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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Do not refuse the calling

Some time ago I received a letter from a tearful girl wishing to launch a heartfelt appeal…

Dear brother in Christ,
                                     I am writing to offer my experience which I hope can be of help to all those girls who feel the calling to a religious life. I am a 20 years old girl who, despite such a young age, has lived intensely and enjoyed every minute, with no regrets.

When I was only 12, I started almost by chance to attend a strict order which led me to love Christ and his Church immensely. Since I was a little girl, I have always thought that one day I would give myself to Christ […] and live in what I called my true home: a convent of my order. My parents never gave me permission to enter a convent and so I waited in trepidation to reach the age of 18. Then, while everybody was busy organising a party for my special birthday, I started in great secret to prepare my soul to donate myself to my beloved. A few months after my eighteenth birthday, I left home telling my parents that I was going on a retreat like no other, and that I would be back in a month or two. And so I started my journey under the guidance of holy sisters: loyal to the order and observant people who would donate their own lives to remain faithful to their creed. I felt such a joy inside that I thought nobody would ever be able to take it away from me. I was aware that I would meet some difficulties on the way but also aware that this equally happens to two people who are in love. Soon my parents realised that mine would have been a journey with no return and so, heartbroken, they came to see me and with tears in their eyes begged me to come home […] I went home but with the hope that I would be leaving again soon. And indeed, only after a few weeks, I left home again to get back to the same order but, this time, to its enclosed section. And I am talking about a strict and truly enclosed order: the nuns of the Poor Clares of the Immaculate Conception, whom you also mentioned in your blog. I have never felt such an immense joy in my whole life and I am sure I will never experience it ever again. Despite being behind the grille, I felt free, which may be difficult to believe, but that was the way I felt and for me it was the antechamber of Heaven. And even today, I would give anything to be able to go back there. I am writing with tears in my eyes and heartbroken to beg you not to spur anyone to abandon their path of consacration to Christ because by doing so, believe me, one dies for real. Currently I am engaged and live in a wealthy family. I am studying and I have everything one could wish for… yet, I am missing everything and I would give my own life to turn back time by a few years. But unfortunately this is not possible. I carry on living in the hope of being able to experience once again at least a little happiness. I beg you in the name of Christ and of the Virgin Mary to do anything to encourage and help those who are tempted to give up and leave. Please tell them that happiness lies only in the path which Christ has chosen for us.
Thank you for your blog.


Dearest sister in Christ,
                                      Thank you for your testimony which I believe will be helpful to all those people who are unsure about which way of life to choose.

But in your letter, I noticed some discouragement. Dearest, every Christian must have hope in God and so one will not be afraid of anything, and spiritual happiness must always harbour in one’s soul. So, cheer up! Even though your situation may appear jeopardised to you, you must hope against hope. Are you sure you are not able to embrace a religious life with the Poor Clares of the Immaculate Conception or in another religious order? And what if perhaps God wants you to be the new Zélie Guérin (mother of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux)? But anyway, you can not live the rest of your life in regret, entrust yourself to Mary, Mediatrix of all graces, and you will be able to see that there is a solution.

Should you wish to write to me again, I hope with all my heart to hear you in a cheerful mood and full of spiritual joy. I care very much for the eternal salvation of your soul, because Christ paid on the Cross a dear price for you. Be always confident in Jesus and in the Virgin Mary!

I encourage you to embrace God’s will and I greet you fraternally in Cordibus Jesu et Mariae,

Cordialiter

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Trials which we must Expect to have in Religious Life

(By St. Alphonsus de Ligouri)

When, then, any one has thus entered religion, however truly he may be called, andthough he may have conquered all his passions and his earthly affections, let him not imaginethat he will be exempt from other temptations and trials, which God himself will send him, suchas tediousness, darkness, various fears, in order to establish him more firmly in his vocation. Wemust remember that even the saints, who have loved their vocation the most, have sometimessuffered great darkness with regard to it, and that it seemed to them as if they were deceived andwould not be able to save themselves in that state. So it happened with St. Teresa. St. John of theCross, St. Frances de Chantal. But by recommending themselves to God, that darkness wasdissipated, and they recovered their peace of mind. Thus the Lord tries his most belovedchildren, as it was said to Tobias: “Because thou wast acceptable to God, it was necessary thattemptations should prove thee” (Tobias 12:13). And in the book of Deuteronomy: “The Lordyour God trieth you, that it may appear whether you love him or not” (Deuteronomy 13:3). Leteach one therefore prepare himself to suffer in religion this obscurity. It will sometimes appear tohim that he cannot bear the observances of the Order: that he will have no more peace of mind,or will not even be able to save himself. But most of all, every one must be on his guard whenthe temptation presents specious scruples or pretexts of greater spiritual good, in order to makehim abandon his vocation. The principal remedies in such temptations are two in number.

