Supporting Those Discerning Religious Life
by Kaitlyn Clare Elizabeth Mason
As a child, I was under the impression that all of the priests and nuns had already been called to their vocations. I just saw a lot of older priests and nuns, and assumed that young, energetic, youthful individuals weren’t really drawn to religious life.
Boy was I wrong.
“When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I (grew up), I put aside childish things.” – I Corinthians: 11
Or rather, God showed me my error. I now know many young, energetic, youthful individuals who serve as priests and nuns. They are full of fervor and love for God’s Church and carry out His mission daily in a world thirsting for Him.
As Catholics, we frequently pray for an increase in vocations to religious life. Well, God is answering these prayers! I could list many young people I’ve encountered who have discerned or are currently discerning religious life!
This is a beautiful thing. However, unfortunately, it seems that cultural attitudes can gently, gradually snuff out these sparks of interest if we allow them to do so. I don’t think there’s enough praise or support for those making these monumental decisions!
So here are a few simple words in support of those discerning religious life.
- To parents of children discerning religious life:
Congratulations! You’ve created a life for your child where they’ve been able to hear God calling them to a deeper Faith and a deeper relationship with Him. Regardless as to what vocation your child chooses, the mere fact they’re considering religious life means they’re trying to be open to His will. I’m not an expert. But I’m pretty sure that’s like the biggest goal of parenting – to successfully create an atmosphere in your home where your child can be open to following God’s will! You might not have biological grandchildren from this child of yours. Mary didn’t have grandchildren either… but she has something beautiful – spiritual children and in a way grandchildren! And you’ll have spiritual grandchildren in a way, too, if your child is led to religious life! (Note: Mary’s role as our Spiritual Mother is certainly unique. I merely mean to say that your child’s role in leading souls to Heaven would be just as awesome as having biological grandchildren. 🙂 )
- To friends of those discerning religious life:
Be kind and loving in every way possible to these people. Listen to their hopes, dreams, and concerns. Be patient with them as they walk through this time of uncertainty. Pray for them and love them no matter what path they choose.
- To individuals discerning religious life:
What a beautiful thing it is to be open to the will of God. I pray that He will lead you step by step along the path He has prepared for you. Be patient – you’ll know your calling when God is ready to make it known to you. May God bless you on your journey!
Copyright 2016 Kaitlyn Mason