Thursday, January 25, 2007

Making a deal with God

The Sunday Catholic Weekly out of Poland has a wonderful article about life in a hermitage, following the lives of some of the novices.

I found a couple of sections pertinent to anyone discerning the call to follow:

Adrian graduated from history. He has been interested in religious life for
a long time, but he wanted to wear a Benedictine habit. 'One day I looked at web
pages to find information about vocational retreats, and it turned out that a
vocational retreat organised by the Pauline Order was to be held in the period
that suited me most. I went there but after the retreat I gave up the thought of
religious life. In November 2005 I was in the Jasna Gora Shrine because I wanted
to pray, and suddenly I felt such a strong inner order to join this community
that I became frightened. I asked the monks for advise and they proposed to
begin postulate at Jasna Gora. Actually my main motivation was to prove God that
he was wrong since I did not have any vocation. Now I am in the novitiate and
day by day I like religious life more and more; my hesitations and dilemmas

I loved the section about trying to prove God wrong, I felt the same thing!


'On the first days I heard the sentence: if you do not experience a crisis in the novitiate this means that Lord God has forgotten about you', says one of the novices. The reasons behind psychological crises vary: longing for family and friends, work they cannot do, small misunderstandings fear of the future. 'God often gives crises to help us understand and change something', says Adam. 'Once it seemed to me that if someone had a vocation and entered an order he would follow an ideal way where all things would be fine. The testimonies of brothers and fathers have convinced me that all of us experience similar problems in the beginning and crises are necessary since they give inner strength'.

God will test you at some point, either before you enter or after you have
entered. He is refining the call that you have responded to, cleansing
the impurities to make you stronger. In my experience, many guys
bolt at this time because they think God isn't with them, when it is
exactly the opposite.

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