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Q & A with Father Anthony

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What if I feel some aspects of religious life aren't for me?

Danielle asks:

Dear Fr Anthony,

I don't know if my vocation is to the consecrated life, because I feel like the doubt I have is because I see that they are very happy and I want to be happy. So I also feel that is selfishness, but also I feel that I can't hold that life because I don't like to have a schedule and people to tell me always what to do.


Dear Danielle,

I think you are looking at the wrapping and not the gift.

Consecrated life is something God asks of us, true. But it is also, and especially, a gift that he gives us. It is the gift of himself. He says he wants to have a special, exclusive relationship with us; he wants to use us as his messengers and apostles; he wants to reach so many other souls through us; but above all he wants to give us a happiness and fulfillment in this life and the next that is complete, and a sheer gift of his.

What is the cost of this gift? How does it come to us? If you want to save your life you will lose it, and, Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies it will not bear fruit, Jesus tells us. That’s his summary.

So if you consecrate your life to Christ he will ask you for the free, trusting and loving gift of your obedience and service. When we obey a legitimate superior, even though the voice is human the person you are really obeying and trusting in and loving is Jesus himself. And when you engage in your apostolate, the person you are giving yourself to in those you serve is Jesus himself: Whenever you did to one of these the least of my brothers and sisters you did unto me.

And if you have to die to yourself, that is not the end, but rather the beginning of a new life.

So when God offers you a vocation, you can either say, I don't like the color of the ribbon on the box, nothing valuable could possibly come in such an unattractive box as obedience; or you can open it up and discover the diamond necklace inside. When you do, the color or size of the box won't matter at all, nor will it matter how many other trinkets and false pearls you have to take off in order to wear it.

God bless.

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