Religious life covers a broad range of ways we are called to serve. Jesus has a particular calling for all of his disciples. Some are called some to use their gifts and talents to bring Him glory in a particular job or career, as married persons at the service of family, or as single individuals who witness to Christ’s love. Religious life encompasses specifically those who are called to serve the Church and its members as monks, nuns, consecrated virgins or religious brothers or sisters. The Sacrament of Holy Orders is received by men who are ordained to serve as deacons or priests. When the need arose for more people to serve the early Church, we read in the Acts of the Apostles,
“Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men, filled with the Spirit and wisdom, whom we shall appoint to this task, whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word. The proposal was acceptable to the whole community, so they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the Holy Spirit, also Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicholas of Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles who prayed and laid hands on them. (6:3-6)”
Our duty as Christian disciples is to discern how God desires to use us. A life in any capacity that is dedicated to the service of God and neighbor brings happiness and fulfillment beyond measure. To help you discern God’s will, the United States bishops have provided a Prayer to Know One’s Vocation:
Lord, my God and my loving Father, you have made me to know you, to love you, to serve you, and thereby to find and to fulfill my deepest longings. I know that you are in all things, and that every path can lead me to you. But of them all, there is one especially by which you want me to come to you. Since I will do what you want of me, I pray you, send your Holy Spirit to me: into my mind, to show me what you want of me; into my heart, to give me the determination to do it, and to do it with all my love, with all my mind, and with all of my strength right to the end. Jesus, I trust in you. Amen
If you feel God may be calling you to a religious vocation, please talk to any one of our priests, deacons, or religious sisters. Below are some helpful links to further aid your discernment process so that ultimately not our will, but God’s may be done.
Communities of Religious Women
Communities of Religious Men