Friends, I believe very strongly that a person discerning a vocation must consider the totality thereof: not just the spirituality, and not just the Rule, but all together. Since every religious order has a specific habit which fits its transcendental ideal, I would like to ask around for a graphic comparison of the orders’ various clothing. Does any such thing exist in article-form on the internet, or in a pictorial book? I’d just love to see large illustrations of each Habit, along with detailed descriptions of the varying symbolism in each. A well-suited Habit radiates an angelic light when worn by a truly holy man, and the visual component is important in converting heathens (like me)! Though it isn’t as important as the theology, of course, the public nature of the religious habit always invites questions; ideally, if this habit is coupled with a joyous nature, some very good consequences may come…
Here is a simple example of what I am looking for: saints.sqpn.com/religious-habit/
Each Habit seems to glow like a separate peak in the mountain range of Roman Catholicism. Some mountains are subdued old monuments, and others seem to reflect the glory of the Sun upon their brows; yet more are glorious peaks capped with snow all-year round, in perpetual joy and innocence. We all know Carthusians, Franciscans, Jesuits, Dominicans, Benedictines, Redemptorists, and Premonstratensians keep their own ‘public image’. How far does the variation in habits go?
I only ask because I am an unbaptised Catechumen (the redundancy is for clarity’s sake), but I feel drawn to serve in the Church right now. The local Franciscans have already said they’d love to have me altar-serving in cassock and surplice (I am male) a few months after I’m baptised. There is such a holy, golden light shining from this Church, and I know God is thrusting me toward it. There are two long years to wait after this Easter, of course, but I want to start exploring every last avenue this very second.
Let the flower of God’s joyous love open up into the fresh morning air. The horizon blazes with the new dawn of faith, after the dark night of atheism. Please pray for me.