Counsels Concerning a Religious Vocation 6 I. We ought to conform to the Designs of God in the Choice of a State of Life, whatever it may be. 6 II. The Vocation to the Religious State. How Important it is to follow it promptly. 7 1. Misery to Which One Exposes One’s Self by Not Corresponding to It 7 2. We Must Obey the Voice of God Without Delay 10 III. Means to be Employed for Preserving a Religious Vocation in the World. 13 Secrecy 14 Prayer 19 Recollection 20 Disposition Required for Entering Religion 20 Detachment from Comforts 23 -from Parents 25 -Self-Esteem 27 -from One’s Own Will 30 Trials Which We Must Expect to have in the Religious Life 33 Conclusion 27 Considerations for Those Who are Called to the Religious State 39 How the Salvation of the Soul is Secured by Entering the Religious State 39 The Happy Death of the Religious 41 The Account He Will have to Render to Jesus Christ on the Day of Judgment Who Does Not Follow His Vocation 45 The Torment Which Will be the Lot of Him Who is Damned for Having Lost His Vocation 47 The Immense Glory Which the Religious Enjoy in Heaven 49 The Interior Peace that God Gives to Good Religious to Enjoy 52 The Damage Done to Religious by Tepidity 55 How Dear to God is a Soul That Gives Itself Entirely to Him 58 How Necessary it is, in Order to Become a Saint, to Have a Great Desire for Such a Thing 61 The Love We Owe to Jesus Christ in Consideration of the Love He Has Shown to Us 64 The Great Happiness Religious Enjoy in Dwelling in the Same House with Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament 67 The Life of Religious Resembles Mostly the Life if Jesus Christ 70 The Zeal Which Religious Ought to Have for the Salvation of Souls 72 How Necessary to Religious are the Virtues of Meekness and Humility 75 How Much Religious Ought to Confide in the Patronage of Mary 78 Prayers Taken from St Thomas Aquinas 80 Answer to a Young Man Who Asks Counsel on the Choice of a State of Life 82 Advice to a Young Person in Doubt About the State of Life She Ought to Embrace 89 Discourse to Pious Maidens 95 Vocation to the Priesthood 108 Appendix 122 Hymn 126 The Choice of a State of Life, and the Vocation to the Religions State. COUNSELS CONCERNING A RELIGIOUS VOCATION. I. We ought to conform to the Designs of God in the Choice of a State of Life, whatever it may be. It is evident that our eternal salvation depends principally upon the choice of our state of life. Father Granada calls this choice the chief wheel of our whole life. Hence, as when in a clock the chief wheel is deranged, the whole clock is also deranged, so in the order of our salvation, if we make a mistake as to the state to which we are called, our whole life, as St. Gregory Nazianzen says, will be an error. If, then, in the choice of a state of life, we wish to secure our eternal salvation, we must embrace that to which God calls us, in which only God prepares for us the efficacious means necessary to our salvation. For, as St Cyprian says: “The grace of the Holy Spirit is given according to the order of God, and not according to our own will;” and therefore St. Paul writes, Every one hath his proper gift from God.” That is, as Cornelius a Lapide explains it, God gives to everyone his vocation, and chooses the state in which he wills him to be saved. And this is the order of predestination described by the same apostle: Whom he predestinated, them he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified, . . . and them he also glorified. We must remark that in the world this doctrine of the vocation is not much studied by some persons. They think it to be all the same, whether they live in the state to which God calls them, or in that which they choose of their own inclination, and therefore so many live a bad life.
St Alphonsus M Liguori, Paperback, ISBN 10: 1499237324, ISBN 13: 9781499237320