What will you do if.....?


#1

Hi

Would like to know people who discern religious life with this question:

What will you do if your family, relatives and friends are against with your will to join religious life beside pray?


#2

If you feel that you are called to the religious life then that’s where you should go.

Your family, relatives and friends should want you to be happy, right?

You won’t be happy going against God’s calling.

Of course, you want them to be happy too. So, if you are so called, tell your family, relatives and friends that you love them, but that you love God even more.

I wasn’t called myself but I get the impression that it’s not supposed to be an easy path.


#3

This is exactly the situation I'm facing - I'm a convert to the Catholic Church who is now discerning religious life and my family members (who are Evangelical Protestants) are not happy about it. What fascinates me is that, as I talk to priests and religious, I have learned that most (if not all) of them faced the same challenge - I have yet to talk to a religious who did not have at least one or two people who were against them pursuing the priesthood or religious life.

It is a hard situation, but one that can be full of grace for all involved. For me, I take comfort in the fact that so many saints faced strong opposition from their families - St. Catherine of Siena, St. Thomas Aquinas... I am also reminded of the apostles who left everything to follow Christ and of what Jesus tells us about discipleship in the Gospel of Matthew: whoever loves their father and mother more than Him is not worthy of Him.

One day when I was really struggling with my discernment and my family's feelings on the issue, I was led to reflect on the parable of the rich young man (Matthew 19:16-30). You may remember that in this parable, a rich young man approached Jesus and asked what he had to do to gain eternal life. Jesus replied that he needed to follow the ten commandments. The young man responded he did all that, but he seemed to sense something was still missing because he asked what else was needed. Jesus told him to go, sell all his possessions, give them to the poor, and then follow Him. The man went away sad. He was too attached to the things of this world to give them up and follow Jesus. What struck me was what Jesus said at the end of the story - "Everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life."

In dealing with my family, I try to have patience and just live my Catholic faith, trusting that my life will be used by God to witness to my loved ones. I know of one nun who entered religious life against her father's wishes (he was Buddhist, I think), and she offered up her vocation for his conversion. Many, many years later, she was given permission to be with him at his deathbed, where he did convert.

Bottom line: God's plans and timing are not the same thing as ours - but we have to be faithful to do what God is calling us to and leave the rest (including our family and friends) in His hands.


#4

That's what you need to sacrifice. I would rejoice if my family and friends are against it. I guess my family are happy lol:(


#5

More or less, all you can do is pray. Arguments won’t win them over. Besides, there are no arguments which can demonstrate why you made a free choice. And preaching to them won’t work either.

But your prayers, and the visible evidence of joy and peace in your life as time goes on… that may very well convert them.

I know many religious whose parents initially opposed them, and, several years later, came around. It can be the source of great grace for a family.

St. Thomas Aquinas, in the Second Part of the Second Part of the Summa Theologica, has a whole series of questions on entry into religious life, including whether parents may prevent their children from entering.

newadvent.org/summa/3189.htm

-Rob


#6

Thanks for sharing that post with us, AmataVeritas :thumbsup:.

I'm in this situation too, a convert from Protestantism wanting to join a religious order while my parents object. I'll certainly join. The idea of the religious life makes my heart throb with happiness. I feel so deeply, deeply privileged that God would want me there! There is even a strange, unearthly beauty to making sacrifices for God, painful ones, including homesickness, loneliness and facing the anger of loved ones for Jesus. It's as though God's path is studded with sparkling diamonds, one for each sacrifice, and a more delightful and charming stone the more painful the offering must be.

Romans 12:1, "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship."

What to do but live and act in love?


#7

[quote="AmataVeritas, post:3, topic:195756"]
This is exactly the situation I'm facing - I'm a convert to the Catholic Church who is now discerning religious life and my family members (who are Evangelical Protestants) are not happy about it. What fascinates me is that, as I talk to priests and religious, I have learned that most (if not all) of them faced the same challenge - I have yet to talk to a religious who did not have at least one or two people who were against them pursuing the priesthood or religious life.

It is a hard situation, but one that can be full of grace for all involved. For me, I take comfort in the fact that so many saints faced strong opposition from their families - St. Catherine of Siena, St. Thomas Aquinas... I am also reminded of the apostles who left everything to follow Christ and of what Jesus tells us about discipleship in the Gospel of Matthew: whoever loves their father and mother more than Him is not worthy of Him.

One day when I was really struggling with my discernment and my family's feelings on the issue, I was led to reflect on the parable of the rich young man (Matthew 19:16-30). You may remember that in this parable, a rich young man approached Jesus and asked what he had to do to gain eternal life. Jesus replied that he needed to follow the ten commandments. The young man responded he did all that, but he seemed to sense something was still missing because he asked what else was needed. Jesus told him to go, sell all his possessions, give them to the poor, and then follow Him. The man went away sad. He was too attached to the things of this world to give them up and follow Jesus. What struck me was what Jesus said at the end of the story - "Everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life."

In dealing with my family, I try to have patience and just live my Catholic faith, trusting that my life will be used by God to witness to my loved ones. I know of one nun who entered religious life against her father's wishes (he was Buddhist, I think), and she offered up her vocation for his conversion. Many, many years later, she was given permission to be with him at his deathbed, where he did convert.

Bottom line: God's plans and timing are not the same thing as ours - but we have to be faithful to do what God is calling us to and leave the rest (including our family and friends) in His hands.

[/quote]

Thanks, that's what I've been thinking too that God's plans and timing are not the same thing as ours.


#8

[quote="RobNY, post:5, topic:195756"]
More or less, all you can do is pray. Arguments won't win them over. Besides, there are no arguments which can demonstrate why you made a free choice. And preaching to them won't work either.

But your prayers, and the visible evidence of joy and peace in your life as time goes on... that may very well convert them.

I know many religious whose parents initially opposed them, and, several years later, came around. It can be the source of great grace for a family.

St. Thomas Aquinas, in the Second Part of the Second Part of the Summa Theologica, has a whole series of questions on entry into religious life, including whether parents may prevent their children from entering.

newadvent.org/summa/3189.htm

-Rob

[/quote]

Thanks Rob, I will read it some time later.


#9

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