Login Register

All times are UTC - 7 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic Page 1 of 1   [ 8 posts ]   
Author Message
 Post subject: Discernment
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 2:56 am 
Offline
Jedi Padawan
Jedi Padawan
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 1:41 pm
Posts: 4069
Location: Vogelenzang, The Netherlands
Religion: Catholic
Someone from an American diocese is doing all he can to persuade me to discern about entering his diocese. In particular he has suggested taking a trip there during the holidays to attend a seminarian gathering. Would I be obliged to do that for the sake of proper discernment? I have no relationship with or attraction to this diocese, but of course reluctance to permanently leave my own country might be clouding my judgment.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Discernment
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 5:08 am 
Offline
Handmaids of the Lord
Handmaids of the Lord
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:23 pm
Posts: 15654
Location: Holy Mother Church
Religion: Catholic
I don't think so. If we had to follow everyone else's suggestions for the sake of proper discernment then none of us would ever get anywhere. :)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Discernment
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 10:43 am 
Offline
Handmaids of the Lord
Handmaids of the Lord

Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2005 6:38 am
Posts: 3646
Location: Britain
There must be seminaries in Belgium? Why not discern where you are now?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Discernment
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 1:01 pm 
Offline
Sons of Thunder
Sons of Thunder
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2004 7:23 am
Posts: 3427
Religion: Catholic
This is a side comment:

For your sake, research as much as you can about the seminary that it looks like you'll be attending. Talk to some of the students there. Inquire alot and ask them questions pertaining to the Faith and what type of things they're being taught. Think of particular ways you can phrase your questions without being suspected of anything, but a simple inquirer.

Some teachers at particular seminaries will not explicitly deny articles of the Faith, but they will very subtely try to make you doubt articles of the Faith, under the pretext of raising a simple question (in the end, the teacher will leave the question unanswered after having placed his doubts in your mind). I know this from speaking to particular religious members and from listening to good orthodox priests talk about this issue.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Discernment
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 1:23 pm 
Offline
Newbie
Newbie
User avatar

Joined: Sat May 07, 2011 8:19 am
Posts: 14
Location: Lima, Peru
Religion: Roman Catholic
Take the time to pray and truly look deep within yourself. There are arguments both in favor of and against the option of giving this a try, but in the end it's you who knows whether you should be pursuing this or not. Follow your intuition, as it is through that that we are more likely to be able to hear what God is trying to tell us.

A priest friend of mine was telling me the story of how he came to realize that priesthood was his calling...it was actually through a priest that suggested he joined a seminar for a while, for him to just give it a try and see what he thought of it. Before this he didn't have any intention at all of pursuing religious life, he was studying engineering and that's what he was planning to do with his life. In the end, he decided to follow the priest's advice, hated almost every second of that experience, until one day, when he was decided to leave and go back to his regular life as an engineering student, he felt that call, loud and clear, and he knew he was exactly where he was supposed to be. He is now the director of a big orphanage run by the Capuchin Franciscans, here in Peru.

Like that, I'm sure there are a bunch of other stories that could very well tell you 'go ahead with it, get rid of that fear of leaving your country, and give this a try!' such as there will be other stories that will tell you 'that isn't fear, it's your gut feeling telling you you shouldn't go'. In the end, it can be either, but none of us can figure that out. You've got the answer. It's tough, for sure, but trust and have faith. Also know that, whatever you end up doing, it won't be a mistake. It will be what you are meant to do, and the experiences that await you are wonderful opportunities for you to learn more about yourself, to grow, and to keep nurturing your faith in God.

"Trust, Surrender, Believe, Receive." Don't be afraid, allow your mind to calm itself down, and listen to your heart :)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Discernment
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 5:43 am 
Offline
Jedi Padawan
Jedi Padawan
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 1:41 pm
Posts: 4069
Location: Vogelenzang, The Netherlands
Religion: Catholic
Thank you for the responses. Sure, we can't follow everyone's suggestions. But how about a very insistent and oft-repeated suggestion, something that seems to have been imprinted on someone's heart, to such an extent that he told his bishop and vocation director about me?

Anna -- I haven't discerned to study in Belgium; it's not really where I belong. I am looking at options in the Netherlands, though. In fact I'm currently using an Internet connection at De Tiltenberg, a seminary I'm visiting. ;)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Discernment
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 6:26 am 
Offline
Handmaids of the Lord
Handmaids of the Lord
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:23 pm
Posts: 15654
Location: Holy Mother Church
Religion: Catholic
Turgonian wrote:
Thank you for the responses. Sure, we can't follow everyone's suggestions. But how about a very insistent and oft-repeated suggestion, something that seems to have been imprinted on someone's heart, to such an extent that he told his bishop and vocation director about me?


I'm not an expert at discernment, let alone for seminary, so take what I say with a grain of salt. If you find yourself wanting to investigate this avenue or otherwise feel drawn to it, then it might be a good thing to pursue further. But my thinking was that, if you have prayed about this and feel no attraction to the diocese and are only wondering because of the insistance of someone you know (which is the impression I got from the first post), then you've done what you should and I don't think you are at all obliged to take any more steps in discerning that option.

By the way, I wouldn't worry too much about this part: "I have no relationship with or attraction to this diocese, but of course reluctance to permanently leave my own country might be clouding my judgment." God's calls are deeper than any of our little fears or anxieties or worries. Unless one is in a constant state of anxiety and busyness and unrest, including while in prayer, then God's call will be able to make itself known to a soul who is seeking Him. Also, I think that if someone is well-disposed toward God and still feels no particular call or attraction at some stage of discernment, then he is free to move forward in whatever way is in accord with his reason and natural inclinations.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Discernment
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 3:37 am 
Offline
Jedi Padawan
Jedi Padawan
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 1:41 pm
Posts: 4069
Location: Vogelenzang, The Netherlands
Religion: Catholic
He prays very intensely about this (more than I do) and is convinced that it is God's will for him to convince me to discern his diocese (whether or not I'm actually called there). I'm not sure whether my feeling of frustration is simply an attachment to my own inclinations or an unrest that means I'm not called there. It's very possible that I'm simply not open to hearing the call -- how does one distinguish between saying/thinking one wants to do God's will and actually wanting to do God's will? He talked to me a lot about this yesterday evening and I was totally unable to concentrate during Mass today. Besides, he's been right before about what I should do.

Among other things, he insisted that I ask for the application materials for his diocese as soon as possible (i.e. this morning), because it would help my discernment to think and pray over them. I haven't done so yet. Is this an indication that I am unwilling to pursue all avenues of discernment, or am I right to be cautious?

Sometimes people think I am American or say I should come to America. All those signs and other events that link me to America he takes as signs that I should actively discern that way; all other signs and events he takes as inadequate to close down that option. All I have to the contrary is a total lack of enthusiasm or peace on my part, and I have no idea if that's just me or if it has a deeper meaning. Should I at least ask for the application materials?


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic Page 1 of 1   [ 8 posts ]   


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


Jump to: