Thursday, February 7, 2013

Being Afraid to Answer the Call to Religious Life

It is normal to be scared. The step you are considering—to apply for admission into a religioius community-- is a big step. How will you know, you ask, whether religious life will satisfy you? You will not know that  without tasting it personally. Remember, the fact that you are considering the call to consecrate your life to the Lord as a woman religious is because God is giving you the  grace and the courage to take this step. Getting to know a religious community, or several religious communituies and then choosing to go through the application process of a particular community are all part of preparing to take this step.  And, yes, it can be scary but also reassuring.  Reassurance continues on your part and the part of the religious community  after you are accepted and begin the  1 or 2 year postulancy--the first step in training to become a member of a religious community (some call it candidacy).  This, too, is a time of discernment and further reassurance, as  is the novitiate (the 1 or 2 year period following postulancy) and the temporary vow period (which is a minimum of 4 years required by canon law prior to making final vows). Any time before final vows is a time for you and the religius community to discern: is this vocation right for you?  is this religious community right for you? Are you and the religious community satified with your choice?  Only then, by mutual consent, would you make a commitment to serve the Lord as a member of a particular religious community for life. The process is lengthy, similar to a lengthy engagement period prior to committing oneself for life to partner with one’s future spouse. It is not a step taken lightly and I hope that is reassuring to you.

I would be happy to converse with you by phone concerning this issue. If you would like to do that, please let me know when would be a good time to call you. I can be reached at 973-627-0424 (office) or 973-349-9654 (cell).

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