Tag Archives: vocation

A vocation means growth in love

It is about a growth in love, in your life and in the
Church. A calling in the Church is never a call to a job or function, but a
call to a person. A vocation is an appeal to grow into a relation, a relation
with God’s love. A call to the three evangelical counsels is a journey of
growing in love. This journey begins of course with less of His love, so that
more of His love can be given to me. The One, who is more than everything else
in this world, must grow in me.

(Homily at the investiture of novices “The
Work,” Familia Spiritualis Opus, Gregor Maria Hanke, OSB, Bishop of Eichstätt)

Recipe for a thriving religious order

Cist nun.jpgRecently, the National Catholic Register published an
article on the life of nuns at the Valley of Our Lady Monastery, located on 112
acres in Prairie du Sac, outside of Madison, Wisconsin. The author brings out
some salient points that contribute to the “success” of this particular
monastery. Let’s be clear, success is not defined here in terms of secularity but ways that allow for a vocation to thrive according to the Divine
Plan. Let me draw your attention to two things that struck me. Mind you, these
items (see below) are not new at all but they do spell out what is needed to help contribute to
the resurgence of religious life if it’s God’s will. Sadly groups like the Sisters of Mercy, the Sisters of St Joseph, the various Franciscan and Dominican sisters’ congregations to name a few, would think these comments are inaccurate, too shrill and not relevant for the “modern world.” Truthfully, I think these groups want to die because they are too “relevant” matter. BUT when you see women attracted to congregations like this monastery, the Alma Mercy Sisters and the Franciscan Sisters of the Martyr Saint George and not to the secular-looking groups, then one has to ask the hard questions. Having defend the general thesis of the article, let it be known I am not totally in
agreement with Father Mullady’s acceptance of BlackBerries but I can’t have


1. When asked what she thought was attracting young women to this
ancient contemplative order, Sister Bernarda replied, “To begin with, God.” She
added, “Then, perhaps, the desire for a life of prayer, solitude, simplicity,
with an ancient liturgy in Latin and Gregorian chant, and a simple, traditional
habit. Also, we follow the directives of our order and the Church.” Sister Mary
Bede boiled it down to this: “When you’re looking for a traditional,
habit-wearing, Divine Office-saying order, it narrows down your choices a bit.”
She preferred the Cistercians to some of the newer orders, explaining,
“Definitely, it’s a comfort knowing that the Rule of St. Benedict has
sanctified hundreds of thousands of men and women throughout the ages. It helps
to live a life in faith — that God will work through our superiors and rule to
bring about our sanctification.” When asked what keeps her order so grounded in
its ancient origins and traditions, Sister Mary Dolores responded, “There is a
preservation of identity; progress comes not from something entirely new, but a
returning to the charism of the founders. In tradition, the past is present but

2. Dominican Father Brian Mullady has seen many traditional orders
survive the decades after Vatican II. Theological consultant for the Institute
on Religious Life
in Libertyville, Ill. — a collaborative effort of Catholic
bishops, priests, religious and laity to foster and strengthen vocations to the
consecrated life — Father Mullady said: “Mostly they weathered the changes by
adapting the things that needed to be adapted for young people — there are
sisters on the Internet and carrying BlackBerries — but preserving the habit,
the cloister, silence, reading at table, living in community

Hermits in the 21st century?

Yes, there are people living the life of a hermit according the mind of the Church. Read the story of Sister Kathyrn Ann, it’s fascinating. I am happy some have found a calling to go deeper into the Paschal Mystery by a life of sacrifice. We need their witness.

Following the Lord according to Saint Francis (& the Friars of the Renewal)

Watch this compelling video on the life of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. While my vocation is not to be a friar of the Renewal, I am continually amazed by their vitality, zeal, and witness to the power of Christ crucified and risen.

Perhaps you have a vocation to follow Christ as a brother, priest or sister as a Franciscan of the Renewal.

How does one consider a vocation?

My friend Father Jay Toborowsky (a priest of the Diocese of Metuchen) posted a brief piece on the promotion of vocations. In the days following Good Shepherd Sunday I think it is worth the time giving serious consideration to how we discern the Lord’s call in life. How do we understand the call to love and to be sacrificial? How aware are you of the Lord’s deep and abiding love for you right now?

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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