by Clare Lentz, SP
How many times have you thought that a young woman or young man would make a wonderful religious or priest?
Did you keep this inspiration to yourself?
Or did you follow up the thought with a direct question to this person: “Have you ever thought about being a religious or priest? The reason I ask you the question is because I see these qualities in you.”
“Come and see,” said Jesus.
We all know how good it feels when another person notices something they like about us and takes the time to tell us what it is.
Isn’t that the way Jesus lived and got his disciples? He noticed those around him. He felt their desire to give their whole selves to him in the service of the Kingdom.
“Come and see,” Jesus tells the two prospective disciples (John 1:39). “Come and follow me,” he entices others.
Personal invitation, research tells us, is the most frequent way that women and men become aware of their religious vocation. My high school principal proposed the question to me: “Clare, have you thought about a religious vocation?”
I don’t remember what my response was, other than I know it was negative.
A seed was planted
However, secretly I was very pleased that she would think that I would make a good sister. Her question made me think seriously about what I really wanted to do with my life and planted the seed of religious vocation within me.
In my present ministry as a member of the Vocation Team for the Sisters of Providence, I have the pleasure of working with young adults who are being drawn to religious life. Most of these women became aware of their call because someone in the Catholic community first approached them.
Whether you are a parent or grandparent, teacher or religious educator, for whom will you be the voice of Christ? Whom will you ask to consider a religious vocation?
First published in the Central Washington Catholic, March 2004