stonecold4jesus (stonecold4jesus) wrote in womenvocations,

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I created this liveournal account in addition to my old one to post about more intimately religious subjects, and I added this community because a part of that involves the vocational discernment I have been and am going through.  I just got confirmed into the RCC this Easter Vigil after at least a few years of waffling and procrastinating research and prayer and general rebellion and skepticism and whatnot, and that helped me to embrace investigation into what I realized has possibly been a long time of God gently signaling to me that I have a call to consecrated religious life.  More specifically, I feel especially called to cloistered Dominican life, but am open to exploring.  The second most likely is probably Carmelite and then Franciscan and Benedictine are probably tied with last place as far as where I feel I may be called.  It seems like God has given me some pretty significant signs that I am definitely called to religious life--and less so that the calling is probably to contemplative rather than active life, but they're there--but the deal with Orders is more a result of me taking an inventory of my interests, skills, feelings etc.  If anyone is interested in the details of my discernment process and prayer please feel free to ask; I may post some stuff to my journal, but I can't tell if that will actually happen in the near future.

Right now the stage I'm at, predictably, is learning more about consecrated religious life and the different Orders and communities.  After a while of considering and praying and discussing, the Lord granted me the favor of being able to finally schedule a visit with the Dominican Monastery of the Blessed Sacrament in Michigan (near Detroit) and a Discalced Carmelite Monastery in Sioux City, Iowa.  I'm excited!  I'm sure the results of these visits will be very important, but they will probably not involve me gearing up to enter the convent any time soon since I am taking another year to finish up with college and write an undergrad thesis in religion, and then am hoping to be accepted into Teach for America so that I can spend more time discerning, wrapping up loose ends, and paying of debts.  That will take at least 3 years, but I figure an early start certainly doesn't hurt, especially since I am sort of new to the church (I was baptized Catholic at about 2 months and have been flirting with her for a while).  

One of the biggest obstacles for me right now, I think, is probably convincing others and even being fully convinced myself that the call to contemplative life is 'legit'.  By that I mean that life as a contemplative can, for those called to it, truly be a life in service of humanity and God.  I feel satisfactorily convinced of this after prayer and research (soon after I asked God for an answer to this, the Carmelite monastery I will be visiting sent me some material on contemplative life that really opened my mind), but others in my life are not.  Primary is the campus minister of the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship chapter at my uni (it's interdenominational, but overwhelmingly Protestant/non-Catholic), who has talked to me about how he basically doesn't think the contemplative life scriptural.  Of course, this is probably mostly in part because he hasn't embraced the Catholic faith (though he was raised Catholic up to his First Communion and now attends and serves at an Anglican church) and so does not understand or see things the same way the Church does.  Still, it would be nice to be able to discuss with him why I feel a legit calling to contemplative life is possible.  I have some ideas, but they're difficult to articulate and I am only beginning to understand them.  Any thoughts and other input are appreciated.

Sorry if that was a little rambly; thanks for reading! :) 
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