Let us consider this excerpt on the word 'religion': “St. Isidor says, that the word 'religion' is derived from theLatin expression relegenda lege (to read often the law of God); so that the name of 'religious' may be applied to him who often reads, reflects and meditates upon what appertains to the divine worship. According to She Augustine, the word 'religion' is derived from the latin word re-eligendo (to reelect), because, after having lost our Lord by sin, we ought to re-elect or choose Him again as our true and only Lord and Sovereign Master. But, according to the same Saint, the word 'religion', is more properly and truly derived from religando (to re-unite), because it re-unites Dlan with God, with "Whom he was primitively united, but from Whom he voluntarily separated by sin. Hence, according to St. Thomas, religion' is a virtue which teaches us to live in union with God, by the practice of interior acts of adoration, of invocation, of reverence, &c. J as well as by exterior acts, such as vows, sacrifices, genuflexions, hymns, &c. For this reason religioll is, after the three theological virtues, the noblest, and the principal source of all other moral virtues, as it teaches us to worship and serve God in a worthy manner, to practise all other virtues for the sake of God, and to refer everything to Him as to the true and only cause of all good. The faithful practice of this virtue leads to sanctity, which according to St. Thomas, is the flower of religion, since sanctity makes us offer to God our soul quite pure and free from every stain of sin, and preserve for Him alone, all its strength, powers and affections. All other moral virtues are as it were, subservient to this virtue, some in as much as they purify the will, others in as much as they enlighten the mind, and others again in as much as they restrain and mortify the senses.” This work considers the various aspects of the vocation to the religious state, especially a chapter on the marks of such a vocation.
Michael Muller, Brother Hermenegild TOSF, Paperback, ISBN 10: 1495957845, ISBN 13: 9781495957840