Friday, March 22, 2013

There's A Reason

It is a painful experience to have lived religious life only to find out later that it wasn't for you.  I have known women who joined a religious community, and for one reason or other, left it.  One may recover quickly as far as settling back in the world.  But the pain and feeling of rejection continue for a long time.  I am always reminded of the words of the prophet Jeremiah, "You duped me, O God, and I let myself be duped."  Isn't that the feeling one gets?  A person gives up everything- material security, friends and family, future plans- to enter a life of promise, only to be told later on that it wasn't for them.  No wonder people react with anger, disillusionment and turning their backs on God. 
There are no easy answers.   
Religious life is a risk because love is a risk. A couple thinks they are in-love only to find out years later that it could not go on for some reason or other. No one can predict with certainty that one is going to be faithful forever, even after Final Vows. I know of many final vow Sisters who left after being in religious life for years. Love, whether in religious life or married life, is renewed everyday.  It is sustained by God's grace alone. Jesus Christ risked it all when He came. "He came unto His own and His own received Him not." (prologue of St. John). Religious life is the greatest adventure of all.  But despite all that, God knows what is good for us.  The Psalmist says, "It is God who gives each his place... the lot marked out for me is my delight."  It's not the end of the world.  God has need of souls who love Him.  God grants only what is good for us.  It's not always easy to see but it becomes clearer with time.

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