Posted 26 August 2011 - 05:31 PM
Posted 26 August 2011 - 05:34 PM
Does this help?
- cmariadiaz gave this props
Posted 26 August 2011 - 05:36 PM
Had God called me to be a wife and a mother then my life would be very different, but my desire would be the same - to live everyday for God, giving my best to the life He has called me to.
Posted 26 August 2011 - 05:40 PM
Posted 26 August 2011 - 05:44 PM
But that's not true, and most definitely not the teaching today.
Everyone is called by God to a specific vocation to fulfill His holy Will. Not ours, not anyone else, but God's alone. If He leads me to the married life, then that's where I'll go, as that's where God is calling me to be. If He leads me to the single life, I'll go. Currently, and for the past four years, He's led me to the religious life. And because of that, I've gone, and am still discerning His Will.
One of my favorite series of books is the Catherine LeVendeur mystery series. Catherine at first was a novice in convent, but later left (after solving a mystery and meeting a young seminarian...the books are great, and highly recommend them). Rev. Mother says to her "Married people go to heaven to." As this was set in the 13th century, she was terribly worried she wouldn't, as religious life was considered the "higher" vocation.
Married people, single people, and religious and priests can go to Heaven. No vocation is higher. All are perfect, as God has called us to them.
Posted 26 August 2011 - 05:49 PM
I think this worry about which life is 'higher' is a worldly way of looking at things because our society stresses achievement so much. God looks at the heart, not the appearance. Just keep the thought of the Pharisees and the sinner in the temple before your mind's eye and remember what Jesus said about who was more pleasing to God.
Your own personal desire here is already a great gift to God. Trust Him - He loves you more than you love Him.
Posted 26 August 2011 - 05:51 PM
I like the idea of all vocations being equal, just not sure it is true.
Posted 26 August 2011 - 06:08 PM
In all my vocational discernment I have aspired to be like Our Lady. She was most definately a true contemplative, but she was also a wife and a mother. I cannot see at all why one is seen as higher than the other.
Posted 26 August 2011 - 06:25 PM
I believe that it was at the council of Trent that they talked about it being a higher calling, but I could definitely be wrong. I do know that a friend found it in the Baltimore Catechism and it did have the backing of a council, however. As a married person, however, I really don't take that offensively. If I WERE in a convent, I would be failing miserably as that is not MY calling, whether it is higher or not. Also, the way that it may be stated in Latin may not come across as clearly in English. But I was actually just thinking about this the other day at Mass. My sister (who is in a convent) is going to have a much better time cultivating a spiritual life and her relationship with God and keeping in mind "the higher things" because of her vocation. I, on the other hand, will have to be worried about things of this world, because I will not only be responsible for myself, but for my children, as well. It's, of course, still very important for me to have a spiritual life and a deep relationship with God, but I can never give it the same amount of time that she will be able to, because she won't have to worry about how to afford her daughter's education or how to stretch the budget to make sure all the kids get what they need. It's not like God is looking down on me for that, because He gave me that responsibility. In a nutshell, her vocation is "higher" because she can spend more time on "higher things" whilst I have to have some concern for the things of this world inasmuch as they related to my family and children. And it's not like there are vocations that are unimportant, since without strong marriages and families, there wouldn't be many vocations to religious life. I really hope at least some of that made sense.
Well...I was taught recently in a very well respected religious community that religious life is a higher vocation. I actually think they had church documents to back them up on that...In any case I know the sisters did not just make it up.
I like the idea of all vocations being equal, just not sure it is true.
Posted 26 August 2011 - 06:53 PM
Posted 26 August 2011 - 07:04 PM
The point was that small souls (as St. Therese considered her own) when completely full of God are no less full than "bigger" souls. So I'd say that although we don't know which vocations are possibly "better" or "worse" no one is ever rejected by God! You may feel this way but it's not the truth.
Even if your vocation was the humblest in the world, if your soul was completely filled to the brim with love you would be just what God wants you to be, and you would be more holy than someone who has a grandiose vocation and doesn't manage to fill all the way up.
Posted 26 August 2011 - 07:14 PM
- emi77 gave this props
Posted 26 August 2011 - 07:32 PM
Does anyone have a good way of understanding religious life as a higher vocation without feeling put down if one is not called to it? Just wondering why if God loves each of us infinitely He would not want to have the deepest intimacy with each of us instead of only with some...any thoughts?
