The modern mind is muddled.

What is a religious vocation, anyway?

I came across a clear description of a religious vocation today that I thought would help those who have a vocation but don’t know what it is. Too often a vocation is thought of in terms of a career, or just a personal choice. It’s more than that.

This description appeared in the blog post of the Dominican Monastery of St. Jude, in Marbury, AL.

“Each person has their own particular vocation, the one that will bring them to holiness. But the religious vocation is a special mystery all its own. … The vocation to religious life is neither a sacrament nor does it imprint a character, yet the Church, following the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas, believes that the pronouncing of vows does cause an effect in the soul of the one who does it. Even in eternity the effect remains.”

Maybe I’m partial to the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas, since I received training as a Third Order Dominican, but I appreciate the sisters’ clear comparison of the Sacraments of Orders, Marriage, and that of a religious vocation. This kind of teaching is good for those seeking a religious vocation, who often don’t have a clear notion of it.

This blog, called “From Marbury’s Hilltop,” was started in September 2007, and averages about 185 visits per month — not bad. It features a large picture of two young happy sisters reaching out to a statue of the Blessed Mother. The sisters make an entry every few days, and nearly all of the topics are about the saint of the day, occasionally how they relate to the Dominican Order. There are colorful pictures of saints, and links to Catholic websites for further reading. Some of the posts are I think, too long, but otherwise, it is a good blog.

When you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you can subscribe to the “feed.” When you do this, your browser — for example, Internet Explorer, tucks the name of the blog onto a drop-down menu at the top of your browser (in my IE, version 7, a little gold star). Then I can click it to check on the latest blog entry.

The blog was created on the popular, free blogsite, Blogger, which says on its home page that you can create a blog in three easy steps. Another free blogsite is WordPress.

This sisters’ blog is the kind that you would tell your friends and aspirants about to keep them connected.

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Quote of the day: “One clear sign of this radical commitment is seen in the many vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life the Church in your country is currently experiencing.”
— Pope Benedict XVI’s address to Bangladesh Bishops, June 12, 2008