Times of Trial

Monday, June 23, 2008

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ and companions in discernment,
First of all, thank you so much for your prayers for me and my discernment, I have certainly felt them as I struggle through each day here. Paul's most recent post rings true for me as well. It's hard when people you care about and have known you for nearly 22 years question God's call in your heart to the priesthood, just because you haven't yet found the place where that call is leading you to serve Him in that capacity. I have been flat out turned down by a religious order (the Congregation of the Holy Cross, who decided not to invite me to apply) and turned down for two years by my diocese, and it looks possible that the Jesuits will not be inviting me to apply either, from a conversation I had with the vocations director. Yet, inspite of all this, the call to the priesthood remains as strong as ever in my heart, and I could wait forever for Our Lord to lead me to where He is asking me to serve Him. Some people have told me that I'm not open to all options, and that I should date or abandon discernment altogether, since I've been turned down by a diocese and one, possibly even two, religious orders. I've considered what they had to say, but, at the end of the day, I need to go by what Our Lord has placed in my heart. How can you date someone when your heart is someplace else? That's how I feel. My heart is with Christ and His Church, and, now that I've given my heart to Him, I've finally been able to be who I was created to be. That doesn't mean my life doesn't have its ups and downs, those remain, but the feeling of knowing that you're following God's will for your life is amazing.
My advice to you is to each day examine your heart, as I've found that the deepest desire of your heart will help lead you to where Our Lord is calling you in life.
It takes a strong prayer life to be able to do that, but once you've discerned what that desire is, my advicce is to follow it, no matter what others think of you.
Sometimes following God's will for your life is hard, and people you love and care about think you're crazy for disagree with the choice you've made to follow God's will. However, at the end of each day, I think about what my life was like prior to surrendering to God's call in my heart, and what a difference these past two and a half years have made on my life. When I do that, I know in my heart that I've made the right decision, and even though it may be painful to face criticism from those I love and care about, if that's what it takes to follow God's will, so be it. God placed this call in my heart for a reason, and, speaking from experience, ignoring that call only brings pain and sadness.
May God bless you all abundantly in all you do, now and eternally.
In Christ,
Mike

+Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam+

10 comments:

Charity Therese Monday, June 23, 2008 at 9:29:00 PM PDT  

Sometimes I feel like that I'll be turned down too in the future...
Sometimes I have a problems too, when some of my friends don't exactly 'agree' with my discernment...

You're in my prayers!

Jim Lopez Tuesday, June 24, 2008 at 7:11:00 AM PDT  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim Lopez Tuesday, June 24, 2008 at 7:58:00 AM PDT  

Continue to pray! Saint Bernadette was turned down at first but she persisted! So was Saint Catherine.

People have become great saints just because they prayed hard. Mike and Therese, I am praying for you!

Therese, don't consider your friends much in your discernment. Always expect rejection. Remember what the Lord said: "I have come to set you apart from your fathers, mothers, etc."

Paul Wednesday, June 25, 2008 at 9:04:00 AM PDT  

Mike, during these times of difficulity and uncertainity, rest assured that you are not alone. I can rougly understand what you are feeling. Continue to sanctify yourself as you surrender yourself to Him and His will. We WILL pray.

Perhaps, it might do good to pen down the reasons given by the various vocation directors from the different congregations. Are there any similarities in the 'rejection' that perhaps could be worked on.

Jim is right, hold fast to the flame that the Lord has put into your heart and do not let any person put it out.

United in prayer,
Paul

AquinaSavio Friday, June 27, 2008 at 8:47:00 AM PDT  

You are in my prayers, and I'm sure in those of the countless saints who were, at first, refused by religious orders.

Anonymous,  Saturday, June 28, 2008 at 4:42:00 AM PDT  

I sincerely hope that you find the right community for your vocation.
May I suggest, having read the Orders to which you were refused...that perhaps you are applying to the wrong type of Orders?
I have been doing research regarding religious Orders of men and women in the Church for nearly 25 years. I have sadly documented the rapid collapse of nearly all religious Orders (especially of nuns and active sisters) here in the USA since Vatican II....a decline which shows no sign of leveling off. Also, I have documented the collapse of many of the famous world-wide Orders in the Church (both male and female religious), especially the Jesuits.

There have been as many excuses for the decline in religious Orders since Vatican II, as there are religious Orders in the Church.
Some excuses/reasons given have been easy, others have been complicated. But the bottom line remains that those Orders which have LIBERALIZED and departed from traditional religious life the most since Vatican II have declined the most. Those Orders which have relaxed disiplines, discarded religious observance, community life, the ancient traditions of the Order, the wearing of the traditional religious habit, prayer life, contemplation....and have instead adopted a radical femminism, socio-political involvement in the name of the Church (Liberation Tehology), endorsed agendas and positions totally contrary to Catholic Faith and traditon (the idea of women priests, married priests, homosexual rights, gay marriage, inculturation, bizarre liturgical experimentations, ecumenism especially with Protestants, radical inter-religious dialog even with non-Christians, class struggle, etc.) are declining to the point of extinction. Unfortunatly the Orders which have adopted all of the radical liberal agenda just mentioned INCLUDE the Jesuits.
The Jesuits have been from the very beginning after Vatican II, in the forefront of dissent, disobedience, and radical liberalism. If you are a traditional, orthodox young Catholic...it is highly unlikely that the radical liberal Jesuits, or the likewise progressive Congregation of the Holy Cross would accept you as a candidate. Nor would most diosecean seminaries for most of them are still filled with dissidents and homosexuals who are 100% against the traditions and teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.
Orders like the Jesuits, and the Franciscans, Redemptorists, Capuchins, etc. have lost tens of thousands of members since Vatican II. The Jesuits especially, are down over -27,000 from what they numbered before Vatican II (36,101). This is because the Order has discarded the traditions of St. Ignatius Loyola, and also all the traditions of the Roman Catholic Faith. They have become leaders in the Vatican II rebellion against the Tridentine Latin Mass, and against all the traditional Magesterium of the Church.
My suggestion to you is to find a traditional, orthodox, and solid religious Order dedicated to Catholic Faith and tradition....not to the standard"Main Line" Orders such as the Jesuits, Franciscans, Salesians, Passionists, Capuchins, Redemptorists, Servites, or the Christian Brothers etc.
Instead, there are many new Orders being founded dedicated to Catholic tradition which need good and holy young men, such as the Legionaries of Christ, Oblates of the Virgin Mary, Fraternity of Saint Peter, Institute of Christ the King Sovereign priest, Franciscans of the Immaculate, Carmelite Monks (in Wyoming), Benedictine Monks (in Clear Creek, Ok.), and the Norbertines in California.
I am sure you will find a religious Order. It is very difficult, becuase unlike before Vatican II when all religious Orders were traditional , orthodox and obedient to the Pope....today thanks to Vatican II, mostly none are, and it is more difficult to find an Order.
But we all will pray for you, and hope you find the right community for your vocation inclinations. If you are truely called to religious life, God will direct you to the right community.

Mark of the Vineyard Tuesday, July 1, 2008 at 4:59:00 PM PDT  

Hang in there. Many of my friends don't take my vocation seriously, some even offering to "find me a girl to cure my madness". They cannot see what truely moves me - a love like no other, love for Christ. I suspect this may be the same with you. I will continue to pray for you and all others here.

Pax Christi

Hidden One Sunday, July 6, 2008 at 6:37:00 PM PDT  

Devote yourself to becoming a most holy Saint, and worry not about your physical destination.

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