15First remedy: To have recourse to God.The first is to have recourse to prayer: “Go ye to him and be enlightened” (Psalms 33:6).For as it will not be possible for temptation to overcome him who has recourse to prayer, so hewho does not recommend himself to God will surely be overcome by it. And let it be remarked,that sometimes it will not suffice to have recourse to God once, or for a few days, to becomevictorious. Perhaps the Lord will permit the temptation to continue, even after we have prayedfor several weeks, months, and even years; but let us be assured that he who ceases not torecommend himself to God will certainly be enlightened and victorious, and thereafter he willhave more peace and be more firm in his vocation.Until we have gone through that storm, which for the most part comes over all, let noneof us think himself secure. Let it be remarked, however, that in this time of temptation we shouldnot expect to have fervor, and a clearness of reason sufficient to tranquillize ourselves; for in themidst of this darkness we see nothing but confusion. We have nothing then to do but to say to theLord: O Lord, help me! O Lord, help me! And also to have frequently recourse to the BlessedVirgin Mary, who is the Mother of perseverance, confiding in that divine promise: “Ask, and youshall receive” (John 16:24). And it is certain that he who with the help of divine grace isvictorious in such a combat finds afterwards a double calm and peace in his vocation.Second remedy: To have recourse to the Superiors.The second remedy, and a principal and necessary one in such temptations, is tocommunicate to the Superiors, or to the spiritual Father of the Community, the temptation thatafflicts you, and this at once, before the temptation becomes strong. St. Philip Neri said thatwhen a temptation is thus manifested it is half vanquished. On the contrary, there is in such acase no greater evil than to conceal the temptation from Superiors; for then, on the one hand,God withdraws his light because of the little fidelity shown by the subject in not disclosing it,and on the other, whilst the mine is not sprung, the temptation gains strength. Hence it may beheld for certain, that he will surely lose his vocation who, when he is tempted against it, does notdisclose his temptations.Let it be understood that in religion the most dangerous temptations that hell can bringagainst a subject are those against vocation, in which, if it should succeed and conquer, by thatone stroke it will have gained many victories; for when a subject has lost his vocation and leftreligion, what good will he further be able to do in the service of God? Though the enemy maymake him believe that out of religion he will have more peace and be able to do more good,nevertheless let him hold for certain, that as soon as he is out of it he will feel such a remorse inhis heart that he will never more have peace. And God grant that such a remorse may not tormenthim afterwards through all eternity in hell, in which, as has already been said, he who through hisown fault loses his vocation falls so very easily. He will be so lukewarm and discouraged indoing good, that he will not even have the courage to raise his eyes to heaven. It will be an easything for him to give up prayer altogether, because as often as he begins it he will feel a hell of remorse, hearing his conscience reproach him, and saying: What hast thou don't thou hastabandoned God; thou hast lost thy vocation, and for what? To follow thine own caprice, to pleasethy parents. Let him be certain that he will have to hear this reproach through his whole life, andstill more shall he hear it made to him in the hour of his death, when, in sight of eternity, insteadof dying in the house of God and in the midst of good brethren in religion, he will have to die outside of the Community, perhaps in his own house, in the midst of his relatives, to pleasewhom he has displeased God. Let religious always beseech God to let them die rather than topermit that greatest of disgraces, the greatness of which they will better understand at the hour of death and to their greater torment, because then there will be no more any remedy for their error.For him, then, who is tempted against his vocation this is the best meditation that he can make atthe time of the temptation, that is, namely, to reflect what torment the remorse of having lost hisvocation, and of having to die out of religion, through his own caprice, through his own fault,will cause him at the hour of death.ConclusionFinally, let him who wishes to enter religion not forget to resolve to become a saint, andto suffer every exterior and interior pain, in order to be faithful to God, and not to lose hisvocation. And if he be not resolved to do this, I exhort him not to deceive the Superiors andhimself, and not to enter at all, for this is a sign that he is not called, or, which is a still greaterevil, that he wishes not to correspond, as he should, with the grace of his vocation. Hence, withso bad a disposition it is better to remain without, in order to acquire a better disposition, and toresolve to give himself entirely to God, and to suffer all for God. Otherwise he will do an injuryboth to himself and to the Order; for he will easily go back to the world, and then, beingdisgraced before the world, as well as before God, he will be guilty of a still further infidelity tohis vocation, and will lose the confidence in the power of taking another step in the way of God.God only knows into what other misfortunes and sins he may afterwards fall.On the other hand, a beautiful sight it is to see in religion souls wholly given to God, wholive in the world as if out of the world, without any other thought than that of pleasing God. Inreligion each one has to live only for eternal life. What happiness for us, if we spend these fewdays of our life for God! And to this he is most especially obliged who has perhaps already spentmuch of his life in the service of the world. Let us set eternity before our eyes, and then we shallsuffer all with peace and joyfulness.Let us thank God, who gives us so much light and so many means to serve Him perfectly,since He has chosen us, from among so many, to serve Him in religion, having bestowed on usthe gift of His holy love. Let us make haste to please Him in the practice of virtue, reflecting, asSt. Teresa said to her daughters, that we have already by His grace done the principal thingnecessary to become saints, by turning our backs on the world and all its goods; the least yetremains to be done, in order that we may be saints. I hold it for certain, that for those who die inreligion, Jesus Christ has prepared a prominent place in paradise. On this earth we shall be poor,despised, and treated as fools, as imprudent men, but in the other life our lot will be changed.Let us always recommend ourselves to our Redeemer hidden in the Sacrament, and toMost Holy Mary, because in religion all subjects must profess a most special love for Jesus in theBlessed Sacrament, and for the Immaculate Virgin Mary, and let us have great confidence. JesusChrist has chosen us to be princes of his court, as we may confidently conclude from theprotection that He extends to all religious Orders, and to each member of them. “The Lord is mylight and my salvation, whom shall I fear?” (Psalms 26:1) O Lord! Finish Thy work, and for Thyglory grant us to be all Thine, so that all the members of Thy Orders may until the day of udgment be pleasing to Thee, and gain over to Thee an immense number of souls. Amen. Amen.


lll

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Vow to Mary

The Servants of the Lord and of the Virgin of Matarà profess the traditional vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience plus a forth vow of servitude to Mary, according to the spirituality of Saint Louis Marie Grignon de Monfort, the great apostle of the devotion to Mary. The vow to Mary means that the Servants do belong entirely to Mary Queen of the Sky, who will use the servants, by making herself present in their apostolate. The Servants make available all their talents to Mary's saving mission. The result of this practice is to make your life more close to the path of Mary's life.

The ultimate goal of our life is God, and it is easier to reach him by following the path and the prayers of the Virgin Mary. If you want to bring souls to God, you have to spread the devotion to Mary. She has participated fully in the redemption of the world. She is mediator between the grace of God and us. The vow to Mary is a vow to her love to all the human beings and those who profess that love will find fullfilment and joy by Her, who is a Mother.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Considerations for those who are called to the Religious State

(By St. Alphonsus de Ligouri)


Consideration 1: How the Salvation of the Soul is secured by entering the Religious State.

To know how important is the eternal salvation of our soul, it suffices to have faith, andto consider that we have but one soul, and when that is lost, all is lost. “What doth it profit aman, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul?” (Matthew 16:26) Thisgreat maxim of the Gospel has induced many youths either to shut themselves up in cloisters, orto live in deserts, or by martyrdom to give up their lives for Jesus Christ. For, said they, whatdoes it profit us to possess the whole world, and all the goods of this world, in this present life,which must soon finish, and then be damned and be miserable in that life to come, which willnever end? All those rich men, all those princes and emperors, who are now in hell, what havethey now of all that they enjoyed in this life, but a greater torment and a greater despair?Miserable beings, they lament now and say: “All those things are passed away like a shadow”(Wisdom 5:9). For them all is passed like a shadow, like a dream, and that lamentation which istheir lot has lasted already many years, and shall last throughout eternity. “The fashion of thisworld passeth away.” (1 Corinthians 7:31). This world is a scene that lasts but a short time;happy he that plays on this scene the part that will afterwards make him happy in the life thatshall never end! When he shall then be contented, honored, and a prince in paradise, so long asGod shall be God, little will he care for having been in this world poor, despised, and intribulation. For this end only has God placed us on this earth, and keeps us here in life, not toacquire transitory but eternal goods: “The end is life everlasting” (Romans 6:22).This is the sole end which all men that live in the world should have in view. But themisfortune is, that in the world one thinks little or nothing of everlasting life. In the midst of thedarkness of this Egypt the greatest number of men bestow all their care on acquiring honor andpleasures; and this is the reason why so many perish. “With desolation is all the land madedesolate, because there is none that considereth in the heart” (Jeremias 12:11). How few are theywho reflect on death, by which for us the scene is closed, on the eternity which awaits us, onwhat God has done for our sake! And thence it comes that these miserable beings live inblindness and at random, far from God, having their eyes, like the beasts, intent only on earthlythings, without remembering God, without desiring His love, and without a thought of eternity.Therefore they die afterwards an unhappy death, which will be the beginning of an eternal deathand an endless misery. Having at last arrived there, they will finally open their eyes, but it will beonly to lament for their own foolishness.This is the great means of salvation, which is found in religion, to wit, the continualmeditation on the eternal truths. “Remember thy last end, and thou shalt never sin”(Ecclesiasticus 7:40). In all well regulated religious houses this is done every day, and evenseveral times a day. And therefore in this light of divine things, which there shines continually, itis morally impossible to live, at least for a long time, far from God, and without keeping one'saccount ready for eternity.

