Do I Have a Vocation?

by Fr. Ludovic-Marie Barrielle

Free-wheeling translation from the original French by Paul Robinson,

Chapter 1 – What is a Vocation?

            Everyone is called to Sanctity ... to Salvation: “the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory in Christ Jesus,” says St. Peter (1 Pet. 5:10).

            We do not speak here of the vocation of every man to Salvation, but of the particular Vocation by which God calls one to a higher state of life. There, beyond the observance of the commandments of God, a man renounces the world in order to give himself totally to God and binds himself to the observance of the evangelical councils. It is to this higher state of life that one generally reserves the word “Vocation” in its strict sense.

            Am I called by God to a state of life of perfection rather than to live in the world? In other words:

Do I have a vocation?

            Here we have a question which has troubled many generous souls... Can I? Should I give myself totally to God?

            It even happens that consecrated souls, in the face of temptations or of the “demon of midday,” are troubled and ask themselves: “Am I following the right path? Was I not mistaken in entering the Seminary? the Convent?”

            And the devil profits from this to confuse, trouble, and discourage these souls by scruples: Who knows if...? Am I following the right path? etc...

            Both in order to make clear for the young people who, on the threshold of life, pose this great question, with incalculable consequences: “Do I have a vocation?,” as well as for troubled souls who are already in the religious life, we are going to consider the question head on.


There are more vocations than one thinks.

            God has always given the world the vocations it has needed:

“In no time,” says Pope Paul VI, “and in no place can one think that God does not provide for the needs of the Church and, as in the past, He does not call to Himself innumerable batallions of receptive adolescents, in their generosity, their strength, their integrity, their purity, to obey the voice of Christ and have the desire to devote themselves to the Church...” (Speech to the Congress of Priestly Vocations, Dec. 3, 1966).

            If all those who have been called by God would have responded, the world would already be converted. But we must consider:

            a) Those who were not born! What a joy and glory for those large families from which God has chosen so many elite vocations: a little Thérèse (ninth child), a St. Ignatius (eleventh), a St. Francis Xavier (thirteenth), a St. Catherine of Siena (twenty-fourth!).

            Without rashly judging individual cases ... What a shame if Madame Martin had refused to bear her ninth child! The world should not have St. Thérèse of Lisieux!

            b) There are the only childs... adored... they are not accustomed to sacrifices... And then, a family for which God is not God, is not proper soil for vocations!

            c) There is that monstrosity of an education where God and His Christ are continually made an abstraction. This is a fact many times verified... and besides proclaimed by those who have engineered atheistic teaching, i.e. teaching which willfully excludes speaking of God, His Revelation, the Divinity of Jesus Christ and our duties toward Him, and so on. There is nothing better than this for drying up a vocation in a man (and much more for women).

            Vatican II also proclaims in its “Declaration on Religious Liberty”:

“The rights of parents are violated if the children are constrained to attend classes which do not correspond to the religious conviction of the parents, or if one imposes a unique method of education from which religious formation is completely excluded.”

          But when young Christians are given a Christian upbringing, vocations flourish, are numerous and strong.

            And Vatican II (Lumen Gentium) reminds parents that “Parents should, by their word and example, be the first preachers of the faith to their children. They should encourage them in the vocation which is proper to each of them, fostering with special care any religious vocation.”

            d) Lastly there are those who feel the call, but do not wish to answer it.


One out of three

            Men who understand this, as did St. John Bosco and St. Alphonsus Liguori, say: “In general, for every three children, there is one vocation!” That is more or less what Paul VI said above: “God calls innumerable batallions.”


Misconceptions about a vocation

            1. Some believe that, in order to have a vocation, one must have an attraction for it. There are some, however, who do not have the attraction and yet have the vocation. And there are others who desire a vocation and yet, quite clearly, are far from having one, because they do not have the required dispositions.

