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Posted By: Veronica.H Not Quite Monasticism - 03/18/22 04:33 AM
I used to think I was called to be a nun. In my twenties, I visited monasteries and was invited to begin my postulancy. Unfortunately, my student loans were an impediment to entering.

As of this summer, my student loans will be finally be paid off. At 38, I am now too old to enter any monastery I have encountered so far.

I live a simple life of prayer and penance, and am a bit of a recluse. Sometimes I wish I could simply go off into the forest and build a little cabin and pray, leaving only for the Sacraments.

I knew some people who tried something like that, but the priest who was staying there left and it fell apart as far as I know.

Do you think that sort of thing is practical in the modern world?
Posted By: Krysostomos Re: Not Quite Monasticism - 03/19/22 10:35 AM
Originally Posted by Veronica.H
Do you think that sort of thing is practical in the modern world?
I don't know If it is practical, but it sure is possible. Just follow your call.
Posted By: Fr. Deacon Lance Re: Not Quite Monasticism - 03/19/22 03:58 PM
You might try contacting:

http://www.christthebridegroom.org/
Posted By: Veronica.H Re: Not Quite Monasticism - 03/19/22 10:19 PM
Practical was probably the wrong word for that life!
Posted By: Veronica.H Re: Not Quite Monasticism - 03/19/22 10:21 PM
Thank you, Father Deacon Lance.

What a beautiful community! I am a few years older than their maximum cut off, but I wrote them explaining my situation.
Posted By: Krysostomos Re: Not Quite Monasticism - 03/20/22 09:48 PM
Originally Posted by Veronica.H
I used to think I was called to be a nun. In my twenties, I visited monasteries and was invited to begin my postulancy. Unfortunately, my student loans were an impediment to entering.

As of this summer, my student loans will be finally be paid off. At 38, I am now too old to enter any monastery I have encountered so far.
Well, at least latin monasteries and congregations prefer youngish candidates for postulancy. In EO monasteries the doors have been open for the older candidates, too. So I think the eastern catholic communities should be more open for also more mature candidates for postulancy.
Posted By: Veronica.H Re: Not Quite Monasticism - 03/21/22 03:32 AM
I had it explained to me by a Dominican nun once that they preferred young women, because the young are easier to form. There is likely some truth to that.

The same nuns suggested I drop out of university and begin paying my student loans back, trusting in God's providence. I cringe to think how long *that* would have taken, although I sometimes regret not trying.

I wonder how many Latin women end up in my position because they didn't feel a call until they were in university.

The trouble with Eastern monasteries, I have found, is finding them. There don't seem to be any Catholic options in my country, beyond the Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate - who do good work, I am sure, but aren't nuns.
Posted By: MarkosC Re: Not Quite Monasticism - 03/26/22 03:04 AM
I am told that on Mount Athos, as well as in other parts of Greek and Russia at least, there are hermits who live alone off in the middle of nowhere. On Mt Athos, supposedly these hermits live in mountainous caves on the southern part, and a nearby monastery gives them a basket full of basic necessities as needed by pulley. One day when the basket does not come back down, they go up and haul the deceased back down.

Living a solitary life in civilization would require the basic things required in most (but maybe not all) hermitages: prayer and work (presumably some kind of paying job, to pay your taxes, buy seeds and the like, upkeep your dwelling, etc.). If you spent your free time in solitary prayer and the psalms in such a situation it might be similar to the hermitic life.

Anyway, such a thing is a matter of what God calls you to do, generally through spiritual elders. I will pray, Veronica, that He will lead you where you are meant to be.
Posted By: Veronica.H Re: Not Quite Monasticism - 03/26/22 04:20 AM
Where I live, it isn't so difficult to escape civilization. Although wild and lonely places get more hard to find every year. It is certainly possible, albeit difficult, to build that sort of life.

It is a serious decision, to be sure.

Alas, I am rather adrift these days between the lost of our priest and the pending closure of our church.

Thank you kindly for your prayers. They are very much appreciated.
Posted By: Devin1890 Re: Not Quite Monasticism - 03/26/22 05:32 PM
Veronica,
I will say a prayer for your situation. Hopefully Christ the Bridegroom will pan out. I am posting a link for Fund for Vocations.
https://fundforvocations.org/about-us/mission-history

I am sure many members of the forum are aware of it, but just in case, it is a non-profit that helps men and women wanting to fulfill a priestly or religious
vocation but are unable to do so because of student debt. If this organization had existed earlier, perhaps our monasteries would be a little fuller and the priestly vocation crisis wouldn't be as severe.
Posted By: Veronica.H Re: Not Quite Monasticism - 03/26/22 08:27 PM
What a wonderful resource! It truly is a shame it wasn't around sooner.

Thank you for your prayers. It means a lot.
Posted By: MarkosC Re: Not Quite Monasticism - 03/28/22 01:16 AM
Originally Posted by Veronica.H
Where I live, it isn't so difficult to escape civilization.

Ha! I looked up Kirkland Lake, and it definitely seems so. Six hours north of Toronto.........


Quote
Alas, I am rather adrift these days between the lost of our priest and the pending closure of our church.

Thank you kindly for your prayers. They are very much appreciated.

You are quite welcome. I wish your situation was better. In the meantime, you probably are already aware of this, but St Elias in Brampton is famous for being one of the stars among Catholic parishes. Going to it's livestream might be helpful.

St Elias' apparent Livestream [youtube.com]
Posted By: Veronica.H Re: Not Quite Monasticism - 03/28/22 01:42 AM
Yes, we are a long way from the nearest city and there are tons of unincorporated townships around here. I know people who live off the grid, and survive by selling honey and wild mushrooms and other things like that.

Thanks for the link! I have heard of St. Elias' and would so love to visit one day.
Posted By: JohnFromRuthenia Re: Not Quite Monasticism - 03/28/22 12:19 PM
I know an order that allows women up to i think 45 to join, but its a western group, but the vocations director isn't
Posted By: Veronica.H Re: Not Quite Monasticism - 03/29/22 02:44 AM
What order is that?
Posted By: theophan Re: Not Quite Monasticism - 03/29/22 07:05 PM
Christ is in our midst!!

Veronica,

A couple decades ago I ran across the story of a man who was blessed in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to be a hermit. He lived in his own home in the city and went out to work a limited number of days per week just for necessities. He was blessed to have a small chapel in his home and even had the Blessed Sacrament in a tabernacle there. He was publicly given some sort of ceremony marking his being a hermit. So there seems to be an avenue for Catholics in your situation.
Posted By: Krysostomos Re: Not Quite Monasticism - 03/29/22 08:16 PM
"Desert in The City" spirituality...
Posted By: Veronica.H Re: Not Quite Monasticism - 03/29/22 11:00 PM
That is a beautiful way of life, albeit less common. There are neither diocesan hermits nor consecrated virgins in my diocese at the moment.

What an honour to have the Blessed Sacrament reserved in one's hermitage.

It is nice to know that it is a possibility.

I wonder if there are similar structures in place for these callings in the East.
Posted By: Adamcsc Re: Not Quite Monasticism - 04/29/22 03:58 AM
I am 34. I WANT to get married and have children. THAT being said, I love being by myself, and I would love to build my own little chapel out here in rural South Carolina. Remember though, we're called to serve God in any situation we're in. Just giving my two cents, God bless!
Posted By: Ruthenian1988 Re: Not Quite Monasticism - 05/01/22 02:59 AM
There doesn't seem to be much by way of monasticism in any of the Eastern Catholic Churches here in "the west". I do hope this will change going forward. Without monastics, our Church will be spiritually impoverished.
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