Prayer

O my God! How have I ever deserved this great mercy, that, having left so many othersto live in the midst of the world, Thou hast willed to call me, who have offended Thee more thanothers, and deserved, more than they, to be deprived of Thy divine light, to enjoy the honor of living as a friend in Thy own house! O Lord! Grant that I may understand this exceeding gracewhich Thou hast bestowed on me, that I may always thank Thee for it, as I purpose and hope todo always during my life and throughout eternity, and do not permit me to be ungrateful for it.Since Thou hast been so liberal towards me, and hast in Thy love preferred me to others, it is butust that more than others I should serve and love Thee. O my Jesus! Thou wouldst have me to bewholly Thine, and to Thee I give myself wholly. Accept me, and henceforward keep me as Thyown, since I am no more mine. Finish Thou the work which Thou hast begun. Thou hast calledme to Thy house, because Thou wilt have me become a saint. Make me, then, what Thou wilthave me. Do this, O eternal Father! For the love of Jesus Christ, in whom is all my confidence. Ilove Thee, my sovereign good, I love Thee. O infinite goodness. I love Thee only, and will loveThee forever. O Mary. my hope, come to my assistance, and obtain for me to be always faithfuland thankful to my Lord.

lll

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The gate of convent is closed for me forever

A Polish girl wrote me a letter

Dear,
          I write to you to share my joy with you. Little by little, my health goes better, and I am able not only to work, but also to pray, which was impossible for much time. This time with Jesus is sweet as never before. I am able to attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, finding peace of heart and goodness of Lord. But also strength to be full of charity and compassion for others. You see, my sickness is a gift of the Lord, a cross, but so long I did not have the courage to love it really deeply. Than I understood how little I have to be to live, as Sainte Therese says, not as an adult, but as a child, and find little ways to console Jesus, as I am unable to do these that are great. I can't fast, I can't say long prayers, I can't even go for the Mass every day. So, I asked little Therese what to do... and she gave me the answer, answer is LOVE... wise, sweet and never tired. This love is a center of our religion, a heart of Church... love going through silent immolation of our own will to fulfill the Will of God... I found a good priest who even believed that I could go to Carmel, he is so good. But I know how Sainte Therese of Avila judged admission to such convents... I have no illusions.

Dear D., I found a lot of joy reading your blog, even if I know that the gate of convent is closed for me forever. But I also know that THE SPIRIT of religious life can be lived even in the world, if we have straight intention. It is of course better to live in a convent, it is simpler, when we are called... but how sweet is to abandon in the Heart of Jesus all our dreams, even the most noble. And to live in the world not being from it... as St John the Apostle teaches.

I pray for you... may Divine Heart grant you a lot of consolation for the work that you are doing for souls seeking the top of the Mountain of Perfection...

Your sister in Jesus,
(signed letter)

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Looking for the Happiness

Every human being wants to find her/his own happiness. However this good could be given only by God. A blog reader was overwhelmed by sadness, until she found the joy of life thanks to Jesus Eucharist.

Dear Cordialiter,
                            How are you? I have just come back from a wonderful experience. I had volunteered in a camp for kids organized by a parrish which was in great need of help. I must say that I really needed it. It was the greatest gift of the Lord. When I first arrived, I was sad and listless. I came back happy and willing to shout loud the love of our Lord with everybody. Many things happened. The Lord spoke to me in every possible way through the questions to the kids, through the various activities and games, through the people I met, through the Eucharistic adoration. I would have stayed for hours by contemplating my Beloved. The Lord made me meet a group of nuns who were always very welcoming and nice to me. They asked me if I never thought to dedicate my life to the Lord. A seminarian, who is just one year older than me, made me feel every day the embrace of our Father.

It was a wonderful experience. It was a camp of ongoing sharing among the other educators and it was the camp where my Beloved was with me every day and let me touch Him by hand. I still have a lot of fear to dedicate myself to Him, but I am happy now and I want to understand more in depth if I will become engaged to Him in order to become His bride. [...]

A hug, let's keep united to Christ and Mary,

(signed letter)

Dear sister in Christ,
                                  I am so happy you found the serenity of the Christian life. It is encouraging to know that the nuns noticed your potentiality for a religious life. I have understood from what you wrote that you feel very unconfortable in the secular world. I can't wait to know that you have abandoned this treacherous world to join an ardent and devout religious order, where you could live with the good Jesus for the rest of your life.

In Corde Matris,

Cordialiter

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I think that I will not marry


A girl wrote me a letter...

Dear brother in Christ,
I am writing to you to share with you my story, a story of God's infinite Mercy and Love full of delicacy... You can publish it if you want, changing my name... but I have to sing the Mercies of the Lord, because He has liberated me from great evil. I have been in convent, not very observant in fact, even if sisters had good heart. Somehow suddenly I got very sick and demanded them expressely to go home. Than my spiritual suffering started. I was close to suicide, so strong was this interior suffering and noone could help me, neither priests nor doctors. I could not pray and finally, exhausted, I abandonned the prayer. But deep in my heart I loved God. I do not know how... Than I also abandonned good moral, unfortunately, falling in love in man who did not observe commandements. It was strange because deep in my heart I had this feeling that even than Jesus was the Spouse of my soul and therefore I should return to Him... many struggles came between this time and now... when some feeling told me to go to south of Poland, change environment, start over, return to God... I did so... and suddenly Jesus made that the boy who I was in love in felt in love with someone else... I felt so free when I told him that I will certainly pray for him and wish him luck, but also wish him God's love... since a little while we were not a couple any more and more and more I was telling him about God... he told me that he became a better person because of me and that there is something extraordinary in me... actually Jesus put a border between me and men so I cannot cross it any more... He saw my weekness and provided me help... and I actually think that I will not marry, Cordialiter. I think to remain single because I feel Jesus' call... I felt in love again with Him. I always think about HIs Heart, and want to dwell in it, and to console Him, and to be close to Him... I found inner peace while renouncing to idea of marriage... Everything became light again... I know that I am a sinner and feel unworthy to become a nun, even if strict closter attracts me so much, but I want to offer my penance and life to Jesus for souls who are maybe the most lost... Because I know that His Hand took me from the middle of sin. Actually my state became better when I have tried to pray again... and I feel so happy, and can't understand how is it possible to be loved so much by God... I would like to love Him now and during eternity... He really became my best friend, my Spouse, my Father, my everything...