            2. Others imagine that one must one day hear a little voice inside which says: “Come!”

            3. Still others forget that there are many diverse vocations. I knew a priest who was not able to continue with the Chartreux because of poor health, but who became a very holy diocesan priest, a holy vicar, a holy country pastor, and who died the curé of a cathedral with a true renown for sanctity.

            4. There are some vocations which require health or intelligence beyond the norm. Alternately, there are vocations which, in requiring a great love of God, can befit a candidate with delicate health or no instruction (e.g. the humble lay brother and porter who became St. Pascal Baylon).


Chapter II – The Call to a Vocation is Obligatory

            One cannot say that he who, by his fault, has been unfaithful to his vocation will necessarily be damned. No! That is false! For whatever sin, no matter how grave it be, that one has committed, if one humbles himself and asks pardon from God, then God pardons and grants all of the means necessary to be saved.

            It is not any less true that a man who, by his own fault, places himself outside of the way to which God has called him in a certain and pressing manner (for there are some calls more urgent than others), this person deprives himself of many graces and compromises his salvation. If St. Francis of Assisi had remained a cloth merchant or if St. Ignatius had continued to be a knight of the court, one could rightfully ask what would have become of them.

            How many young ladies there are who should have been sanctified, who should have progressed in divine love, who should have drawn down every manner of blessing upon the earth by taking Jesus for their Spouse and who, setting off with a vicious or superficial husband who wants no children, placed in the midst of every kind of sin, with little actual religious succor ... how many of these should have had a completely different destiny! Likewise, how many young men there are who should have had a life full of merit for the glory of God, yet, bound a little too quickly to a superficial woman, egotistical or opinionated, are enmeshed in sin in order to have peace in the house; it is an unhappy peace which is often a prelude to a terrible reckoning to be rendered to the Sovereign Judge!

            How many times a person has been torn from a generous choice of higher service in order to turn to mediocrity and, by that very fact, to many falls!

It is thus of primary importance to ask oneself this question: “Do I have a vocation?”

            There are some men who had never previously thought of this question and who, one day, posing it to themselves, have so transformed their entire lives that they became saints. Even more, they became, through the hands of God, instruments of salvation for millions and millions of souls (e.g. a St. Paul, a St. Francis Xavier, a St. Alphonsus de Liguori, etc.)

            Every young Catholic man must one day ask himself this question with its incalculable consequences. The Spiritual Exercises, above all those done according to the strict method of St. Ignatius, are the best means to settle reasonably this question. For they obtain the necessary dispositions a) to see clearly and b) to have the required courage.

Chapter III – How to Discern a Vocation

            Do I have a vocation? One must have clear ideas on this subject. Otherwise, many of those who are called will not respond, and the souls that they were meant to save will perhaps not be saved. But how I am to know if I am called?

St. Ignatius does not pose the question in the abstract form: “Do I have a vocation?”

            This is true firstly, because often one only certainly knows the answer afterwards, since God has the right to ask of whomever He wishes for the sacrifice of Abraham (God asked Abraham to sacrifice to Him his son Isaac and, at the moment when the father was about to thrust in the knife, an Angel stopped him. God was content with his obedience.) Thus: St. Camille entered the Capuchins twice and was obliged to leave twice... God reserved him to found the Order of Camillians. St. Benedict Labre entered the Trappists... and left. And Mr. Martin, the future father of St. Thérèse, did he not go to knock at the door of St. Bernard monastery to ask admittance? And he was refused it. God had other plans. But his generous act remains.

            How many young people have entered the Seminary or the Convent and (we do not speak here of the soft souls) have lawfully left? Not only have they no need to be ashamed, but on the Day of Judgment they will be astonished at the eternal and extraordinary recompense that they will then receive for having, one day when they were young, made this gesture of willingness to leave all for Christ. It is a gesture with which the Master is content...

            God has willed that, with every vocation, there should be some risk. There is a great deal of risk in a marriage... in every enlistment of a marine or a soldier! Why would one wish that there be no risk for the sake of Christ?

            Regardless, be certain that this risk will always have its recompense. Hence, St. Ignatius does not pose the question as: “Do I have a vocation?” He asks it in a manner more concrete:

“What should I do, I myself, today?”

