Freedom and Commitment
Tuesday, November 24, 2009 by Fr. Santo Arrigo C.Ss.R.

An important way to see our Vowed Life

When we look at Religious Life from the outside, we tend to want to compare the way religious priests, brothers and sisters live with the way that we might be currently living.

We may think that life as a religious can sometimes seem constraint, limited, or even unhealthy.

It would be important for everyone, even the religious to examine those types of perceptions, and understand for ourselves what those perceptions are all about.

When we talk about Freedom and Commitment, we’re looking at some of the elements of Religious Life that seem strange from the outside.

Freedom is simply about “Freedom” of choice. When we make a committment to anything, we need to be free to make the commitment. What does Freedom mean when we make a life choice? Simply, we are not forced, confined, or feel the choice is the only choice for us. We want to be free to move towards a choice, as opposed to being forced to run away from another choice.

Religious Life must be embraced with freedom. That is the only way we live the vows and the responsibilities with integrity and honesty. It is through freedom that the vows become life giving, instead of burdens.

If you are not sure if your motivations to discern religious life are free, or might be unclear about what your motivations are, a Spiritual Director can help you gain clarity.

Our understanding of our Religious Vows

Prayer of Thomas Merton

My God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end…
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing.
And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore, I will trust you always through I may seem to be lost…
I will not fear, for you are with me and will never leave me to face my perils alone.

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