Are religious souls inherently more holy?


#1

There are a couple of passages in St. Faustina’s Diary that have struck me regarding the souls of religious. It appears to me that Jesus is saying that the souls of the religious are more holy and pleasing to God. One specific mention of this is regarding the moon and stars:

“In the evening, I just about got into bed, and I fell asleep immediately. Though I fell asleep quickly, I was awakened even more quickly. A little child came and woke me up. The child seemed about a year old, and I was surprised it could speak so well, as children of that age either do not speak or speak very indistinctly. The child was beautiful beyond words and resembled the Child Jesus, and he said to me, Look at the sky. And when I looked at the sky I saw the stars and the moon shining. Then the child asked me, Do you see this moon and these stars? When I said yes, he spoke these words to me, **These stars are the souls of faithful Christians, and the moon is the souls of religious. Do you see how great the difference is between the light of the moon and the light of the stars? Such is the difference in heaven between the soul of a religious and the soul of a faithful Christian. **And he went on to say that, **True greatness is in loving God and in humility **(Diary, 424).”

In this specific passage, He also says that true greatness is in loving God and in humility, and I know elsewhere in the Diary, Jesus told St. Faustina that religious are held to a higher standard and often fall short (being judged more harshly than the lay faithful), but I still can’t help but wonder, are the souls of the religious more pleasing to God than the faithful in the lay community?

I am single and open to whatever and wherever God calls me; I only want to do what is most pleasing to Him. That being said, I want to correctly discern God’s will and not make assumptions about one vocation being more pleasing to Him than another.


#2

Here’s a pretty good primer, unless you want to read St. Thomas Aquinas’s Summa Theologica: VOCATIONS EXPLAINED

There’s also a good book that goes over the idea pretty well: Religious Vocation, An Unnecessary Mystery


#3

Spiritual direction


#4

This, as you know, is a private revelation. The Catholic Church approves St. Faustina’s Diary because it contains nothing in her revelation that expressly contradicts the definitive teachings of the Church on faith and morals. However, you are not bound to agree with everything that was revealed to her. Does the Lord hold a particular love for the religious? I cannot say for certain, but they give up much to devote themselves entirely to Him, while I am called to the vocation of marriage and am blessed with a spouse, children, close family and friends, and still have the opportunity to put Christ at the center of my life. We are called to our vocation according to God’s good plan, and if He grants the religious a more favored place, He still fills my cup to overflowing. How could I ask for more. Yes, plenty of prayer, discernment, and a spiritual director are needed. All will become clear if your mind and heart are open to do His will. God bless.


#5

All great responses. Thank you. PattiDay that was very well said. I will continue to pray and discern and to be open to wherever God is calling me.


#6

Blessed Henry Suso said "I would rather be the vilest worm on earth by God’s will, than be a seraph by my own.’’

I highly recommend you read St Alphonsus Liguori’s booklette “Uniformity to God’s Will”. It’s short and will help you tremendously with your question and your discernment in general. Here’s a link to an online copy: ccel.org/ccel/alphonsus/uniformity

According to Fr. John Hardon’s Modern Catholic Dictionary, a creature’s holiness can be objective and subjective. “It is subjective essentially by the possession of divine grace and morally by the practice of virtue. Objective holiness in creatures denotes their exclusive consecration to the service of God: priests by their ordination, religious by their vows, sacred places, vessels, and vestments by the blessing they receive and the sacred purpose for which they are reserved.”

So, given that, a religious is objectively holier than a married person in the sense that they are consecrated to God by their vows while a married person is not. But that says nothing of their personal holiness, and it says nothing as to whether the Catholic is pleasing to God or not.

Vita Consecrata, no. 32: “As a way of showing forth the Church’s holiness, it is to be recognized that the consecrated life, which mirrors Christ’s own way of life, has an objective superiority. Precisely for this reason, it is an especially rich manifestation of Gospel values and a more complete expression of the Church’s purpose, which is the sanctification of humanity. The consecrated life proclaims and in a certain way anticipates the future age, when the fullness of the Kingdom of Heaven, already present in its first fruits and in mystery,[62] will be achieved and when the children of the resurrection will take neither wife nor husband, but will be like the angels of God (cf. Mt. 22:30)”

Catechism of the Catholic Church: “The state of the consecrated life is thus one way of experiencing a “more intimate” consecration, rooted in Baptism and dedicated totally to God. In the consecrated life, Christ’s faithful, moved by the Holy Spirit, propose to follow Christ more nearly, to give themselves to God who is loved above all and, pursuing the perfection of charity in the service of the Kingdom, to signify and proclaim in the Church the glory of the world to come.”

Theology of the Body: “The ‘superiority’ of continence to marriage never means, in the authentic tradition of the Church, a disparagement of marriage or a belittling of its essential value. It does not even imply sliding, even merely implicitly, toward Manichean positions, or a support for ways of evaluating or acting based on a Manichean understanding of the body and of sex, of marriage and procreation. The evangelical and genuinely Christian superiority of virginity, of continence, is thus dictated by the motive of the kingdom of heaven. In the words of Christ reported by Matthew 19:11—12, we find a solid basis for admitting only such superiority, while we do not find any basis whatsoever for the disparagement of marriage that could be present in the recognition of that superiority.”


#7

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