I remember reading this little book on the vocation to religious life that was in the guest room at St. Cecilia’s. Many parts of the book were excellent, others I found I disagreed with. I shan’t name the book, since I don’t want to scandalise anyone. One of the sections of the book asked why some are called to religious life and others are not. The book basically said that those who are called to religious life are preferred by God (I cannot recall the exact wording, nor do I own the book). At the time I passed such a statement off as ridiculous. However, once I accepted that the religious life was not my vocation that statement was part of my grief. The feeling of being rejected by God, of having lost His favour is something I have struggled with.
I have for a long time though constantly in terms of lack: lack of a religious vocation. A few days ago, I started thinking about the realities of a vocation to marriage and I felt an undeniable joy. I found a joy greater than anything I felt when discerning religious life. It’s knowing that I am doing what God wills me to do and that I am serving Him. I will always have a desire for the religious life I think, but that is something I must sacrifice to do the will of God. My desire for the religious life is a good thing, but I am more than willing to sacrifice it for the greater good – the will of God. I have finally recaptured my joy, and I can see that His will is more glorious than I ever imagined.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. In grassy meadows he lets me lie. By tranquil streams he leads me to restore my spirit. He guides me in paths of saving justice as befits his name. Even were I to walk in a ravine as dark as death I should fear no danger, for you are at my side. Your staff and your crook are there to soothe me. You prepare a table for me under the eyes of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup brims over. Kindness and faithful love pursue me every day of my life. I make my home in the house of the Lord for all time to come. [Psalm 23]