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Q & A with Father Anthony



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Did I make a mistake?

Brendon asks:

Dear Fr Anthony,

I have just decided to enter a religious order of brothers. However as soon as I made that decision, I starting feeling kind-of sick, and almost everything about the life of this order now seems to repel me, rather than to be attractive. What could this mean? Did I make a mistake? Did I just convince myself that I should join, but then once I made the decision, realized that it was all wrong? Please, if you have any light on this matter, I would appreciate it.

Dear Brendon,

You will have to go into this with your spiritual director or the vocation director of the order you applied for, they are sure to know you much better than I.

Here are some thoughts simply to get you started.

In order to mature humanly we have to know ourselves well, accept what we are, and then work to improve ourselves. It may be that you are much more apprehensive and indecisive than you imagined. If you are, you have to accept that fact. Accepting it does not mean that you dig a hole for yourself and give up on ever changing, it simply means that you stop thinking that somehow you will change without effort or that the difficulties will go away on their own. Accepting yourself leads to the next step, working to change yourself. If it is only a question of your apprehension, then you know that the answer is in laying it aside and pushing ahead.

Of course there could be other elements at play here: our doubts can at times arise because we realize there is something we are running away from, or something in ourselves or in our past that we have not faced up to and resolved yet, or a fear about the sincerity of our choice, etc.

That is why I recommend that you speak to someone who knows you well and that you are able to speak to openly.

God bless.

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