I'm taking you at your word KatI am a 22yr old who thought he had a vocation to the Priesthood and Religious life; unfortunately I have $30,000 (roughly) of collage loans, I have been praying to get a job for nearly seven months; I got down on my knees before the Blessed Sacrament and begged for a job, I went to Daily Mass, recieved Our Lord daily, prayed the Rosary daily, hours of the Little Office, spent an hour a day in front Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and fasted/abstained twice a week. 7 Months later I am still at square one whilst the Priestly/Religious vocations of friends/aquaintances/people I know of moving foward at 100mph whilst I am stuck at the start post and I am getting VERY pissy with God about it- I really thought I was meant to be a Religious Priest.Question 1: (a)do I stick with the Idea of becoming a Priest/Religious or (b) do I completely forget about it and try and re-integrate back into 'normal' life. Q2 regardless of answer to above what do I need to do to get my prayers for a job answered? I've been on welfare for two months and it is hummiliating, embarrising and seriously messing with my mental health.
Answer 1- you stick with the idea of becoming a religious. maybe there is an order that will allow you to work a part-time 'normal' job in your field to pay off the loans?Answer 2- YOU don't need to DO anything- keep praying, but also pray for God's will to be done- receive your state aid humbly and know that the US has a safety net for times like these- this is not forever!Look into the Canons in Santa Paula, CA
Mad Catholic- Sorry- I looked at your profile and see that are from the UK...my suggestions about the Santa Paula, California order is probably a bit unpratical!
Priest Wife Actually I'm looking into two Congregations in the U.S, the Carmelites in Wyoming (1st Choice)and the Norbertines in California (2nd Choice); as for being allowed to have a part-time job whilst being 'in the order' I'm afraid its out of the question Cannon 644 (for latin-rite Catholics- I don't know what the sitiuation is for eastern-rite Catholics) prohibits anyone from entering the novitiate whilst they are in debt.
Just another mad Catholic,Does a UK student loan count as debt for canon law purposes?As I understand it, in UK law, you aren't required to repay your student loan until you're earning £15K per year.Clearly someone in religious vows wouldn't ever be earning £15K per year, so it may be that the usual canon law rules wouldn't apply to this particular kind of debt.I genuinely don't know.Have you consulted a canon lawyer?
Mark My friend from University whose dissertation involved Cannon Law and a friend of his who IS a cannon lawyer who does work for the diocese are both thinking along the same lines; however one of the vocation directors I've talked whilst admiting that they are technically correct says that its a matter of justice that I pay my loan back.
Do you know about the Miles Christi priests? They are nationwide in the U.S.Their website is www.mileschristi.comKeep praying....God will show you His will.
Saint Michael That has not been my attitude from the start; at the start I was thinking ok God what Job do I need in order to pay down this debt - I was even thinking of enlisting in the Armed Forces at grunt level for three years - sadly they are not hiring, I've also been applying for jobs that are well below my education - but in case you haven't noticed the world economy is tanking and it is very difficult to get a job, and I am getting very frustrated.For your information over the past 7 months I have been performing works of charity (I won't tell you what they are because I don't boast - I haven't even told my own mother).As for growing a pair - Do I need to send you photographic evidence that I already posses them?I don't think you know how hard and frustrating it is to watch your friends sail off into the seminary/monastary when you'd love to do the same but are impeded from doing so by money - especially since the money was there originally but had to be spent on granmama's nursing home bills.
Mad Catholic- I love how Brits are good and polite after an attack like that! Don't give up- I know you are frustrated at this slow process, but it will be worth it- I promise! Keep the faith- we need religious who work hard to get thereand even if you enter at 30 (I know it is hard to wait)- an order will be thrilled to have you!
I usually do. :-)
Just another mad Catholic- I understand your frustration. And it's times like these that you just want to say to St. Padre Pio, HOW can I just pray, hope, and not worry?!But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.-Romans 8:25Maybe you could try a shout out/ novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help? Pope JPII began his discernment in front of an image of her. Man, I'll tell you from loads of experience she does not disappoint. God bless!
