Friday, January 20, 2012

Is there hope for the future of religious life?

True, I am a very optimistic person, but I really do believe that religious life has a future and a role in the present.  The generation of young people in the Church today are often open to the idea of having a vocation. On Christmas day, this past December, there was this story
Then there is the January 9th issue of People Magazine.  Have you seen it?  It has lots of stories of people who have lost lots of weight(I guess for New Year's resolution inspiration) and the celebrity gossip as usual.  But on p.110 there is a story of of a very different kind of inspiration! It is called "How Ashley Found Her Calling".  It is 4 pages of photos and text about Ashley becoming a nun.  Isn't that amazing and a hopeful sign!  Young people of this generation are more inclined to do volunteer work and to seek out the spiritual.  Just last Thursday we, the Daughters of Charity in my province (region), had a young woman become a postulant.
Amanda receiving the Miraculous Medal

Last week was also National Vocation Awareness Week.  Hopefully, something was done in your area to promote vocations.  The week begins each year on the feast of John the Baptist--a prophetic witness reminding us to follow the way of the Christ.  A good model to follow!
In Pope Benedict XVI's Angelus address on January 15th, he spoke of the importance of "the testimony and proposal" of another to help someone answer God's call for them "to follow Jesus more closely, giving up forming their own family to dedicate themselves to the great family of the Church."  He also spoke of the importance of parents in promoting Church vocations, "who by their genuine faith and joyful married love, show children that it is beautiful and possible to build all your life on the love of God."
What is your vocation? Marriage, single life, religious life, clergy?  How was your vocation inspired?  How do you, personally, encourge children and your people to not assume their vocation and to take it to prayer?  Do we all invite the youth to consider religious life--even if it is a passing thought?
I am very blessed to be a Sister and to live in community with other Daughters of Charity and am connected to a great network of DCS.  I rely on them for support and inspiration in prayer and ministry and I offer the same to them.  I was blessed to have been around Sisters while growning up-3 different orders.  In society these days we need to be more direct about sharing about all the vocations and inviting young people to look at them and take it to prayer.  There are many young people who are open to the Holy Spirit and seeking God's call.
Have you found that to be so?

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