Called to Become A Religious
Being a human person is an unconditional gift God freely granted to me, and becoming a religious is an extremely mysterious grace from Him, while others pursue the vocations of married or single life. Therefore, I will show you what I feel about this vocation and briefly tell you about my vocational journey.
Living the evangelic vows help me to imitate the example of Jesus Christ. To remember vows during my life that oblige me to take the renewal and it is accomplished in the annual time. I did it on last July 16th, which occurred in the special occasion of the waves of corona virus pandemic happening formidably in Vietnam. After considering carefully, we decided to organize the Holy Mass of renewing vows only inside the house of Saint Joseph without participant guests. It reminds me about the same circumstances Jesus has had with his disciples. After preaching outside to crowded flock such as at the synagogue (Luke 4.15, feeding the five thousand (John 6.1-15), Jesus asks the disciple to rest after hard-working (Mark 6. 31). We sometimes are quite busy with works and forget the presence of God in our lives so this is a great time to look back our lives and create a close interaction between God and us. Although it occurred in the tough time, it did not lack of the solemnity for each one of us participating in any particular duty that illustrates for we are not alone when we are together. In addition, with God’s providence, He knows that which difficulties we are facing and helps us to overcome obstacles combining with our petitions (Matthew 7.11: “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”). In the warm atmosphere of small chapel, we offered to God our praises of many good gifts on us and did not forgot to pray for the world which will undergo the hard time of the pandemic before it returns to normal life soon as well. Finally, I was given warm hugs, congratulations and we had dinner in fraternal relationship. My heart was filled with happiness, and they will be remarkable memories in my life.
Why do you call me? That can be a question of the disciples and the ones who are called to live in a consecrated life. When Jesus calls the first four disciples or when Nathanael was called to be His disciple and so do I. There are many times I wonder; I discern about my vocation by asking who I am and why does God call me to be His disciple for I am a sinner and am not worthy. In the period following Jesus Christ, there have been sure many ups and downs so far and it seemed to keep me from moving forward. But I prayed unceasingly and say to myself, God has ever told us “Do not be afraid, I am with you” 365 times and He will not forsake me so why I am afraid of giving response to His call (Deuteronomy 31:6-8). Therefore, I got courage, beseeched God to accompany and enlighten me to escape from the dark nights of vocational crisis and continually followed God. I should pursue God first and everything will be granted (Matthew 6. 33). Moreover, an author stated that: “it does not mean that the one called by Jesus is worthy to become His disciple, but God knows how to make them become worthy”. Therefore, I confide my whole body and soul in your hands, to use me as your tool.
I praise You, O Lord for pouring streams of love and compassion on me although I am not worthy and talented, You still call and choose me. By doing so please finish what You started doing on my life for without You I can do nothing.
From Br. Augustine Chu Manh Thai Binh, s.P. at Saint Joseph House
“You and I are wedded to Christ for a purpose of intimate union that has in mind the redemption of mankind”. Fr. Gerald sP