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Consecrated virginity question


Shelby

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Hi!

Sorry that it sounds all over the place!

I'm just starting to think of consecrated virginity, but knowing everyone in my town, I have considered that people here, like to gossip.

My town (with population of 750 ) can spread rumors quickly, and people are opinionated about anything under the sun. Everyone is familiar what a Priest or Bishop looks like, but nobody is familiar with consecrated virgins, or the fact we are all brides of Christ as Christians. 

But, inside! I want to be recognized in the Catholic Church as a consecrated virgin. I think it's a wonderful and beautiful vocation and I feel called.

But, why do people have to ruin things?

I was wondering if you have any advice for me. 

1. Should I be brave and have it in my Parish?

2. Ask to have in the Diocese but out of town?

3. Pick another vocation?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And, for clarity...

The town doesn't know I want to be a consecrated virgin. Not yet anyway.

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I dont think you need to tell anybody anything at this stage except your spiritual director. There is no reason as far as I can see that the whole town needs to know that you are discerning whether this is the right path for you.

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I think GraceUK is right. It's takes a while to discern a vocation to consecrated virginity and I don't know how far you are along in the process, but it is good sometimes to keep your counsel and to have conviction about your decision before hearing everyone else's opinions too- aside from trusted friends and a spiritual director or someone who has walked that same path.

You will probably have to discern the call yourself as to where would be appropriate for the consecration or where the bishop would want it- what it might mean to those around you to see your witness or how it might impact them for the good. A call to more for others too, because each of our vocations sanctifies those around us as well. 

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SponsaChristi can give you some personal reflections, since she is a consecrated virgin. 

I'm urban - I can only imagine living in such a small place. (Some people treat consecrated life, in any form - and please, no-one quote, 'Take my life and let it be...", since I mean vowed evangelical counsels - as something as shocking as an addiction to opium... in fact, some might more easily 'forgive' the opium.) I was a late vocation for the time, and will celebrate my 40th anniversary of vows in December - I don't want you to know the nonsense I heard, then or now (priests and religious sometimes were the worst), but, sad but true, lots of people love to spoil everything. I agree with Grace that, for now, you need to just embark on discernment and direction.  (In consecrated life, so little understood, there are many times one with my years of experience says, outwardly, '...interesting,' when, inwardly, I'm thinking, "you try to battle with me about my religious commitment again and I'll kick you square in the arsenal."

Every blessing! 

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@ShelbyHi! As other posters have said, I am a consecrated virgin myself.

Discerning consecrated virginity is just as much of a substantial process as discerning religious life. So the first step should really be learning about the spirituality and charism of this vocation, as well as the role of consecrated virginity in the wider Church. Some good places to start are the Rite of Consecration to a Life of Virginity itself, and also the Vatican document Ecclesiae Sponsae Imago. (And, shameless plug, I also write a blog about consecrated virginity: http://sponsa-christi.blogspot.com/ )

You need to discern with your spiritual director whether you feel truly feel called to consecrated virginity and all this vocation entails, before you approach your bishop. At that point, it's up to the bishop and the people he appoints to assist him to co-discern whether you are called to this. Then there is supposed to be 3 - 5 years of formation before you can be consecrated.

The details of the actual consecration ceremony are pretty much the *LAST* thing you should be worried about when you're discerning. In some dioceses the bishop makes the choice about where it will be and/or on what date; in other dioceses the candidates have more of a say. The Rite of Consecration tells us that ordinarily consecrations should actually be celebrated in the cathedral, although sometimes it can be held at a parish if there are good pastoral reasons.

If you do become a consecrated virgin, this is a public vocation and people are supposed to know about it. Dealing with the lived reality of misunderstandings, etc. is just part of life for most consecrated virgins right now. But if you are really called to this life, you are given the grace to deal with this, often in spiritually fruitful ways. For instance, explain our vocation to someone who isn't familiar with it can be a moment of evangelization.

If you feel attracted to the spirituality of consecrated virginity but don't feel called to all the obligations--e.g., the very public witness, among other things--that comes with this vocation, perhaps you can talk to your SD about making a simple private vow. 

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