Just Another Mad Catholic...Easy for me to say this, but you are only 22 years old. It's not as though you are in your late 3o's or 4o's. You have plenty of time. Open yourself to God's will, whatever that is. Not everyone is asked to serve Him in a monastery. Remember the line from the movie "Bella"? If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans. Maybe He is calling you to the priesthood but feels you need certain experiences before to make you a better priest. We're here to cooperate with God, not to demand that He cooperate with us. Much of our lives is like groping our way in the fog. It's our faith in Him that gets us through. You have only to think of St. Joseph and all that he endured trying to give his foster Son safe entrance into the world to realize nothing is easy. Hang in there. You will be in my prayers.
Mad Cat: God HAS answered your prayers. He said, I think, "Not yet." I suspect the advice you got to pay back your loans was the correct direction; time to hit the pavement hard, take any job no matter how menial, and pay off those loans. I did it, and it was lovely. Look into programs that will pay the loan for you, like some government service positions and the like. I don't know how it works in the UK, but here if you volunteer for the peace corps they pay your loans for the duration. Keep praying, keep your eye on the prize, get on with life and your vocation will find a way. Just not yet.
Oh, and about the self-titled St. Michael: he seems to think he has a direct line to God and tends to pontificate, so I won't speculate on his shortcomings in life, but take him with a grain of salt. I don't think he has much in the way of compassion, even if he thinks he knows the whole of Truth. Life experience, particularly in prayer, has a way of evening that all out in the end.
I have spent the better part of the day trying to chase down the cable in my house so I can get cable TV installed (would be nice to have EWTN back..and decent football games...I had satellite before.)FINALLY determined that the stupid a** builders that build my townhouse smashed the very cable I need between framing studs and sheetrock..So after playing in the attic with blown-insulation I located the correct cable, put a new connector and toned it out to the outside, anhd labeled the correct outside cable (one of 4 UNLABELED cables).Incidently I am doing the outside work in the blowing snow.Part two--when I feel so motivated...is to drill another hole in the attic ceiling next to the original cable and feed a new one in to the utility closet when it will be hooke dup to the rest of the cable feeds in the house, then hook it up to the cable going to the outside.Then it will be ready for the cable guy....After he is done then I have to fix my utility closet..I practically destroyed all the sheetrock trying to find the cable..And I actually did this without saying (or thinking) anything bad...Mad Catholic--will pray for you at Carmelites tomorrow.God bless.. Sara
"Oh, and about the self-titled St. Michael: he seems to think he has a direct line to God and tends to pontificate..."When my wife and I married, our marriage was attacked.We had begun to have children, and my wife was submissive to me, her husband, as well as she was submissive to our Lord.I give her a medal of the Sacred Heart to wear at her breast.This was to remind us both that as we hugged each other in love, Christ was the main part of that love.My poor wife was attacked by those that sat in the pews with us; it angered them that she submitted to me, her husband, and was 'constantly pregnant'.They pounded her with their venom. Someone gave her a copy of Satan's book Our Bodies, Ourselves.The attack upon her was relentless.It angered them greatly that I would speak of Christ and the Saints as if they were my close relatives.I would speak through the Magisterium of Holy Mother Church, causing them great pains.My wife is no longer with us, and those Novus Ordos have just gotten kicked hard to the curb, after many years of their treachery. The Bishop here has put an end to their shenanigans, and has placed them back in the pews to keep their heads covered and their voices silent.He is re-instating the Tridentine Mass.Men that speak through the authority of the Magisterium are being called forth that they may help the Bishop, as those men that helped Saint Athanasius rebuild the Church after he got rid of the Arian Heresy.The Bishop is calling forth men that have a direct line to God through prayer, Faith and courage. As well men should converse with Him.Some men seem to pontificate because they often quote the Pontiff's of Holy Mother Church in their encyclicals.Saint Michael defend us in battle is not a title; it is a cry for help. We are at war.Saint Michael has appeared in our times of great danger. We are thankful for his help.The Holy Mother chooses those she grants graces to wisely; when she grants graces slowly, it is because those that are to receive them need to be well prepared for the avalanche of graces granted.Prepare well, and avoid the counsel of women.May God our Lord in His infinite and supreme goodness be pleased to give us His abundant grace, that we may know His most holy will, and entirely fulfill it.*
Mad Catholic,As a young woman discerning who also had a significant amount of debt, have you looked into the organizations that help you to achieve that goal? There are two that I know of...Mater Ecclesiae: http://fundforvocations.org/and Laboure Society:http://labouresociety.org/God bless you!
