It seems in reading many vocation stories that often people who enter religious life had a lot going for them, attractive, popular, successful, very active with lots of friends and experiences etc. almost as if God were choosing those who had it all going for them to demonstrate the radical nature of their love in giving it all up. Yet we read in scripture that God chooses the lowly to shame the strong etc.
In looking at my own life I can say my experience has been rather the opposite in that I have had little worldly success, was not pretty or popular and suffered rejection and emotional abuse on many fronts. I hid this from myself and others while beginning to discern thinking I had to present myself as one who 'has it all going for them' otherwise people would think I was running from past pain into a convent. Yet nothing could be further from the truth and after having been in religious life I cannot imagine anyone running towards religious life as an escape because you are confronted with yourself and your wounds in the most profound sense. I cannot help but think my past pain was a blessing as without it I would not have searched for and clung to Christ as much as I have. Sadly I think I am of the prideful bent that had I had it all Christ would have taken second place until I needed him.
I would love input on some things I have been wresting with:
•So which is it, does God call the best of the best or does he call the lowest of the low....perhaps both?
•Are there any examples of Saints who, on the surface, looked like they were running from horrible situations quite the opposite of say St. Therese?
•Should one be able to say quite openly that they have come from painful pasts and not be ashamed of that? Surely God uses painful upbringings as much as idealic upbringings.
•Do you think having unresolved pains, particular family issues, is an indication that one should not be perusing religious life?