I left a comment on the blog of a fellow discerning woman, who was wondering where to start when trying to figure out which communities to explore.
I thought I'd share my words of wisdom for the benefit of any and all lurkers who may be wondering the same thing. Gone are the days when you just entered the community you knew or who ministered at your school. It takes a bit more detective work, prayer and reflection these days.
First I'll readily admit these are not really my words of wisdom … I read about this method somewhere online in the days when I was wondering where to start and wasting a lot of time surfing the internet looking for the elusive "What should Susan do with her life" website.
Could there really be a community out there for me?????? A big question! I followed this advice myself and found it really very helpful. It's part of how I found my very own groovy sisters (although I'd also heard about them by word of mouth over the years) and we all know how wonderfully that has been turning out.
Finding Communities to Explore:
1. Order the Vision magazine if you don't already have one.
2. Get a highlighter and read through the blurbs in the back. Pay no attention to what you know about them or where they are etc... Just pay attention to how they describe themselves. If something tugs at your heart, highlight away.
3. Then go back through. Write down on a piece of paper the key words from all the blurbs you highlighted. Put together, this will be your personal "charism."
4. Then spend some time in prayer and reflection.
5. Send for info from the communities you highlighted that continue to speak to you.
6. You and the Holy Spirit can take it from there.
You might be surprised how this turns out ... I was!