I know of a young man I hoped would have a vocation to the priesthood, but SHE ruined it for me. (a girl, that is)
'I know of a young man I hoped would have a vocation to the priesthood, but SHE ruined it for me. (a girl, that is)'????????????? The young man would have been becoming a priest for YOU? Maybe he will become a husband for Christ?Oh, I forgot, this comment can be all about me. I've got bad pains in my hip and it's making me tetchy, moan, moan. Thank you.
Mad Cath - Milton can be a giant pill at times, but his sonnet about "They also serve" seems to have been written for you. Don't be discouraged; just do what you can.I'll pray for you, and I bet everybody else on this thread will, too.
Mad Catholic,From what I heard, the monks in Wyoming get 600 applications per year (their orthodoxy is very attractive). Only a few make the initial cut. I suspect those few probably aren't ones who simply didn't have other prospects. On the contrary, IMO the ideal candidate will leave great prospects for the sake of God. Incidentally, I applied to Carmel once (1995) and was not accepted even after being told that I was a great candidate. I was devastated, but wife doesn't mind.You must be more patient and grateful. For only a 22 year old you come across as very impatient. The journey has only just begun. FYI, I have prayed for my parents' conversion for nearly as long as you are alive. I'm still praying and I trust and rejoice in that He'll grant my request.
Mad Catholic, read about the saints. So many were turned away from religious life on multiple occasions and still, eventually, managed to be admitted to the religious life. God has a plan for you, even if you're unwilling to wait for it. I can understand that welfare would be maddening, but think of it as helping to purify you for your future. Saints in the past had health problems that impacted their ability to be admitted into orders and to serve God with works as they wanted to; perhaps student loans and difficulty finding work are the modern impediments.Perhaps backing off and asking God what he wants you to do would help. A priest in my Archdiocese says that one day in college, he sat on a bench outside late at night and asked God what he wanted him to do. Soon he was in some fashion directed to the seminary. Note that these days there are many later vocations, my priest friend, at 43, is a mere baby as this is his fourth year as a priest. An acquaintance, who is retiring in a few months, was in the seminary as a young man and discerned that he had no vocation. He remains in contact with the order and has been invited to enter. I will add you to my prayers.
Piotrek Well the Carmelites seem to be at least somewhat interested in me as they want me to come and visit them at some point this year; So I'm somewhat hopefull - also my grandmother is on deaths door so I'm a little impaitient in that regard.Stlucy I do know about the laboure society and Mater Ecclesiae - Laboure generally won't help non US citizens and Mater Ecclesiae are predujuced in favour of those who have been paying off their loans prior to application - hence the reason for wanting a job where I can actually start to do so. TNC- I'm about to apply for a job stacking shelfs in a local grocery store 3 evenings a week. Nan - The thing that I'm most scared of is being left behind - a well known Catholic newspaper colunmist wrote an article last June about his brother in law who was a Jesuit Novice who had to leave because he began to suffer from schizophrenia and for the rest of his life was psycologically trapped between the secular and religious worlds - I'm scared that my financial situation will result in a similar life.Little way I really thought that this is what he wanted me to do; as Kat knows I Wanted to get married (so I could have a second chance at playing happy families - my dad left when I was 12) but after lots of prayer I really thought that God wanted me to be a Priest.Shadowlands my sympathies I'm currently recovering from a chest infection.
Mad Catholic,Relax, you're 22. When I was your age I was impetuous too.Keep praying and broaden your vocation horizons. Perhaps you are called to the secular clergy, you know running a parish in your diocese. Perhaps God wants you not to be in a religious order but among His people. Don't give up. We are praying for you. :-)
Dr Eric I wouldn't describe myself as impetuous; a little hasty perahps, or a little over enthusiastic; but not impetuous.
