Personal Thoughts on Consecrated Life

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“How can I ever put into words the gift God gave me in giving me a Vocation? He saved me from a life of self-gratifying, which leads to emptiness, and gave me a life of self-sacrificing, which leads to fullness. He asked me to let go of everyone I sought love from, and then He gave me love for everyone. For everything that I have given Him by becoming a religious, He has given me something better. I give Him my obedience, He gives me peace. I give Him my possessions and attachments, and He gives me freedom. I give Him time spent in prayer, and He gives me Himself. I give Him my suffering, and He gives me faith. I give Him my common daily life, and He gives eternal life to souls. God could not have given me a more beautiful life. I did nothing to deserve it. ‘God does not choose the qualified, He qualifies the Chosen.’ ”

—Sr. Maria, Servant of Abba

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“I thank the Hearts of Jesus and Mary for calling me to religious life. In the Union of their Hearts I have found my “chosen dwelling place.” Therein, through the evangelical vows, I am blessed to experience God’s love in many ways. Through the vow of poverty I have learned that God is my Father who always provides for all my needs and always will. Through the vow of chastity I experience a deeply personal and intimate union with Jesus, my Spouse and Savior. I learn that His love alone can fill my heart and all my deepest longings. Through the vow of obedience I am learning the beautiful freedom to be lead by God’s Spirit, rather than live in the bondage of following after my own whims and ways. What a gift of love the Lord, has given to all those called to religious life! Please pray for us that we may continue to give God our “yes” without reserve and with joy in our hearts.”

 —Sr. Teresa of the Two Hearts

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“Being born into a broken world, permeated by a culture of death and paganism, has left its marks on my soul. With each successive year I see the damage path more clearly and realize that my vocation was not only my gift of self to God, but His gift and remedy for these wounds within. As I look back over the years I see His hallmarks: healing and peace. The self-centeredness is being replaced with charity; the strong preferences being replaced with acceptance of reality; the distorted judgments concerning myself and others being challenged with truth. This Community has been for me a house of healing and rehabilitation; God knew what He was doing when, despite my doubts, sinfulness and wounds, He called me. He is slowly but surely drawing me to Himself, and I have peace. Thanks be to Jesus.”

—Br. James of the Holy Spirit

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“The Lord, knowing my weaknesses, gifted me with the needed support religious life provides. Set times of prayer—a priority for us as contemplatives—is something that we would not be able to have to such an extent, were we not religious. These prayer times are a support to our ongoing personal encounter with our Eucharistic Jesus who renews and refreshes, molds and stretches us, filling us to overflowing with His generous love. Community life is a true blessing, especially when it is lived with faithful and fervent fellow community members, such as there are here. Continually they support me by their prayers and example, reflecting the Lord’s mercy to me. Finally, our daily schedule offers clarity and peace. There’s no need to try to figure out what to do next . . . our focus is rather upon striving to live out the given life more wholeheartedly, day by day, for love of God and souls.”

 —Fr. Francis of the Redeemer

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