“We have to stir up within ourselves…an attitude of complete correspondence with the grace of a call to religious life and live it and love it with every fiber of our being. More than ever before, the Church needs strong women to uphold what religious life truly means.”
Mother Ellen Curran, SJW
A vocation is a call from God – a call to love and to become holy. Religious achieve this through spousal union with Jesus Christ, and the support of community life. The heart of a religious vocation is falling in love with the Person of Jesus Christ. Being deeply in love with Him, she is moved to share His love with others; therefore, from her life of prayer, she reaches out to all people to lead them to eternal salvation; thus, her apostolic work is putting His love into action, by ministering to God’s people.
This call is purely a mystery, known only to God. It is through prayer, that the young woman comes to realize how great is God’s love for her, and wanting to respond with a generous heart to His love, she freely chooses to answer His invitation to follow Jesus in a vowed life of chastity, poverty, and obedience. Having given her heart to Jesus, she wants to be free of material possessions – things that would hinder her in keeping her eyes fixed on Him. She seeks to do His Will in all things, so she readily embraces a life of obedience to her superior, who is God’s representative.
Religious, as living signs of the Church, mirror her as Virgin, Bride, and Mother, as well as in her mark of holiness. Daily they are challenged in community life and in the apostolate to be a living temple of God, a living sacrifice for God’s glory, living completely for Him. Moreover, religious life is truly a living liturgy in which daily the Sister offers herself as a holocaust in union with Jesus Christ for the salvation of souls to the glory of God the Father. This earthly liturgy foreshadows the heavenly liturgy where all will contemplate the glory of God and make a joyous gift of self to God in thanksgiving and love.