Friday, November 29, 2013

An Honest Reflection

I feel as though I have been living a lie since I fear allowing people to see the real me. I’ve heard many times that I should not care about what others think, all that matters is what God thinks of me. Yet, I can’t quite get myself to not care about what other people think of me. Plus, I’ve been fighting an interior battle of self absorption and wish I could just snap my finger and be like Blessed Mother Theresa - serving others without caring what others thought or worrying about herself. I want to be holy and Christlike so badly and hate how much I continuously screw up and give into my weaknesses. 

Anyways, it’s been over six months since I graduated from college. I originally thought that I would find some job within a month or two, start saving up money, and be on my way to moving out of my parents’ house. Maybe I’d even meet my future husband and I would start on the typical life plan of career and marriage. 

As is often the case, God had other plans for me. Instead of pursuing a career, I began pursing Christ (or maybe He was pursing me?) on a much deeper level than ever before. Sometimes spending up to 3 hours straight in my parish’s Adoration chapel, which now feels like a second home to me. Not that I’m super holy, sometimes, I’d go there just as a break from being in my house. 

Recently, I have found myself at a crossroads, torn in two directions. A few years ago, Christ inflamed my heart with passion for the virtue of chastity. Now, it seems like He’s putting a new idea on my heart, one that terrifies me to admit — a vocation to the religious life, specifically with the Daughters of St. Paul, whose charism is sharing Christ through the media, which kinda fits me perfectly! 

As strongly as I desire marriage, after spending countless hours in Adoration, as well as an agonizing job search, I realize that I have an even stronger desire to serve Christ as fully as possible. As I went through the job search, it become ever more apparent how fake I felt, how untrue to myself, how not at peace it has left me. Yet, I kept trying to force myself to ignore those feelings so I could do what my parents expect. 

I wish there were someone who could understand what I have been going through since graduation — the intense interior battle that has left me emotionally exhausted. I crave the Eucharist more than ever, yet, I still persist in sinful habits and I’m nowhere near holiness. I still have emotional wounds that need healing and I greatly need to work on living out my faith, putting it in action. I seem to have the prayer part down and I do genuinely enjoy explaining the faith, but, a major struggle is showing love to others who have no interest in the faith at all. I suck at expressing my care and concern for others, it always seems to come out wrongly as I allow negative emotions to interfere. 

Anyways, I’m just in the very initial part of discernment, I have no idea where it will lead. I do know though that at this point in my life, I am not called to the working world…terrifying thought! I can’t shake the “I need to have a job” thought from my mind. For months now, I’ve been consumed with guilt, thinking that it’s so irresponsible of me to remain unemployed. Maybe it is. Yet, I know Christ is calling me to follow Him and to surrender my desires to Him. 


8 comments:

  1. God calls us to different paths, and I know that you are one beautiful light that could shine through a life dedicated to Sisters who share your devotion to Christ.

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  2. Here's so unsolicited advice:

    Start visiting convents. Start with the Daughters of St. Paul but maybe a couple other ones, too. Work with their vocations directors and talk to them about how you feel. They will understand and help you discern your next step.

    You may not be called to a career but maybe you still need a job - like working at Target or Starbucks to earn some cash to pay off student loans, pay for your gas, whatever. (Or maybe you already have that? Or don't have those expenses?) Even if you don't need money maybe it would be good to find a job volunteering. Maybe that will give you more opportunities to interact with and love people who aren't Catholic.

    You can take or leave the second part, but you should do the first. Even though I felt very called to married life I still visited convents - the ones I found really attractive - to make sure I was on the right path. I hope that makes sense.

    Prayers for you, Margo!

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  3. Wow, Margo. I just thought I would see if you had anything new posted. You know my feelings about what you are going through.

    I don't think my advice would do you any good at the stage you are at. You are too far gone.

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  4. I can see how you may be feeling a calling. I really think you should pay strict attention to what your parents tell you. I'm sure they want the best for you. I won't bother you.

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  5. Hi Margo. I would tell you that I have been praying for you, but you know that would be a lie. Just the same, I do wonder how you were doing. Things going okay for you?

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  6. I appreciate the prayers, Bill. I've been doing alright. I have a phone interview with the vocation director of the Daughters of St. Paul tomorrow morning so I'll finally have a better idea of what to expect after talking to her :)

    Have you given any more thought to Catholicism lately? ;)

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  7. "Have you given any more thought to Catholicism lately?"

    Yes. Every day. My conclusion is that Catholics are happy and I, as an agnostic, am not. It is evident in the difference between my wife and myself. She is happier, more disciplined, organized and successful than me. If someone just puts all doubts out of their mind, they are much better off than being like me. I don't for a second believe any of it. But I have to admit that it leads to a better life than does atheism or agnosticism. Good luck in your interview. I will pray for you but I can't make any promises that it will work.

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  8. Margo, I just found your blog via your reply on Little Catholic Bubble. I have been teaching Theology of the Body for Teens for about 6 years now and something you said reminded me of something in the chapter on religious vocations. It's a story about some young men being given a tour of a seminary by a religious sister. She begins by asking the group, "How many of you want to get married and become a parent?" The guys are puzzled at her question until she explains that, unless they have that desire, they will not be good candidates for the priesthood! Both the priesthood and religious life place a person in a position of spiritual fatherhood or motherhood.
    "We are all called to marriage. When a priest is ordained, he chooses to marry the Church as his bride. When a woman enters the consecrated life, she is being espoused by Christ Himself. These expressions of the celibate vocation are reminders that heaven will be an eternal wedding celebration between God and His bride, the Church....
    "The sign of marriage on earth is fulfilled only in heaven: our total union with God. So, when a person chooses to be celibate for the sake of the kingdom instead of the sacrament of Marriage, he or she is basically skipping the sacrament (the sign), and, in a very real way, living the eternal reality to which the sacrament pointed: undivided union with God."
    That is a direct quote from "Theology of the Body for Teens", a very understandable book for anyone's first encounter with Pope John Paul's teachings. I guess what I am trying to say is that, from what I just read in your blog entry, you sure sound like someone being called or wooed by Our Lord! With your great desire to be in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, you might even check out some contemplative orders of nuns (before TOB, I never realized that there was a difference between sisters and nuns!) who live in monasteries and who have dedicated their lives to prayer for the world!
    God bless you as you pursue His desires for you!

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