Friday, March 22, 2013

Religious Question

My interest would be in a community that had a structured day of prayer and work, but still quite active and flexible. Are there orders that give you the flexibility to explore various charitable works and projects? I know there are some that are devoted to a particular type of charity, I was wondering if there are some that are very open to ideas and new projects.
While I have a lot of strange ways and ideas, I am rather traditional in my faith and would want the order to have a very traditional and reverent Mass(does not have to be Latin). There are some orders of nuns that are progressive/modernist/feminist/scary and I want to stay away from that.
Where would you recommend I start looking?

When you decide to enter r a particular Community, you commit yourself to do the ministry or charism entrusted to that Community. In other words, if you enter a teaching community, you are expected to carry out the teaching ministry and not engage in healthcare as a sideline. Doing our own will, even if our intentions are noble and great, is the first thing one gives up in Religious Life. Obedience is more acceptable to God than sacrifice. Communities should be open to new ideas otherwise it will wither, stagnate and eventually die out. But ideas and projects should remain within the framework of the Community's founding spirit. That is the only way a religious community can truly serve the Church. "There are different works but the same Spirit. "

Traditionalism has its positive and negative sides. I prefer the word "orthodox." If a Community remains within the confines of what is in the mind of the Church, I have no problem with it. There are essentials in Religious life that do not change and are non-negotiable but they do not have to be traditional. Examples for me are prayer life, community life, approved apostolic ministry, religious habit, liturgy and devotional life. Faithfulness to the Magisterium is so important because religious life is part of the holiness of the Church.

I think you have to sort out what lifestyle are you most called to- active or cloistered. Basing on your description of yourself, you might find cloistered life very difficult if you are looking for flexibility. It is a very structured life and no explicit ministry outside the monastery. Then go on-line to check out different communities. Visit or contact the ones which attract you. It is better for you to see them up close and personal than for others to tell you about them. If you go far enough in your discernment, ask to read their Constitutions. This will give you an idea of what the Community is bound to follow and what God through His Church wants of it. Hope this helps.

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