Things have become so hard. Ever since I went to Mass and was able to pray in an uplifting way last week, I've been tempted to give in. I've noticed it gets worse when I've sinned and I seem to give in from there and continue to sin, rather than try to stay away from it. I've been horrible to live with this week; snappy, moodly - you name it. It's an awful cycle to be in because you then feel unworthy to become a religious. (I remind myself that no religious is perfect and that religious life is an excellent way of trying to perfect oneself and become closer to God, the latter being what we are all called to do.) This is a great temptation from Satan, I know, and I feel awful because I have given in all this week. I've really been weak and distant from Jesus. It just goes to show how much I need Him, so rather than walk away (this is something I have done in the past and never found happiness), I will have to pick myself up and try again to stay away from sin and be strong against temptation. The evil one seems to really be trying to lure me away now that Carmel is only 5 weeks away. He can really make you feel bad...unworthy, horrible...
Other temptations have included feeling attached to the world. I've become interested in Osteopathy since being treated myself, especially by the fact that you can work for yourself and earn a good wage. I've been driven past big houses and have felt a desire for them...and for success. So many things! But I recognised this as another temptation because a desire for worldly things doesn't come from above. God doesn't want me to become an Osteopath, He just wants me to show my commitment to Him. I've failed miserably this week, but with His love, generosity and never-ending patience, I have confidence He will help me and welcome me back. I will be like the Prodigal Son, ashamed and weak, yet running to the Lord's Eternally Open Arms.
Lord, help me to overcome temptations and to recognise them before I've given into them, that I may win a little victory for You.
This is a personal thing to reveal, but I am revealing it to help other aspirants and discerners, as they may feel the desire to give up their vocation like I have when temptation comes their way. Be strong! All I will say is, cling onto those moments of certainty you've had about your vocation. You can't get the feeling back as and when you wish, therefore it becomes easy to doubt we ever had it, even to forget it in favour of the abundant negative feelings we have. But those moments of certainty are a gift from God, where the Holy Spirit has really worked within you. Those moments should be remembered...they were real and are more important than all those negative feelings. As I write, I recall my own moments of certainty and hold onto them, for they were certainly a sign that Jesus wants me to follow Him. He doesn't expect me to be perfect, but to ask for His help to overcome my weaknesses.
Thank you for your words of encouragement.
God bless you all.
- Carmelite Aspirant
- I've just turned 27 and am entering Carmel on 24th January 2009. My first full day will be on 25th January, the Conversion of Saint Paul, of whose year this is and whose school I went to and sisters I loved. So I am depending on him to help convert me into a good Carmelite! I've wanted to become a nun on and off since the age of 11. Although I can't remember the moment I felt drawn to Carmel, I think it was partly because of reading about St Therese when I was 11 or 12. I feel I may have a natural inclination towards this way of life, altough getting up at 5.30 will not feel natural, I'm sure! I spent 2 weeks as an Aspirant in October 2008 and I loved it and came back feeling that I should go back and see if becoming a Carmelite is the Will of God and my route to holiness.