Vocations to the Religious Life

 

'Vocation' in this context means that God is somehow calling a person to be a monk or a nun. Despite a likely sense of disbelief and bewilderment to start off with, and persistent attempts on our part to turn a deaf ear, God does not let go, the nagging feeling remains. Something therefore has to be done about it. Where to turn?

 

Firstly pray about it. Then ask your parish priest, or someone else who might sympathetically understand. If possible visit a Religious Community - a convent or monastery. Most of them have websites.

 

For advice contact nunsandmonks@gmail.co.uk


What is involved?

A radical change of life-style through a response to the call of Jesus to leave everything and follow him — taking up the cross in total trust, day by day.

 

Living in community with others not of our own choosing but whom God has equally called to this way of life, however different they may be from ourselves.

 

Expecting to discover God's will for us, individually and corporately, through the guidance and directives of those God has appointed for this purpose. Like Jesus, we come not to do our own will but rather that of the One who invites us, in humble recognition and acceptance of our own fallibility — an obedience even unto death.

 

A letting go of possessiveness and the accumulation of unnecessary things; living simply and joyfully, in thanksgiving for God's gift of Creation and so cherishing it and sharing its riches with all. Thus, in true poverty of spirit, the religious seeks to put nothing in place of the love of Christ.

 

A commitment to complete purity of body and spirit, by God's grace. As a temple of the Holy Spirit the monk or nun is wedded to Christ in a unique and permanent relationship and is especially called to love God with the whole heart, soul, mind and strength. Thus freed from self-motivated lesser loves, the monastic person is enabled to love others, and the self, within that LOVE which is God Himself.

 

A deep attraction is felt to draw close to God in prayer, liturgical and contemplative. A dailyEucharist is the norm, surrounded by the traditional 'Hours of Prayer' the 'Divine Office', spread throughout the day. Time is also set aside for spiritual reading (Lectio Divina) - prayerful meditation of Scripture and the Fathers of the Early Church in particular. Intercession and contemplation have their place too, and study where appropriate — all balanced by simple work with our hands.

 

A love of the Church, a deep concern for its unity and integrity with a desire to be at its heart despite being paradoxically set apart. Every kind of Religious Community — from the strictly enclosed to the most active — shares in evangelism and service to others, as God appoints.

 

All for Christ DVD

Books: Nicholas Stebbing - Anglican Religious Life