“How else has it lately come about in Ireland that those how never even knew God, but up till now had always worshipped nothing but idols and impure things, are now suddenly made the people of the Lord, so that they are now called children of God? Meanwhile, so many sons and daughters of the kings of the Irish are now proud to be counted monks and virgins of Christ…Not that their fathers agree with their decision; more often than not, they gladly suffer persecution, yes, and even false charges from their own parents. Yet, in spite of all, their number continues to grow more and more. …But the Lord has given his grace to so many women who are serving him in this way, so that even when they are forbidden, they continue steadfastly to follow his example.”
(The Confession of St. Patrick, Part IV, sections 41-42)
From what I hear from vocation directors and those who have chosen consecrated life themselves, this is just as true today as it was 1549 years ago.
Now I’m not going to go into some deep philosophical discussion about why this is true. Rather, I want to share what I plan to do when I have children, because honestly I’m pretty excited about the thought of one of my children being consecrated! (If I am blessed with children, God-willing!)
God has already put many wonderful people in my life who have consecrated themselves to God. It all started with a best friend from 7th grade summer camp who is now a nun, then I met her friend who is now a priest, then I met his friend who was a priest at my parish, and of course, now that I work at the Archdiocese I have met many more stellar priests and sisters.
I can’t wait to have them over for family dinners. I can’t wait to take my family to visit them in their parishes and monasteries. I can’t wait for my daughter to see the joy on my friend’s face when she talks about her love of God and her vocation to pray. I can’t wait for my son to watch my friend as he celebrates the Mass.
Is there a parish priest that you admire and want to invite to the next family cookout? Do you know a charismatic nun that your daughter could spend a Saturday with serving the poor? If not, make a new friend! Even if it’s not God’s will for them to become consecrated, at least they will witness your support of vocations and will come away with a respect and enthusiasm for consecrated life.
And they won’t grow up to be among the parents that St. Patrick describes!