I would like to tell everyone - it is never to late to come back to Him. And actually we only have to have this will - He will do the rest.

Because He is Love... Without limits, pure and holy...

May He bless you, dear Cordialiter...

(signed letter)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Communion in the hand

"Wherever I go in the whole world, the thing that makes me the saddest is watching people receive Communion in the hand".

(Mother Teresa at St. Agnes Church, New York in 1989)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Of Spiritual Recollection


It is in this article, my dear Philothea, that I wish you with special affection to follow my counsel, for in it lies one of the most assured means of your spiritual advancement. As often as you can in the course of the day recall your spirit into the presence of God [...]

Remember then, Philothea, to make occasional retreats into the solitude of your heart, whilst outwardly engaged in business or conversation. This mental solitude cannot be prevented by the multitude of those who are about you, for they are not about your heart but about your body : so your heart may remain alone, in the presence of God alone. [...] When the father and mother of St. Catherine of Sienna had deprived her of every opportunity of place and leisure to pray and meditate, our Lord inspired her to make a little interior oratory within her soul, into which, retiring mentally, she might amidst her exterior affairs, have leisure in this holy solitude of the heart ; and when ever the world afterwards assaulted her, she received no inconvenience from it, because, as she said, she shut herself up in her interior closet, where she comforted herself with her heavenly spouse. And so she afterwards counselled her spiritual children to make a chamber in their heart, and to dwell there. 

Withdraw, then, your spirit from time to time into your heart, where, separated from all men, you may familiarly treat on the business of your soul with God.

[Text from "Introduction to the devout life", written by St. Francis de Sales]

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Happiness of the Religious at Death

(By St. Alphonsus de Ligouri)


“Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord” (Apocalypse 14:13). And who are thoseblessed dead who die in the Lord, but the religious, who at the end of their lives are foundalready dead to the world, having already detached themselves by their holy vows from theworld and all its goods?Consider, my brother, how content you will feel if, following your vocation, it will beyour good fortune to die in the house of God. The devil will certainly represent to you that if youretire into the house of God you may perhaps afterwards repent of having left your own houseand your own country, and deprived your parents of the help that they might have expected fromyou. But say to yourself: Shall I at the point of death repent of having put my resolution intoexecution, or shall I be content? I beseech you therefore to imagine yourself now already at thepoint of death, about to appear before the tribunal of Jesus Christ. Reflect what then, reduced tothat state, you would wish to have done. Perhaps to have contented your parents, to have workedfor your own family and your country, and then to die surrounded by brothers and nephews andrelatives, after having lived in your own house, with the title of a pastor, of a canon, of a bishop,of a member of the cabinet, and after having done your own will? Or rather, to die in the houseof God, assisted by your good brethren in religion, who encourage you on the great passage toeternity, after having lived many years in religion, humbled, mortified, poor, far from parents,deprived of your own will, and under obedience, and detached from everything of the world, allthese things render death sweet and agreeable? “He who has been accustomed to deprive himself of the delights of the world will not regret doing so when he has to leave it,” says St. Bernard.Pope Honorius II, when dying, wished that he had remained in his monastery, occupied inwashing the plates, and had not been Pope. Philip II wished at his death that he had been a laybrother in some religious Order, intent on serving God, and had he not been a king. Philip III,also king of Spain, said when he was dying: “Oh, that I had been in a desert, there to serve God,and that I had never been a monarch, for had such been the case, I should now appear with moreconfidence before the tribunal of Jesus Christ.” 

When, then, hell tempts you about your vocation, think of the hour of death, and setbefore your eyes that all important moment “upon which eternity depends.” Thus you willovercome all temptations, you will be faithful to God, and certainly you will not repent of it atthe point of death, but will give thanks to the Lord, and die contented. Gerard, brother of St.Bernard, died singing, at the very thought of dying in the house of God.Father Suarez, of the Society of Jesus, felt at his death so great consolation and sweetnessat dying in religion, that he said: “I never thought it was so sweet to die.” Another goodreligious, of the same Society, when at the point of death, laughed; and being asked why helaughed, answered: “And why should I not laugh? Has not Jesus Christ himself promisedparadise to him who leaves everything for His sake? Was it not He who said: “Every one thathath left house, or brethren, or father, etc. shall receive a hundredfold, and shall possess lifeeverlasting”? (Matthew 19:29) I have left all for God; God is faithful; He cannot fail to fulfill Hispromises; and so he said: Why should I not rejoice and laugh, seeing myself assured of paradise?”A certain lay brother who died some years ago was asked at his death in which house hewould rather be. He answered: “I desire nothing but to die and to be united with God.”Father Januarius Sarnelli, a short time before his death, when conversing with God,uttered the following words: “O Lord, Thou knowest that all I have done, all I have thought, hasbeen for Thy glory; now I wish to go to see Thee face to face, if it please Thee so;” then he said:“Come, I will begin a sweet agony,” and began to converse affectionately with God; and shortlyafter placidly expired, preserving the smile on his lips, and the body began to give forth a sweetodor, which, as they attested, was perceived for several days in the room in which he had died.St. Bernard, speaking of the happy state of religious, had then good reason to exclaim: “Osecure life, in which death is expected without fear, aye, sweetly desired and devoutly accepted!”

