A lot of people talk about what religious life is growing into, and how it is transitioning into something very new and different. When you look back it has been doing that for 50 years or so, ever since Vatican II came out and Catholics were asked to get off their couches and orders were called back to their roots! Pretty exciting stuff even considering that this was 21 years before I was born.
When the Vatican II documents were released all religious orders were asked to look at the lives and teachings of their founders so that they could get back to their roots and be well a little less like Sister Act. Roots are different for each order and its usually this difference that sets an order apart from the rest when someone is looking for an order that fits them well. When I look at the founding stories, events, and original founders of an order I don’t see the pop culture image of religious life today. Orders weren’t started by people who wanted to march in lines, and go through “Catholic calisthenics.” Orders were founded by people who felt they had something to do, some God given desire to satiate during this life- I believe that is why people still choose this alternative lifestyle today.
Now that orders have gone back to their roots and reexamined why they were founded in the first place we are looking to the next step. Being a faith-filled person leading a life that seems to boggle the mind of almost everyone I meet is tricky, but like the founders of religious orders so long ago I feel I have some God given desire to pursue, without which I don’t think I could every be fulfilled. I do not know what that is yet, but I believe I am heading in the right direction. And like my own journey there is no clear picture yet of where religious life is heading as a whole. But then again, its about the journey not the destination.
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