Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Perfect Life?

Sr. Helena- Thank you for taking the time to respond. I really liked what you said about religious "living heaven on earth!"

I am a little confused by some conversations I have had recently...I am not called to the religious life, pretty certainly...although I have dear friends who are. Someone recently "informed" me that because religious life is a higher calling that religious who are faithful to God will necessarily be closer to God in heaven than a lay person who is faithful to God. That is one reason I wondered if there is a "difference" once we get to heaven, or if that is just something that some people think in regards to their own possible vocation. Do you have any thoughts about that? It is a little childish but I think it would be quite "unfair" for the religious to first of all be "closer" on earth and then "closer" for all of eternity. A little pride to overcome on my part, admittedly, but just wondered if it is true or not in the first place. Am I just missing something here?

Thanks again for your kindness!
God Bless you!

I don't believe that union with God has anything to do with the "station" which He had placed us. Holiness has more to do with conforming our will to the will of God, wherever we find ourselves by God's providence. Religious life is a perfect state, although Religious are far from being perfect. The consecrated life, by the profession of the vows, is the life of Jesus himself, it is perfect. But a Religious does not automatically become perfect just because a person chooses to embrace it. Choosing it is just the beginning. Living our consecration to the full is a work of a lifetime. In our Lady's apparition in Fatima, she showed the children a vision of hell, and sadly the children saw Priests and Religious in that place. We all have to face the tribunal of God and will have to give an account of our stewardship. Religious would have more to answer for because all the "tools" of holiness are given us- the Eucharist, life of prayer, silence, solitude, opportunities for sacrifices and total service to others, Confession, ,retreats and many more- these all comprise the religious life and are more readily accessible to religious than an ordinary person living and working in the world, saddled by multiple concerns and responsibilities. Jesus said, "to those who are given more, much will be required." But to answer your question- all you have to do is look at the variety of canonized Saints we have and see how different they all are in states of life. We become holy by loving God above all things and our neighbors as God loved them. To do that we strive to forget ourselves, conform our wills to God's will, and be transformed by His grace. That is how I see it.

No comments:

Post a Comment