondering what route to take. In my growing desire to know His plan for my life, the desire for religious life has come back. Ahhhhh!!!! Lol. Well, I didn’t expect that one!!! It’s kind of scary having done this before but I have a deep joy about it also. I think I always desired it but pushed it away thinking it wasn’t for me. I am happy. 
 

Well, it’s tricky because I’ve done this two times before and that will come up again and may cause some difficulties in discerning with communities. I pray God opens the doors that are meant to open. 
 

Here’s the catch. I’ve been thinking of a community that I wouldn’t have considered before because it’s a foundation from one of the two communities I was in before. It’s bizarre but I can’t stop thinking about writing them and hoping for a visit. Could this be from the Holy Spirit if it’s something I wouldn’t have considered but keep thinking about? Should I send a letter? Prayers please too!! Thank you! :) 

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deusluxmea

Hello, and thanks for sharing your story. It sounds like you've been through the ringer, discernment wise, so it is very understanding that you might have some anxiety or uncertainty about your vocation.

There's folks on there with more wisdom in these matters, however my initial thought is that it can't hurt to contact this community. Either way, at least you'll have some information to work with from there.

I probably don't need to mention this, however it might be worth spending some time unpacking what happened with the other two communities, not to flagellate yourself, but just so you have a clear headed picture of obstacles that may come up in a future community.

Peace, friend! 

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monica_margaret

Definitely never hurt to contact them and see if you can visit. :) I, too, have been through a lot discernment-wise (although I realized the door to religious life is indeed closed for me!) so I completely understand the anxiety, but it never hurts to explore, try, and see where God may be leading you. In fact you'll be glad you did once you find where you're meant to be, even if this ends up not being it, yet. A priest once told me on a retreat that no time spent growing closer to God while trying to know His will is ever wasted, even if you "get it wrong" at first.

14 hours ago, deusluxmea said:

it might be worth spending some time unpacking what happened with the other two communities, not to flagellate yourself, but just so you have a clear headed picture of obstacles that may come up in a future community.

I think that's a good idea, too, deusluxmea! I'm sure it'll be tough, but it's important to reflect and know what worked and what didn't, and how you can make the best of it as you continue on your journey. 

Many prayers! :pray:

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InCordeJesuEtMariae
20 hours ago, deusluxmea said:

Hello, and thanks for sharing your story. It sounds like you've been through the ringer, discernment wise, so it is very understanding that you might have some anxiety or uncertainty about your vocation.

There's folks on there with more wisdom in these matters, however my initial thought is that it can't hurt to contact this community. Either way, at least you'll have some information to work with from there.

I probably don't need to mention this, however it might be worth spending some time unpacking what happened with the other two communities, not to flagellate yourself, but just so you have a clear headed picture of obstacles that may come up in a future community.

Peace, friend! 

 

6 hours ago, monica_margaret said:

Definitely never hurt to contact them and see if you can visit. :) I, too, have been through a lot discernment-wise (although I realized the door to religious life is indeed closed for me!) so I completely understand the anxiety, but it never hurts to explore, try, and see where God may be leading you. In fact you'll be glad you did once you find where you're meant to be, even if this ends up not being it, yet. A priest once told me on a retreat that no time spent growing closer to God while trying to know His will is ever wasted, even if you "get it wrong" at first.

I think that's a good idea, too, deusluxmea! I'm sure it'll be tough, but it's important to reflect and know what worked and what didn't, and how you can make the best of it as you continue on your journey. 

Many prayers! :pray:

Thank you both for the advice and the prayers! May God reward you. So, I sent out the letter and understandably it may be some weeks before I hear back since the Superiors may want to reflect more and pray. 
 

Like you both said, it won’t hurt and if it was Our Lord that wanted me to it could be a discernment possibility or something will come from it that He wants me to know and that will lead me in the right direction. :) 

I’m reading “Discerning Religious Life” by Mother Clare Matthiass CFR and it’s really great. I just read the part where she was talking about taking risks when discerning and throwing yourself out there. I think sending this letter was part of that lol. May His Will be done. I recommend this book to those actively discerning also! 
 

Thankfully with growth and maturity I know now that it’s in doing His Will that we will be closest to Him and be who we were created to be in living whatever vocation that He has created us for. I hope all of us here discerning will find the path that is for us.

