“Come, follow Me.” The initial call of Our Lord to the Holy Apostles of long ago is still heard today in the hearts of the many people our Lord chooses to be His own. Total consecration as a religious in the Church is a tremendous gift that we receive from God. It is not of our choosing or making; it is His work from the beginning to the end. This gift once received must be cherished and followed, springing from a relationship of love with the One who we know loves us. As God calls, we find welling in us a need to respond, to give back to Him all we can.
The soul being called will find that it is not enough to give God, her time, treasure or talent. She knows what is being asked of her is much more-only the total gift of self will suffice to answer what is being beckoned from her. Jesus asks her to allow herself to be set apart, to belong to Him alone so that in the footsteps of Our Lady she may be an echo of His life here on earth, a life that is lived no longer for herself, but for God and for others.
If the Lord has whispered such a desire into your heart, be not afraid! You are not alone in this experience of His love. With the courage of Our Lady, say in union with her, “Be it done unto me according to Thy word.” Embrace where He is leading you, for in His Holy Will in your peace.
How do I know if am called?
The call begins with an attraction to the religious life. If this life interests you, spending time with the Beloved will help you discern if He is calling you. Assisting at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on a daily basis, spending time with Our Lord in adoration, and praying the rosary are essential ways of drawing closer to Jesus, so that you can hear His voice. Entrusting yourself to the Immaculate One and asking her to make the way clear for you, will reap tremendous results. Our Holy Mother loves us and in calling upon her aid you will be given both answers to your questions as well as the courage to fulfill the Will of the Father.
Working with a spiritual director you can trust is also most helpful. A good spiritual director will help you discern what is truly of God. Visiting communities that interest you will give you experiences from which your discernment can draw. These visits will give you a clearer picture of religious life and help you determine if you are called to the contemplative or the active life. The contemplative life (monastic or cloistered) offers the gifts of prayer, sacrifice, labor and study to the Church, while the active life offers gifts of prayer and good works to the Church. Active sisters share the fruits of their contemplation with the world, but they are never of it. Contemplative sisters are completely separated from the world. Whether contemplative or active, each sister lives for God alone and is given completely to Him.
In visiting communities, spending time in prayer, working with a spiritual director while Our Lady acts as your guide… you will hear His voice. When He manifests His Holy Will to you, embrace it and say with the confidence of the Blessed Mother, “Fiat”.
Necessary Conditions for becoming a Sister
Signs of a Calling
A Call to the Marian Sisters of Santa Rosa