Augustinian Way to Vocational Discernment (Part 1)19 January, 2021
Augustinian Way to Vocational Discernment (Part 2)2 March, 2021
In mass media, liquid, light, and going at high-speed society, thinking of being a consecrated person today, seem like out of fashion, or that we are not necessary for this society. However, the consecrated persons (religious) or, in general, the religious life at all times in history has been able to respond to the needs of the world from its spiritual perspective. Hence, yesterday and today there is no lack of people who consecrates their lives for the good of humanity. God has always worked through these men and women who, over discernment, respond to the signs of the times at a given time and culture.
The question a young person can ask himself today is: Is it worth being a priest, nun, or consecrated? Or what is the point of consecrating oneself to God in chastity poverty and obedience? Many young people ask these questions. Some young people look at us with admiration, but they also think: this way of life is not for me. However, some see religious life as a waste of time.
These realities and questions are real in our society, however, we can say to today´s young people that it is meaningful to consecrate ourselves to God; that our choice is not a waste of time; that our way of life is nothing more or less than give up our lives to a purpose; that our religious life is to emphasize the noun “life” and not the adjective “religious”. Because we choose this way of life to bring, always and every moment, the life where seems to be just death. Indeed, where there is a consecrated person, there is life. New things emerge where there is a community of consecrated men and women. Besides, not because we are special or superheroes, but because, we are fragile and sinful people, God calls us to respond in a specific lifestyle, in current society and time, risking our lives for others. This is the meaning of our dedication as consecrated people: to give our lives to generate life where God has placed us.
With the power of the Spirit, we have learned to exist and find new ways that help us sprout new lives. Our consecrated life is not measured by the number, nor the habit distinguishes us, nor by the social works we develop, but by the process of vitality; a joyful way to love our brothers. All of us, consecrated, are called to be teachers of the wisdom of the heart. Moreover, in the places where we are, we can find God. Instead, our discipleship is not a decision taken only at the moment we took our religious vows, but it has been a daily choice. We do not find Jesus virtually, he reveals himself in our daily life, in every single gesture of love. To be happy, we long for him every day to become the center of our lives. Let us remember the words of Pope Francis “We should encounter with God every single day of our existence; not once in a while, but every day.”
In conclusion, I encourage young people not to be afraid to give their lives to the service of the Gospel. It is truly worthwhile to be a consecrated person (religious) because we generate life. Our choice is life because the owner of the existence is the one who had called us to be his messengers. Today, we are in a culture that St. John Paul II called the culture of death and God is calling us to be apostles of life, justice, peace, and love… We are called to live our lives by the spirit of the beatitudes, the legacy we had received from Jesus, who invites us to continue with his mission at this moment. To encourage all young people today, I want to recall the first words of Joseph Ratzinger as Benedict XVI: “Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away and gives everything. Whoever gives himself or herself to Him receives a hundredfold. Yes, open, open wide the doors to Christ, and you will find the true life.