I Just Want to Know What I Am to Do

Why does it feel that everyone is telling me to join the religious life when I am having these dry feelings?
by Fr. Anthony Bannon, LC | Source:
Q. Dear Fr. Anthony,

Why do I have this dry feeling? (When I was younger I loved to pray.) Why does it feel that everyone is telling me to join the religious life when I am having these dry feelings? (I don’t feel that I am worthy to join the religious order at times but I find peace when I am there.) Please be kind to give me some idea of what I am to do since I love the Holy Blessed Trinity and I would love to do what my vocational call is whether it is to be a wife and mother or a nun. I just want to know what I am to do. I don’t want to be confused or have this dryness for the rest of my life. Please help me if you can somehow. Please pray for me. Thank you and God Bless. Sorry if I sound confusing but I am so very confused.

- Jen

A. Dear Jen,

Let’s see what we can make of your confusion. Your main burden now seems to be your dryness, and that is what is coloring and affecting your thoughts about everything else (you feel unworthy of a vocation because of it, and yet you want to love God above all else).

Dryness is good, believe it or not. It gives us the opportunity to see our faith in action, to see if I can go ahead based on what I know rather than how I feel. Dryness doesn’t change God or reality outside us, it is only a change inside us. Sometimes dryness is only on the level of our feelings, and sometimes it is much deeper, a real darkness of the soul and test of our faith.

In dryness you have to hold onto and deepen in what you already know for sure: God is there, he loved you so much that he created you and then sent his Son so you would be free from sin; he is really present in the Eucharist, he takes away your sins in Confession, he listens when you pray, he wants what is best for you, he gave you the gift of baptism and therefore wants you to bring him to others.

As regards having or not a vocation, there are too many unknowns for me to answer you. Your age, freedom, obligations, and past will all affect the answer. But let me just tell you something in general: it may be best to pay more attention to praying with your whole heart at this stage. Pick the time you are going to dedicate to prayer each day (Mass, Communion, Rosary, some Gospel reading...), not too much, things that you can do every day without fail, and make them your big act of faith, the special thing you do for God each day to pay back his love, no matter how you feel as you do them. It is for him, not for you, remember.

It seems to me that as soon as you take your mind off your dryness you will see the answer to your vocation question. Your friends seem to! And, something very important and favorable, you seem to be open to it and ready to do whatever God wants. This should work out well.

God bless.

– Fr. Anthony

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