Prayer

O my Lord Jesus Christ, who, in order to obtain a happy death for me, hast chosen sobitter a death for Thyself; since Thou hast loved me to such an extent as to have chosen me tofollow more closely Thy holy life, to have me thus more intimately united with Thy loving heart,bind me, I beseech Thee, wholly to Thee with the sweet cords of Thy love, that I may no moreseparate myself from Thee. O my beloved Redeemer, I wish to be grateful to Thee, and tocorrespond with Thy grace, but I fear my weakness may render me unfaithful; O my Jesus, donot permit this. Let me die rather than abandon Thee, or forget the peculiar affection that Thouhast shown me. I love Thee, O my dear Saviour Thou art and shalt always be the only Lord of my heart and of my soul. I leave all and choose Thee alone for my treasure, O most pure Lambof God! O my most ardent lover. “My beloved is white and ruddy, chosen out of thousands”(Canticles 5:10). Begone, ye creatures! My only good is my God: He is my love, my all. I loveThee, O my Jesus, and in loving Thee I will spend the remainder of my life, be it short or be itlong. I embrace Thee, I press Thee to my heart, and I wish to die united with Thee. I wishnothing else. Make me to live always burning with Thy love, and when I shall have arrived at theend of my life, make me to expire in an ardent act of love towards Thee. Immaculate VirginMary, obtain thou this grace for me; I hope it from thee.


lll

Monday, July 21, 2014

Interview


I publish an interview with a woman interested in religious life.


- When did you start to feel attracted to religious life?

- I've always loved the atmosphere of a church since I was born. I remember feeling God's call to religious life when I was 10 years old and in elementary school in fifth grade.

- Why do you want to become a nun?

- I have always intensely hated the bad behaviour of most people who do not live as God wants them to. Egocentric, lying, greedy, backbiting, sloppy, immature, irresponsible behaviour belongs in the garbage can not in the daily lives of people.

- Do I feel more attracted to the apostolic life or a life of contemplation?

- I feel more attracted to being a contemplative nun. I have lived a very noisy, stressful life. I was the fourth child of three teenage siblings who were very loud with their continual stream of rock music on their record players, their friends and themselves going in and out of the house at all hours of the day and night all the while slamming doors loudly. They also spoke loudly with our parents and with each other. They often used bad language and continually blamed our parents for everything they were not allowed to do. Just like 3 spoiled brats. I was always being blamed for everything bad that happened in the family because I was the youngest child. As a child, teen and adult I sought the quiet refuge of contemplative life and places by visiting the monks and nuns, going to church sanctuaries, listening to Gregorian Music, attending weekday masses a lot and praying for needy people.

- Have you made the vocational experience in the monastery?

- Yes. As a resident volunteer for the last 2 weeks in July 2007. A very happy experience.

- Why do you love the Tridentine Mass?

- I love the beauty of the Mass with the processional rites and the clerical robes and costumes. I love hearing the prayers and readings in that beautiful Latin language. I love the quiet, intricate way that the Mass is spoken. It passes by like a captivating, interesting book. I also love the way that the priest recites the Mass with his back turned towards the people. It reminds me that the priest is a special man and that He and God are always with us on a continual base of time. I also love the masculinity and brotherhood in the Tridentine Tradition because the Church Fathers in this tradition always includes a Third Prayer at the beginning of The Mass which clearly demonstrates a deep respect and reverence for all different types of women including prayerful women, administrative women, healing women and political mediator women.

- In your home, can you practice the devout life?

- Yes. Most definitely. I would not have it any other way.
  
- What advice would I offer to people who want to pursue a religious vocation after reading a religious blog?
       
- Let the blog's words and your first instincts inspire you. Your first guess about whether to be a priest, monk, nun or church worker is your best. Keep it. Read books. Take religious courses. Talk with pastors and clergy about your future goals in pursuing religious vocations. Learn to own your own feelings, thoughts and behaviours through the Contrition Prayer and Confession. Simplify your life by eliminating all unnecessary material items and busy work activities from your home. Keep an open heart and ear towards where God is calling you to be. Avoid discussing your religious desires with any atheists or significant others that hate anything or anyone who is a thinker or talks about anything else besides looks, hairstyles, fashion, celebrities, weight, parties, music, television, travel trips, malls and gossip about other people. Please be reminded that 12 years old is considered an adult who is capable of making his own decisions and living with the consequences. Your body and your soul belongs only to you. Do not let this kind of decision be made by anyone else but you and you alone. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Consecrated Life

The Consecrated Life, deeply rooted in the example and teaching of Christ the Lord, is a gift of God the Father to his Church through the Holy Spirit. By the profession of the evangelical counsels the characteristic features of Jesus — the chaste, poor and obedient one — are made constantly "visible" in the midst of the world and the eyes of the faithful are directed towards the mystery of the Kingdom of God already at work in history, even as it awaits its full realization in heaven.

In every age there have been men and women who, obedient to the Father's call and to the prompting of the Spirit, have chosen this special way of following Christ, in order to devote themselves to him with an "undivided" heart (cf. 1 Cor 7:34). Like the Apostles, they too have left everything behind in order to be with Christ and to put themselves, as he did, at the service of God and their brothers and sisters. In this way, through the many charisms of spiritual and apostolic life bestowed on them by the Holy Spirit, they have helped to make the mystery and mission of the Church shine forth, and in doing so have contributed to the renewal of society.

[Text from "Vita Consecrata, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation", John Paul II, LEV]

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Please consider a donation


For contacts:  cordialiter@gmail.com

If you find the blog interesting, please consider a donation.






xzx

Can you help me?

Dear, questo blog riporta tradotti nella vostra lingua alcuni post del mio blog italiano sulla “Vocazione religiosa”. Se tra voi c'è qualcuno che comprende sufficientemente bene l'italiano ed è disposto a tradurre in inglese alcuni brevi post, è pregato di contattarmi all'indirizzo: cordialiter@gmail.com

Grazie per la collaborazione!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará

One of today's new religious order that is fast increasing is the "Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará" (also called " Servidoras"). In just a few years this community counts more than 1,000 members and the demand to enter this order continues to grow in girls that feel attracted to the consecrated life. One must look at the fact that they have over ninety novices and postulants without counting the numerous requests that pour in from those who aspire to join. This expotential growth is truly extraordinary. Only God could be behind this triumph of love!

The majority of the Servidoras work in the active life, however they also have the cloister for those girls attracted by the contemplative life. Those who work in the active life fight daily the good battle of faith in many fronts: working in apostolates amongst the youth and the elderly, charity towards the poor, apostolates of culture in teaching in foreign missions and local parishes. They work in pre-school nursery, in schools and in publications, they offer spiritual retreats, assist in vocations, summer camps, they assist the sick and disabled and provide material sustenance to the hungry poor and destitute. In other words anywhere there is a need for evangelizing the Servidoras are present with their joyous fervent zeal with their apostolate.

