This past Saturday, February 2nd, we celebrated the feast of the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple, remembering St. Joseph and Our Lady’s obedience to the law of Moses. From the beginning of time, men recognized that all belonged to God. But it was Moses that God asked that the first born males be consecrated specifically to Him. The concept of consecrated life owes part of its roots to this idea, that God calls certain persons to consecrate themselves totally and exclusively to Himself.
For this reason Blessed Pope John Paul II set aside February 2nd as the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life. Not only do we pray for all consecrated persons, but we should also encourage young persons to ask themselves if they are called to give themselves to God in a special way. Many saints have said that perhaps one out of every three or four people have a religious vocation. So the first question every young person should ask himself or herself is, “Is God calling me to religious life?”
Blessed Pope John Paul II describes the process in this way: “In the hidden recesses of the human heart the grace of a vocation takes the form of a dialogue. It is a dialogue between Christ and an individual, in which a personal invitation is given. Christ calls the person by name and says, ‘Come, follow Me.’ This call, this mysterious inner voice of Christ, is heart most clearly in silence and prayer. Its acceptance is an act of faith.” Many times Our Lord’s call is heard in the circumstances of one’s life and the desire of one’s heart to live for Him; silence and prayer help focus on His Will and on eternal values, so often drowned out by the noise of the world.
It is heartening to see that the number of young people willing to discern a vocation to the religious life is on the rise. As cloistered nuns, we pray that they will find God’s Will for their lives, and especially that God will raise up holy priests and religious to help guide their discernment.