Pope Francis met with thousands of novices and seminarians (women and men training to become priests and members of religious orders) as part of the Year of Faith activities in Rome last week.
His address to the seminarians and novices was very challenging. You can see a video of the event (above). I will return to some of his comments in the coming days as they are very helpful for people who are discerning their vocation in life.
For now, I want to focus on what he said in his homily at a Mass for the novices and seminarians the following day in St Peter's Basilica. The Pope points out that we do not choose our vocation - we are called in freedom to it.
"Religious is not primarily our choice. I don’t trust the seminarian, the novice who says: “I have chosen this path.” I don’t like this. It’s not right! But it is the response to a call and to a call of love. I hear something within me, which makes me restless, and I answer yes. The Lord makes us feel this love in prayer, but also through so many signs that we can read in our life, so many persons that He puts on our path. And the joy of the encounter with Him and of His call leads not to closing ourselves but to opening ourselves; it leads to service in the Church."
Discerning our vocation in life is not about us deciding or choosing what we want to do but rather it is a slow process, often conducted in the silence of prayer, of listening to what the Lord might be saying to us.
If life as a religious brother is something which you'd like to know more about, feel free to contact me at vocation@PresentationBrothers.org