Their founder Fr. Carlos Miguel Buela is also the founder of the priests of the Religious Family of the Word Incarnate ( the Servidoras is the female branch). He imparted to these nuns his catching"'apostolic" and "missionary" spirit and by which one can be easily moved. In the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará one can see the same "thirst" to save souls like in St. Ignatius of Loyola and St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

Most religious orders will not accept girls that are over 35 years old, the Servidoras accept candidates of all ages but they must have clear signs of a vocation. Girls that have been unable to find a good spiritual director will be equally able to test their vocation in the convent where they will be assisted through a healthy discernment process. It is also possible to find a good spiritual director amongst the many priests that belong to their male branch  the Religious Family of the Word Incarnate. These priests receive a good spiritual and doctrinal preparation. Those who have a desire to embrace the consecrated life in this order must take the vows of poverty,chastity and obedience and also take a fourth one, that of "slaves of Mary" after the teachings of St. Louis Mary Grignion de Monfort. This vow consists in a loving slavery to which one offers herself totally to Jesus through Mary.

The apostolic zeal of this young religious order is hartening. I hope that the Lord will continue to flood it with numerous vocations. There is a great need of souls dedicated to the apostolic work not only in  mission lands but also in the United States of America and Europe where there is an advanced secularizzation and materialistic neo-paganism. Those who would like to experience their vocation with the Servidoras or simply request more information on the consecrated life they can contact these nuns directly at: ssvmvocations@servidoras.org



Sunday, December 1, 2013

Becoming a priest

One of the blog's main purposes is to give the broadest possible publicity to the best religious orders. Among the male orders, I personally deem particularly well the Institute of the Incarnate Word, which was set up in 1984 by Fr. Carlos Miguel Buela.

I do appreciate very much the devotion whom the affiliates celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with. I do also highly esteem their faith to the Pontifical Ministry, their adherence to St.Thomas of Aquinas' doctrine, and the frequent use of cassock. I also like very much their missionary spirit, as they have sent missionaries in very difficult scenarios, i.e. Irak, Palestine, Egypt, Kazakstan, Albania and other countries where the priests' life is in constant danger. The Fathers of the Institute of the Incarnate Word are mainly employed in the apostolate of the parish activities.

Their apostolic zeal attracts many young men. The Institute gathers many new vocations and it is nowadays one of the few expanding religious institutes. I hope that the vocations will keep increasing, because the Catholic Church needs new priests and consacrated father endowed with a good ascetic and doctrinal preparation, with fraternal charity, and strenous dedication to the salvation of the redeemed by the Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ.

Young men and boys interested in the Institute may contact the American community for a vocational experience. Their e-mail address is prov.immaculate.conception@ive.org

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Testimony of a vocation

Some time ago I received a letter from a tearful girl wishing to launch a heartfelt appeal…

Dear brother in Christ,
                                     I am writing to offer my experience which I hope can be of help to all those girls who feel the calling to a religious life. I am a 20 years old girl who, despite such a young age, has lived intensely and enjoyed every minute, with no regrets.

When I was only 12, I started almost by chance to attend a strict order which led me to love Christ and his Church immensely. Since I was a little girl, I have always thought that one day I would give myself to Christ […] and live in what I called my true home: a convent of my order. My parents never gave me permission to enter a convent and so I waited in trepidation to reach the age of 18. Then, while everybody was busy organising a party for my special birthday, I started in great secret to prepare my soul to donate myself to my beloved. A few months after my eighteenth birthday, I left home telling my parents that I was going on a retreat like no other, and that I would be back in a month or two. And so I started my journey under the guidance of holy sisters: loyal to the order and observant people who would donate their own lives to remain faithful to their creed. I felt such a joy inside that I thought nobody would ever be able to take it away from me. I was aware that I would meet some difficulties on the way but also aware that this equally happens to two people who are in love. Soon my parents realised that mine would have been a journey with no return and so, heartbroken, they came to see me and with tears in their eyes begged me to come home […] I went home but with the hope that I would be leaving again soon. And indeed, only after a few weeks, I left home again to get back to the same order but, this time, to its enclosed section. And I am talking about a strict and truly enclosed order: the nuns of the Poor Clares of the Immaculate Conception, whom you also mentioned in your blog. I have never felt such an immense joy in my whole life and I am sure I will never experience it ever again. Despite being behind the grille, I felt free, which may be difficult to believe, but that was the way I felt and for me it was the antechamber of Heaven. And even today, I would give anything to be able to go back there. I am writing with tears in my eyes and heartbroken to beg you not to spur anyone to abandon their path of consacration to Christ because by doing so, believe me, one dies for real. Currently I am engaged and live in a wealthy family. I am studying and I have everything one could wish for… yet, I am missing everything and I would give my own life to turn back time by a few years. But unfortunately this is not possible. I carry on living in the hope of being able to experience once again at least a little happiness. I beg you in the name of Christ and of the Virgin Mary to do anything to encourage and help those who are tempted to give up and leave. Please tell them that happiness lies only in the path which Christ has chosen for us.

Thank you for your blog.


Dearest sister in Christ,
                                      Thank you for your testimony which I believe will be helpful to all those people who are unsure about which way of life to choose.

But in your letter, I noticed some discouragement. Dearest, every Christian must have hope in God and so one will not be afraid of anything, and spiritual happiness must always harbour in one’s soul. So, cheer up! Even though your situation may appear jeopardised to you, you must hope against hope. Are you sure you are not able to embrace a religious life with the Poor Clares of the Immaculate Conception or in another religious order? And what if perhaps God wants you to be the new Zélie Guérin (mother of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux)? But anyway, you can not live the rest of your life in regret, entrust yourself to Mary, Mediatrix of all graces, and you will be able to see that there is a solution.

Should you wish to write to me again, I hope with all my heart to hear you in a cheerful mood and full of spiritual joy. I care very much for the eternal salvation of your soul, because Christ paid on the Cross a dear price for you. Be always confident in Jesus and in the Virgin Mary!

I encourage you to embrace God’s will and I greet you fraternally in Cordibus Jesu et Mariae,

Cordialiter

Monday, February 4, 2013

To sanctify my life to God

A young Italian woman wrote me a wonderful letter. She titled it: “To sanctify my life to God” and I would like you to read it in order to edify your spiritual life. Here is the translation:

Dear Brother,
                       this week I had wonderful news! In spiritual direction, my director has joyfully welcomed my insistence in wanting to consecrate my life to God. He had recommended me some “time for a proper discernment”. In these three months I have not missed a day of going to Mass and to pray fervently to understand what the Lord wants from me, so I could accomplish His will in the best way. It is now clear to me the awareness of having to be all His.

