Ok, so I have been looking into several monastic orders to discern if this is where God is calling me to be. I visited with one particular order, the Benedictines in Latrobe, Penn back in 2005 and enjoyed my visit. I disclosed during my many interviews up there that I was born with Congenital Heart Disease and that I had conquered a large number of Open Heart Surgeries. After visiting I left and never heard from the Benedictines again, I gave them the benefit of the doubt and sent a thank you follow up email several months after my visit and never received an answer. After still not hearing from them I thought it was God's will that I not pursue the matter any further.
Almost 5 years later (in January), I decided after much contemplation to contact the Benedictines again and request another visit. My spiritual life has exploded over the last 5 years and I felt that now was a better time to come up and visit since I was more open to listening to God and what he wanted instead of what I wanted. I contacted the Benedictines and submitted their information form. About 5 days later I got a call from the vocation director and he was all excited on the phone, said that my story and info had really inspired him and he sounded as if he was at a loss of words on the phone. So we set a date to have a phone interview and he called me on Sunday the 4th. I was happy to hear from him and after a few moments on the phone he invited me up to one of their Come and See weekends. We spoke for a few moments longer and then he asked me about my health since I had indicated on the form that I have a heart condition. Once I told him a little of my history his whole demeanor changed and he said "Oh, your this guy...), he then told me that he was starting to remember who I was and this is why he wanted to know more info before he invited me up for a weekend. I proceeded to try and reassure him that my heart was healed as of 2006 and that my doctors had given me the go-ahead on pursuing a religious vocation. He then told me bluntly that my heart was the reason why they never followed up with before (well gee, wish they had told me this 5 yrs ago!!), and that I didn't have a chance in the world of getting into his monastery or really any monastery since they can't afford to have someone like me with my health problems on their bill. So what your tellin me is that out of the 175 monks at that abbey, they are all healthy and none of them have any health problems? Long term, I would prob be the least expensive to have on their health bill considering that I had all my issues as a youngin.
The call ended as abruptly as it had started and to say that I was dissapointed would be an understatement of the century. I am heart broken (no pun intended). I have made it through alot in my life, in fact more than most people go through in their life times. I feel a call to serve God and yet I get stopped at the front door of a monastery of all places. Obviously this is not where God wants me to go, so where is it? That is the pivotal question right now and something that is greatly weighing on my mind is this, with my bad heart, how many other orders and people will turn me away because they are afraid of a liability or they just don't understand?
The search continues...