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Sister Leticia

I don't know what happens in the US when someone who has already been in religious life asks to enter elsewhere. Here in the UK the discerner would need to look with the new community at what happened with her previous order, and reasons for leaving - as well as any learning or growth since then. Sometimes it's quite straightforward: maybe someone was quite immature the first time s/he entered, or tried to enter a way of life for which they were unsuited (eg tried entering a monastery but really, their vocation is apostolic) - but at other times it is more complex. And usually - unless there are very good reasons not to - the new order would want to contact the previous one, to get some sort of reference. 

So time spent reflecting on what happened, and what you have learned/how you have grown since then will certainly not be time wasted. 

Welcome to this forum, and blessings on your journey with God!

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InCordeJesuEtMariae
13 hours ago, Sister Leticia said:

I don't know what happens in the US when someone who has already been in religious life asks to enter elsewhere. Here in the UK the discerner would need to look with the new community at what happened with her previous order, and reasons for leaving - as well as any learning or growth since then. Sometimes it's quite straightforward: maybe someone was quite immature the first time s/he entered, or tried to enter a way of life for which they were unsuited (eg tried entering a monastery but really, their vocation is apostolic) - but at other times it is more complex. And usually - unless there are very good reasons not to - the new order would want to contact the previous one, to get some sort of reference. 

So time spent reflecting on what happened, and what you have learned/how you have grown since then will certainly not be time wasted. 

Welcome to this forum, and blessings on your journey with God!

Thank you very much Sister and for your prayers! :) That sounds a lot like the process here in the US. It’s pretty much exactly what happened the second time I entered lol. 
 

Mother invited me for a visit and at some point she must have called the first community and when I went for a visit we talked about that and what happened, where I was at in my spiritual life, how can things be handled differently. It was all very helpful. 

I’m assuming it may be the same course that will happen this time also, but that is if they are willing to let me discern with them. I am hoping for an invite to visit but I know sometimes communities could decide right off the bat that they aren’t interested for whatever reason. I think that may be part of what us people go through when religious life is attempted before. I know it’s all in God’s hands.

I’m a convert to the faith when I was 19 and going on 32 this year. Even though I had the desire for religious life back then, I really don’t think I was mature and not spiritually mature to have entered. God permitted it though. I’m leaving this all in His care and Our Blessed Mother.

I definitely want to say to all discerners out there that may be in the same boat as me: God is faithful, and He remains so even when we are not. Remain open, and/or turn back to Him if you have turned away in your hurt and uncertainties about your life and path. He loves you so much. If we are open, we will know His plan in some way and at some time. He wants us to discover our vocation even more then we do. Let’s all pray for each other! :) 

I will post an update to let people know what happens since people are praying and may want to know! It’s only been a week since I sent the letter so it could be a while. Blessings to all. 

Edited by InCordeJesuEtMariae

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BarbaraTherese
15 hours ago, InCordeJesuEtMariae said:

God is faithful, and He remains so even when we are not. Remain open, and/or turn back to Him if you have turned away in your hurt and uncertainties about your life and path. He loves you so much. If we are open, we will know His plan in some way and at some time. He wants us to discover our vocation even more then we do. Let’s all pray for each other! :) 

Well said :) 

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InCordeJesuEtMariae

I still have not heard anything, but thank you all for your continued prayers! Please keep them coming. :) Even if it’s not where I am supposed to discern, I hope that the response will lead me in some direction as to what to do next in my seeking God’s Will for my life. There are many beautiful communities out there and one of them may be my place if I do have the grace of a religious vocation! It is my desire but I’m praying that my desires will be conformed to those of the Spirit. 
 

Here is a beautiful and helpful article I read about discernment that others here may enjoy too. 
 

https://catholicexchange.com/vocation

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InCordeJesuEtMariae

Praised be Jesus Christ! :) 

I haven’t heard back from the community, but thank you all who have remembered me in your prayers! She may have to write the other community for contact if she doesn’t have a phone number and that could be a hold up. 
 

I haven’t contacted active/contemplative communities before but I’m opening myself up to them and am interested in contacting one of them also. I want to keep all doors open so I’m not closed off to God’s Will. 
 

I notice these kinds of communities have phone numbers for vocation inquiries and I’m not familiar with that! 
 

My question is, for those out there that have contacted this way, what questions are asked and what should I be prepared for if I did call? Thank you! :) 

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