Jesus seduced me with his extraordinary beauty, and with the words that He gives me every day through Holy Mass, He has conquered in Communion, took possession of my heart and my soul. Day after day he is courting me in a thousand ways. Sometimes takes over my human frailty and my boundless misery. He tests my loyalty, but Satan tries in every way to sow doubt in me. It happens especially during the Eucharistic adoration, the moment you look forward, as a fiancée who wants to run and keep from falling in love with him. He tries to destroy me with the suspicion that they are my wishes, that I'm too stupid and weak to join and consecrate my life to Jesus. But the good Lord knows our hearts and our fragility and He doesn’t make us do more than we are capable of.

With His grace, I'll get, stronger than before and even more convinced. So I understand that the test is a great grace that God gives us, because, clenching his hand and through His strength, we come out stronger than before. I fall in love with Him every day. In the morning I feel as close as only a lover can be. He fills me with attention during the day. His tenderness comes over me whenever I think of him and say his sweet name. So, you might be wondering what this “good news” is. I told the spiritual director that I cannot stay long in the world, so called for the establishment of the new congregation, we were talking about. And he said that before the summer they will start to build the church in the center of [...] and the monastery will be built close by there. The Heavenly Mother will let him know how this congregation will be. I'm so happy not to stay longer in my skin; literally, at times my soul seems to soar toward the heavenly homeland. At the moment no one knows my vocation, but the director and the friend I was telling you about, she has also received the call to consecrated life.

My mother is going to suspect something, but I have not said a single word on the subject. A few mornings ago, she wondered what these "secrets" were that I have with Father A., given that for three months we talked more often. She asked me if I wanted to become a nun, and I suggested to her that she asks God. She is doing the same journey of faith I am, with the difference that she has always been close to God and thanks to her prayers, God attracted me to him. She also always wanted a son, a priest, so I expected a very different reaction. She said that I should not become a nun (when people say "become a nun or a monk," they say it contemptuously), that I must have a family, who are not apt to live “shut in” and that we can love God even in this way. I waited until she went away, to hide tears. I didn’t say a single word to her about the issue, but now I am concerned for that day when I will talk about this to my parents. My friends certainly will laugh in my face and turn their backs; my relatives won’t understand and will tease me. Perhaps Jesus wants it. I am a very sensitive person and I hate in having to feel pain at every little foolishness, but with Jesus I am ready to face all the foes. If He wants me as his spouse, no one in the world can oppose His will.
For me and this project of life, I ask you for lots of prayers. I will return it certainly.

Best wishes in Jesus and Mary
(Signed letter)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Happiest Woman in the World

We commonly think that nuns from enclosed orders have a boring and unhappy life. This is because the world has very little understanding of the spiritual forces.

A few years ago, I visited the enclosed female branch of the Servidoras. It was a moving experience to speak through the grid. Most of them were very young and their faces displayed a wide joy from inside. The time flew very fast and it was interesting to talk to them. They were very nice and kind. However, their charisma is to pray and do penance for the souls of everybody. Their apostolate is important for the Church, the mystical body of Christ. I think that even if it is difficult to understand, these nuns are the happiest Woman in the world.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Ser monja

¿Cómo llegar a ser monja? Consejos de escribr a las "Servidoras del Señor y de la Virgen de Matará". Entre las congregaciones religiosas en fuerte expansión está la de las “Servidoras del Señor y de la Virgen de Matará”, rama femenina de la Familia Religiosa del Verbo Encarnado, que en pocos años ha superado las mil y continúa suscitando más interés en las religiosas atraidas por la vida consagrada, basta pensar que tienen alrededor de 100 novicias y postulantes (por año), sin contar las aspirantes. Es un crecimiento en verdad extraordinario. Solo Dios puede ser el artífice de tal triunfo del amor.


Ser monja, el nuevo blog sobre la vocacion religiosa.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Vocation nun

One of today's new religious order that is fast increasing is the "Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará" (also called " Servidoras"). In just a few years this community counts more than 1,000 members and the demand to enter this order continues to grow in girls that feel attracted to the consecrated life. One must look at the fact that they have over ninety novices and postulants without counting the numerous requests that pour in from those who aspire to join. This expotential growth is truly extraordinary. Only God could be behind this triumph of love!

The majority of the Servidoras work in the active life, however they also have the cloister for those girls attracted by the contemplative life. Those who work in the active life fight daily the good battle of faith in many fronts: working in apostolates amongst the youth and the elderly, charity towards the poor, apostolates of culture in teaching in foreign missions and local parishes. They work in pre-school nursery, in schools and in publications, they offer spiritual retreats, assist in vocations, summer camps, they assist the sick and disabled and provide material sustenance to the hungry poor and destitute. In other words anywhere there is a need for evangelizing the Servidoras are present with their joyous fervent zeal with their apostolate.

Their founder Fr. Carlos Miguel Buela is also the founder of the priests of the Religious Family of the Word Incarnate ( the Servidoras is the female branch). He imparted to these nuns his catching"'apostolic" and "missionary" spirit and by which one can be easily moved. In the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará one can see the same "thirst" to save souls like in St. Ignatius of Loyola and St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

Most religious orders will not accept girls that are over 35 years old, the Servidoras accept candidates of all ages but they must have clear signs of a vocation. Girls that have been unable to find a good spiritual director will be equally able to test their vocation in the convent where they will be assisted through a healthy discernment process. It is also possible to find a good spiritual director amongst the many priests that belong to their male branch  the Religious Family of the Word Incarnate. These priests receive a good spiritual and doctrinal preparation. Those who have a desire to embrace the consecrated life in this order must take the vows of poverty,chastity and obedience and also take a fourth one, that of "slaves of Mary" after the teachings of St. Louis Mary Grignion de Monfort. This vow consists in a loving slavery to which one offers herself totally to Jesus through Mary.

The apostolic zeal of this young religious order is hartening. I hope that the Lord will continue to flood it with numerous vocations. There is a great need of souls dedicated to the apostolic work not only in  mission lands but also in the United States of America and Europe where there is an advanced secularizzation and materialistic neo-paganism. Those who would like to experience their vocation with the Servidoras or simply request more information on the consecrated life they can contact these nuns directly at: ssvmvocations@servidoras.org





Saturday, September 22, 2012

Can you help me?

You know French or Spanish or Italian? Do you want to help me to translate into English some posts on the religious vocation?

Write me at: cordialiter@gmail.com

Saturday, August 11, 2012

New religious community of Benedictine nuns in Quebec

A very small group of ladies attached to the Tridentine Latin Mass would like to found a new religious community of Benedictine nuns in Quebec, with the help of God, and their Bishop's support.