The priesthood and religious life are higher states in life. It is the actual state in life that is higher than any other state in life and this is an objective theological determination. The religious life is the "state of perfection". Objectively speaking it is the state of perfection. It is that state in life whose purpose is to achieve perfection with all the means to do so; hence, also, it makes greater demands and expectations of those thus called with all Graces necessary to live that higher call.
Subjectively speaking, nothing can be higher than God's Will - and nothing can be higher than God's Will for a person. God's Will, subjectively speaking could be said to be higher than the priesthood or religious life.
It is a mystery why some are called to the higher states and others not - although possibly it is only confusing to a person who is thinking in an individualistic type manner i.e. of self and desiring the best for self. We are the Mystical Body of Christ, some called to this function, others to that. It has nothing to do with being more or less loved, more or less better than anyone else. With our call and vocation comes all the Graces necessary to live that vocation, hence no credit to self whatever. A person can achieve great holiness and sanctity in any vocation whatsoever and holiness and sanctity ideally is our desire for self, which can alone be achieved by lovingly embracing God's Will in all things - while objectively speaking the priesthood and religious life are higher states in life. I guess if I am upset because I am not called to a higher state in life, then I do not grasp the great dignity of being called anywhere at all by God's Will and to lovingly embrace God's Will and all the duties of my state in life as God's Means of leading me to holiness along a particular path and of building up The Mystical Body of Christ on earth. If I am upset, then I have some growing to do in both understanding (knowledge) and in humility.
It could be said that only I can complete God's Task for me on earth and the same for us all. We are needed where we are called by God and needed there by Him in His Divine Plan of salvation.
Posted 26 August 2011 - 10:05 PM
From the church's teaching, the vocation to the religious life is a higher calling in the terms that it is the beginning of the eschatological (heavenly) union with God. Sometimes you here women say they are "spouses" of Christ; they are living their intimate union strictly with the Lord. In married life, (or I would even say relationships of the single life), your relationships with other people are a bit like a prototype- they show you what the end result will be without being a perfect, flawless example- of the never-ending union with Christ. So that's the reasoning behind the teaching of the Church about why the vocation, i.e. the object, is a higher calling.
But the Church also teaches that following God's call for your life is the way to live the fullest life ever. Like the story about St. Therese's analogy, we can only be as full as we are made to be. So you are living your highest calling in life by following His will- this is the church's teaching about you, the subject!
I think it's also important to differentiate between a higher vocation and a better vocation for you. Clearly, you should chose the better vocation for you, the one the Lord has planned!!!!!
Posted 26 August 2011 - 10:22 PM
Pope John Paul II, Vita Consecrata, no. 32
"As a way of showing forth the Church's holiness, it is to be recognized that the consecrated life, which mirrors Christ's own way of life, has an objective superiority. Precisely for this reason, it is an especially rich manifestation of Gospel values and a more complete expression of the Church's purpose, which is the sanctification of humanity. The consecrated life proclaims and in a certain way anticipates the future age, when the fullness of the Kingdom of Heaven, already present in its first fruits and in mystery, will be achieved and when the children of the resurrection will take neither wife nor husband, but will be like the angels of God (cf. Mt. 22:30)"
Pope Pius XII, Sacra Virginitas, no. 32
"This doctrine of the excellence of virginity and of celibacy and of their superiority over the married state was, as we have already said, revealed by our Divine Redeemer and by the Apostle of the Gentiles; so too, it was solemnly defined as a dogma of divine faith by the holy council of Trent, and explained in the same way by all the holy Fathers and Doctors of the Church."
Council of Trent
"If anyone saith that the marriage state is to be preferred before the state of virginity, let him be anathema." [...] "writing to the Corinthians, [Paul] says: I would that all men were even as myself; that is, that all embrace the virtue of continence...A life of continence is to be desired by all." (cf. Catechism of the Council of Trent, pg. 225)
Catechism of the Catholic Church, p. 916
"The state of the consecrated life is thus one way of experiencing a 'more intimate' consecration, rooted in Baptism and dedicated totally to God. In the consecrated life, Christ's faithful, moved by the Holy Spirit, propose to follow Christ more nearly, to give themselves to God who is loved above all and, pursuing the perfection of charity in the service of the Kingdom, to signify and proclaim in the Church the glory of the world to come."
