booklet presents short descriptions of Religious and Monastic
Life in the Episcopal Church. Intrigued by these descriptions,
you may want to find out more about religious and monastic
life. Perhaps reading these selections have provoked
within you some faint sense of call. You, probably
like most Episcopalians, may have only thought of a "call"
in terms of ordained ministry. But, to your surprise,
these descriptions suggest the possibility that the "call"
to serve exists in a container in which ordination is only
one of many ways to serve God.
What then is this "call" that may be stirring within you;
a "call;" that isn't necessarily a call to the ordained ministry?
Like all of the Baptized the goal of life is to seek God.
This is the basic component of the spirituality of all Christians,
lay or ordained. But this stirring within you may be
a stirring toward a radical transcendence. This radical
transcendence is what Sandra Schneiders, IHM, describes as
a "developed relationality to self, others, the world
and God." What is stirring within you then is
the radical desire to move yourself toward God. You
seek God pure and simple. And it is that seeking of
radical transcendence that may spark an interest in the possibility
of religious life for you. As you read the descriptions
of the various communities, you might have experienced an
"Aha!" That is, you may come to the realization that
religious/monastic life may be the container in which that
inner stirring you feel to seek God might be reached.
And that the Religious/monastic life might be the place where
that "developed relationality to self, others, the world,
and God" is developed and becomes the context for
your fulfilling the Gospel mandate to reconcile yourself and
others to Christ.
Religious Life is the invitation to live on the margins of
life so that the following words of the psalmist, becomes
your ongoing reality:
me hear what God the Lord will speak,
he will speak peace to his people, to his faithful,
those who turn to him in their hearts.
his salvation is at hand for those who fear him,
his glory may dwell in our land.
love and faithfulness will meet;
and peace will kiss each other.
will spring up from the ground,
righteousness will look down from the sky.
Lord will give what is good, and
land will yield its increase.
will go before him,
will make a path for his steps. Psalm 85:8-13
if this is the stirring you feel within, "Come follow me."