It's too soon at the moment to tell more about it, but it would be Benedictine nuns with a TLM, a bit like the Benedictines of Mary Queen of the Apostles (USA), or the Benedictines of Le Barroux (France). There isn't any other religious community with a regular TLM in Canada. All ladies who are interested have to travel to the US. and ask for a Visa or other things. It makes it complicated. A lot of vocations get lost due to that, as most communities refuse the TLM. Solid and steadfast vocations end up with giving up. These young ladies are willing to help those vocations, God willing, and to live their Benedictine ideal that has always been the best for them, though they never found what they were looking for in Quebec.

If you were ever interested in this project, to help, to support them, to take part it it, contact Cordialiter (cordialiter@gmail.com) and he shall put you in touch with them. They need prayers.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Dolores Hart, from movie star to spouse of Jesus christ


All stories about vocation are beautiful because they all are love storie. Some of them, though, provoke astonishment as they involve characters “beyond suspicion”.

Dolores Hart was a young Hollywood star, whose beauty pulled huge crowds to cinemas, and directors were willing to pay anything to have her starring in their films. Success, jewellery, pleasure, fun, amusement., she basically had all that anybody could wish for on this earth. Vanitas vanhtatum, vanity of vanities, all is vanity except to love God and serve Him alone. Earthly goods cannot satisfy the human heart, which has been created only to love God and becomes restless when not resting on Him.

Mary, Mediatrix of all graces, was watching over Dolores whom the Lord wanted as his chaste spouse. The young, blonde actress played Saint Clare in a film about Saint Francis ofAssisi (the two photos on this post are from the film), and had the opportunity to meet his Holiness the Pope. With time she realized that Jesus was calling her to the cloister life of the Benedictine Abbey of Regina Laudis in Connecticut, USA. Between the general astonishment and outcry from the media and the international public, she left everything behind and decided to wear the Benedictine habit. In the silence and concentration offered by the cloister life, she finally found herself truly happy.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Help vocations

A Polish girl wants to help me...

Dear Brother in Jesus,
                                      Thank You for writing to me. It is my dream to return to the convent but unfortunately it is not possible... but instead, I pray for holy vocations, for the souls who would console Jesus and His sweet Heart with their love. He has come to put the fire of love on earth, and what is His desire, if not that this fire burns? My Mother is 76 now and I have to take care of her, I'm her only daughter. It is sweet to love Jesus together - we join our prayers often. And the charity between us is growing. It is my big consolation, that, in the middle of the world, we are living a little bit like sisters. Besides, I'm seriuosly sick right now. I will have to be on medications until the end of my life. But how good is to offer everything... to leave my will and let the Will of God become reality in my life!

I would like to help You with the translations in Polish. This would be a honor for me to help You... and You are so right - it is no use to enter the falling convent... and to help a vocation, what a joy! It is like the mission of saint John the Baptist, to prepare the road for God... and then, when He arrives, we shall become little, and He should grow...

God had certainly inspired You to promote religious life... You are in my prayers... friends of the Lord are mine :)

Me too, I'm 32... and so many things I have to learn... for exemple, how to love Jesus... I do not know why I am opening my heart to You, somehow I feel You would understand... if I take Your time, please forgive me...

I love gregorian... it is so peacefull and full of deep respect towards God.

May the Lord bless You,

Kind regards,

(signed letter)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Catholic websites

The Consecrated Life, deeply rooted in the example and teaching of Christ the Lord, is a gift of God the Father to his Church through the Holy Spirit. By the profession of the evangelical counsels the characteristic features of Jesus — the chaste, poor and obedient one — are made constantly "visible" in the midst of the world and the eyes of the faithful are directed towards the mystery of the Kingdom of God already at work in history, even as it awaits its full realization in heaven.

In every age there have been men and women who, obedient to the Father's call and to the prompting of the Spirit, have chosen this special way of following Christ, in order to devote themselves to him with an "undivided" heart (cf. 1 Cor 7:34). Like the Apostles, they too have left everything behind in order to be with Christ and to put themselves, as he did, at the service of God and their brothers and sisters. In this way, through the many charisms of spiritual and apostolic life bestowed on them by the Holy Spirit, they have helped to make the mystery and mission of the Church shine forth, and in doing so have contributed to the renewal of society.

[Text from "Vita Consecrata, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation", John Paul II, LEV]


Spanish's blog on the religious life: Monjas de clausura.

Italian's website: Diventare prete.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Becoming a nun

Becoming a nun? One of today's new religious order that is fast increasing is the "Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará" (also called " Servidoras"). In just a few years this community counts more than 1,000 members and the demand to enter this order continues to grow in girls that feel attracted to the consecrated life. One must look at the fact that they have over ninety novices and postulants without counting the numerous requests that pour in from those who aspire to join. This expotential growth is truly extraordinary. Only God could be behind this triumph of love!

The majority of the Servidoras work in the active life, however they also have the cloister for those girls attracted by the contemplative life. Those who work in the active life fight daily the good battle of faith in many fronts: working in apostolates amongst the youth and the elderly, charity towards the poor, apostolates of culture in teaching in foreign missions and local parishes. They work in pre-school nursery, in schools and in publications, they offer spiritual retreats, assist in vocations, summer camps, they assist the sick and disabled and provide material sustenance to the hungry poor and destitute. In other words anywhere there is a need for evangelizing the Servidoras are present with their joyous fervent zeal with their apostolate.

Their founder Fr. Carlos Miguel Buela is also the founder of the priests of the Religious Family of the Word Incarnate ( the Servidoras is the female branch). He imparted to these nuns his catching"'apostolic" and "missionary" spirit and by which one can be easily moved. In the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará one can see the same "thirst" to save souls like in St. Ignatius of Loyola and St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

Most religious orders will not accept girls that are over 35 years old, the Servidoras accept candidates of all ages but they must have clear signs of a vocation. Girls that have been unable to find a good spiritual director will be equally able to test their vocation in the convent where they will be assisted through a healthy discernment process. It is also possible to find a good spiritual director amongst the many priests that belong to their male branch  the Religious Family of the Word Incarnate. These priests receive a good spiritual and doctrinal preparation. Those who have a desire to embrace the consecrated life in this order must take the vows of poverty,chastity and obedience and also take a fourth one, that of "slaves of Mary" after the teachings of St. Louis Mary Grignion de Monfort. This vow consists in a loving slavery to which one offers herself totally to Jesus through Mary.

The apostolic zeal of this young religious order is hartening. I hope that the Lord will continue to flood it with numerous vocations. There is a great need of souls dedicated to the apostolic work not only in  mission lands but also in the United States of America and Europe where there is an advanced secularizzation and materialistic neo-paganism. Those who would like to experience their vocation with the Servidoras or simply request more information on the consecrated life they can contact these nuns directly at: ssvmvocations@servidoras.org