A story: Several years ago, I was responsible for planning a weekend youth retreat. I arranged for a delightful young man to run the retreat, making sure he was willing to be in charge and available months ahead of time. One week before the retreat, he backed out. I was crushed. I wept. (Dumb, I know, I know....) I ran the retreat myself. It stunk. The kids were bored. I was unhappy with God for letting me fail - big time - in public; what is more, I worried that the kids would reject The Faith because the weekend was so ghastly. Anyway...four months later, the "delightful young man" was arrested for child molestation. He eventually went to prison. I thanked God for protecting my retreatants from a predator. What part of "Thy Will be done" didn't I understand?
Well Just another mad Catholic, please know that I added your intention to my novena to St. Therese this month. I pray that if God doesn't answer you soon, that He at least gives you the patience to await the next move. The fact that you once wanted to get married and have a family after what happened with your own father speaks to the inherent goodness you have. A lot of people would have turned bitter. God bless you.
Mad Catholic,Have you read Come be my Light, Mother Teresa's letters? If not, it's a good lesson in patience; she had to wait years to prove a) obedience and b) God's will rather than her own before she was allowed to leave her old order and start the Missionaries of Charity. Do not be afraid of being left behind or being trapped between the secular and religious lives. Know that God loves you and might not be ready for you to move on to your new life. Relax. Spend time with your grandmother. Enjoy family now as you may not have a lot of opportunities to do so in future if you enter the religious life. I'm happy the Carmelites want to see you this year. Will you be able to go or do we need to ask Our Lady of Good remedy to finance the trip? If you go, will you also visit the Norbertines at the same time? I mean, as long as you're in the neighborhood. Yes, I know CA is a long way from WY, but otoh, it's in the same country.
Nan I haven't read "Come be my light" but I have listened to a substantial part of it on Audiobook.I'm HOPING that the plan my spiritual director has whereby he is trying to find a job for me in Wisconsin and I could go and live with his community whilst I work and visit will work. As regards feeling trapped- my mom dresses mmodestly (not like a skank but still imodest), my sister fornicates with her boyfriend and my dad is currently somewhere in the mid-atlantic "finding himself" I don't want to spend time with them. Also England is worse than America when it comes to immodesty - I had to visit the welfare office on Tuesday and the women who spoke to me DID look like a skank. I'm also worried becasue Mater Ecclesiae had to turn down 27 of the 33 applicants last year and I will be competing with them THIS year for the grant along with NEW people. I'm currently hoping that the Institute of the Good Shepherd will be so excited about an English speaker (apparently they are desperate for men whose native tounge is English) that that they'll overlook my debt (I thought about the FSSP first but they won't take on anyone with debt)- its not the wild, still, unspoiled, silent contemplative life of Wyoming but I guess its better than rotting in England watching everyone else zoom past wandering why they are showered with graces whilst I am forced to beg for scraps from the table. One thing which really gets me is that the FSSR (Transalpine redemptorits) got their prayers for the money ($300,000) to buy Papa Stronsy answered in 9 days, whilst they were thumbing their nose at Rome, whilst my prayers go unanswered after 7 months.
Don't make the mistake of comparing your situation with that of another. Dealing with your family is just another part of the purification process. You will not be given more than you can handle, even though it feels like too much. Since you've listened to a good portion of Come Be My Light, you know that it's all about obedience and waiting. I'm the most impatient person in the world so I know that waiting completely sucks. I hate, hate, hate waiting but it often has to happen.You have to know that if Jesus wants you in a particular community at a particular time, he will make it happen. If your spiritual director has your back, you should be fine. The Lord will provide, but often in a manner unforeseen. We often don't recognize graces or aren't interested in the ones He provides to us. It is a great grace to suffer along with the Lord although your suffering is taking a different form than his. He loves you so much that he allows you to suffer in a family that doesn't follow Him, to live in a society that is against Him and to be in agony over not finding a job and not beginning religious life as quickly and easily as you would like. Remember also that all those whose lives seem easy and who enter the religious life seemingly with no impediments each have a cross to bear; their crosses are different than yours and may not be so obvious or tied to secular life as yours, but make no mistake, they're there. Pray to the Little Flower who was denied entry to Carmel for several years. She's a good one as she's a patron of missionaries and what would you be but a missionary priest if you went to WY or CA? I have also asked Mary, St. John Vianney and St. Pius X to intercede on your behalf and havce since appealed to soon to be Blessed JPII, St. John Neumann and St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori although I can't explain why Redemptorists need to be involved.
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