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Q & A with Father Anthony



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How can I convince my Mom that this is not a whim?

Jenny asks:

Dear Fr Anthony,

Hi Father! I recently discovered that I have a vocation in the religious life, and I have accepted God`s call with an open heart.

The problem is, I`m having trouble helping my mother understand this. No one in our family has entered the religious life, though we do have a priest friend who my godparents are close to. I told her my desire, and also told her that I would be open to any questions that she had, and I would try to answer them to the best of my ability.

I know that this is hard for her, so I`m trying to make it as easy as I can. I think the biggest thing she`s having trouble getting past is that I strayed from the Church for a few years before I experienced conversion. I went on a retreat that was hosted by the CFRs, and I met some wonderful priests and sisters. When I got home, I seriously pondered the idea of religious life. At one point, I decided I didn`t have a vocation at that time, so I gave it up, but it was always in the back of my mind. Now, after being in discernment again for a few months, I have received the proposal from Jesus to become a sister. How do I help my mom understand that this is not just a whim, and that I`m serious?

I also am having problems facing separation from my family after joining the convent. Any helpful ideas?

Thanks in advance and God bless!

Dear Jenny,

 I think the first thing that can help your mother understand that this is not just a whim is the simple fact of the time and reflection it has taken for you to perceive Jesus proposal. This is not something you decided right after your first conversion, or straight out of the blue after a visit to a convent.

The way she can see you are serious will be the way she sees you living your life from now on: the time you dedicate to prayer, the change in your social life, the use you make of the media, etc.. The more consistent your behavior is in these and other significant areas, the more convincing it will be.

As regards separation from the family, it is something we all have to face sooner or later. Married men and women leave their parents to bind themselves to their spouses, and sometimes the physical separation from one or the other of the families is due to circumstances as normal and everyday as job requirements or the housing market, or as tragic as death. This doesn't mean that one’s love grows less or that we are unconcerned about our family. It simply means there are certain things that are more important than the immediate physical closeness to our parents and siblings. What matters is the spiritual closeness, and that one and the other (we and our families) realize the reasons behind the separation.

I hope these ideas help, and be sure of my prayers.

God bless,

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