According To The Saints
The Saints offer us additional insight, namely, that the consecrated life is the surest path to sainthood, for this is the very purpose of the existence of religious life: to generate saints and sanctify the world. The highest form of love is the cross. It is thus that the religious, through a life of continual prayer, penance, and mortification, draws down from heaven the grace of conversion for souls throughout the world. To be a religious means to become little co-redeemers of the world, united to the cross as our Divine Lord. Without knowing it, the religious men and women sustain the world in existence. And they are able to do so precisely because they have left the ways of the world, and can rise, without distraction, to the highest degrees of union with Our Lord.
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux
"They [religious] live more purely, they fall more rarely, they rise more speedily, they are aided more powerfully, they live more peacefully, they die more securely, and they are rewarded more abundantly.
"Today, the Lord gave me knowledge of His anger toward mankind which deserves to have its days shortened because of its sins. But I learned that the world's existence is maintained by chosen souls; that is, the religious orders. Woe to the world when there will be a lack of religious orders!" - diary, Dec. 1937, paragraph 1434 "[The] Child Jesus said to me, 'Look at the sky.' And when I looked at the sky I saw the stars and the moon shining. Then the child asked me, 'Do you see this moon and these stars?' When I said yes, he spoke these words to me, 'These stars are the souls of faithful Christians, and the moon is the souls of religious. Do you see how great the difference is between the light of the moon and the light of the stars? Such is the difference in heaven between the soul of a religious and the soul of a faithful Christian'." - diary, May 12, 1935, paragraph 424
Saint Ignatius, founder of the Jesuit order
"If a person thinks of embracing a secular life, he should ask and desire more evident signs that God calls him to a secular life than if there were question of embracing the evangelical counsels; for Our Lord Himself has clearly exhorted us to embrace His counsels."
Saint Cyprian of Carthage, A.D. 258
"But chastity maintains the first rank in virgins, the second in those who are continent (celibate), the third in the case of wedlock." [...] "While laws are prescribed to matrons ... virginity and continency are beyond all law; there is nothing in the laws of matrimony which pertains to virginity; for by its loftiness it transcends them all."
Saint Athanasius of Alexandria, A.D. 373
"Now if a man choose the way of the world, namely marriage, he is not indeed to blame; yet he will not receive such great gifts as the other. For he will receive, since he too brings forth fruit, namely thirtyfold. But if a man embraces the holy and unearthly way, even though as compared with the former it be rugged and hard to accomplish, nonetheless it has the more wonderful gifts: for it grows the perfect fruit, namely a hundredfold."
Does this mean that Marriage is Somehow "Bad"?
The Church teaches that marriage and the consecrated life were both created by Our Lord Himself, and are thus both to be held in high esteem. According to the Church, the two vocations are inseparable to one another; they reinforce and support each other (cf. p.1620). It is thus that marriage should never be scorned or looked down upon.
"Whoever denigrates marriage also diminishes the glory of virginity. Whoever praises it [marriage] makes virginity more admirable and resplendent. What appears good only in comparison with evil would not be truly good. The most excellent good is something even better than what is admitted to be good." - Catechism of the Catholic Church, p.1620In brief, rather than viewing marriage as something negative, one should view both vocations as positives. In this vein, we may consider marriage to be a good, and consecrated life, a better good. This echoes Paul exortation to the Corinthians; "So then, he who marries the virgin does good, but he who does not marry her does even better." (1 Cor 7:38). Saint Ambrose, in a treatise on virginity, repeats; "I am comparing good things with good things, that it may be clear which is the more excellent." The Church needs faithful and holy families in order to produce saints, without which the world would cease to exist.
I got this from here: http://www.childreno...vocations.shtml (Children of Mary)
There's some more good information about this topic if you go to the link.
Edited by MarisStella, 26 August 2011 - 10:27 PM.
Posted 26 August 2011 - 10:30 PM
CRAZY DOPE POST, YO!
Many well catechized people are ignorant of this fact. Religious communities, of course, have a vested interest in not being ignorant of it.
JennyAnne, I have been a Sister and when I was all of a sudden not, I felt that feeling of rejection and being less-than, and the total vacume of identity and understanding of who I was. It is a cliche to say time heals all wounds; in fact it does not. But as time passes God will continue to intervene in your life just as before, and each passing day will bear with it proof that His love for you endures.
God needs roses and God needs violets, and He does not love the violets less because the roses are more majestic. He needs people who have experienced rejection and alienation and can offer the wisdom of their experience in His service. If God lets you suffer more than anyone, it's because you are His favorite.