            The problem, phrased in this way, is more easily soluble. A man of good will, who reflects even a little bit, comes easily to know what God wants him to do... at least for the moment, for the answer to the question: “What should I do today?” is made clear by theological principles and providential events, which show us that will of God, which we should always want to follow.

            Sometimes God’s will is manifested suddenly and very clearly. At other times, the ways of Providence will be shown forth progressively over time. God requires our good will... our inquiry. The game is worth the price of playing!

            Hear Pope Paul VI in the speech already cited:

“Most of the time, in reality, the vocation to embrace the priestly life is not revealed in itself, directly, but it must be detected as if it were the pearl of the Gospel that is buried in the field. In effect, God, who reserves to Himself the calling of those whom He chooses, nevertheless asks for the collaboration of the sacred ministers so that the young men may become aware of the action that divine grace operates and that they might bring to maturity the divine seed placed in their souls...”

“You have not chosen Me: but I have chosen you!” (Jn. 15:16)

            A vocation firstly comes from God. It does not come from us. The word “vocation” comes from the Latin word “vocare,” to call. It is God who calls. It is not uncommon, even in a Christian family, to observe an early distortion in a child who is asked the question:

            “My dear child, what do you want to be when you grow up?” If the child has been struck in the preceding days by the sight of a bishop or of a military pilot or of a mailman, he will answer: “I want to be a Bishop... a Pilot... a Mailman...”, etc.

            St. Ignatius, in the preamble for the consideration of the states of life (Spiritual Exercises, n. 135), says to the retreatant:

“We will begin, in contemplating His life [Our Lord Jesus Christ] to look for and to ask from God in what state or kind of life His Divine Majesty will deign to make use of us.”

            The perspective changes. It is not for us in the first place to choose, but for God. That we must not forget.

            His Holiness Paul VI says (ibid.):

“This vocation depends totally on a mysterious decision of God following the very word of the Redeemer: ‘You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you” (Jn. 15:16).

            It is thus not a question only of knowing whether this or that pleases me, but if God calls me... It is a question of searching out “where God will deign to make use of me” during my short earthly pilgrimage whose end is “to praise, honor, and serve Him” here below “and by this means save my soul” (n. 23). We have there a light which will help us to see the will of God for us.

            Hence, it will be a matter of “choosing,” says St. Ignatius (n. 23), “only that which better brings us to the end for which we have been created...” The question is becoming clearer... Let us move on:

Si vis! (If you wish!)

But God requires that man respond to His invitation by the free consent of his will,” continues Paul VI; “in other words, the divine vocation requires that a man listen...

Without a doubt, it will be necessary “to provide to the faithful, and to the souls of the young in particular, the Secondary Elements so that those souls might be able to hear the divine word and that they might know how to respond to God...

In all this, it will be necessary,” the Pope adds, “to respect the action of God and the liberty of the candidates.

            In the 19th chapter of St. Matthew, we see Our Lord give us a master lesson on this question:

If you wish!... Come!... Follow Me!

            A young man accosts Jesus:

            — Good master, what good shall I do that I may have life everlasting?

            — If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments, etc.

            And the young man said to Him:

            — All these I have kept from my youth.

            Jesus looked at him and... loved him, remarks St. Mark. The young man is suitable. The Lord has considered him with his response. He sends forth the call:

            — Si vis! ... There only remains for him to will.

            — If thou wilt be perfect, go sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come! Follow Me!

            “If thou wilt!” God respects free will: Si vis! ...

            Alas! This young man walked away sad, instead of answering the call. The reflection that Jesus made after this leaves one doubting of the young man’s salvation. Thus:

            Up to now, we have considered two elements of a vocation:

            1. The call of God. It is a call which will be made definite by the Bishop or the ecclesiastical Superior in charge of admitting candidates to a state of Perfection in the name of the Church.

            2. The free will of the candidate: “SI VIS! ... If thou wilt!”

            It remains now to look at the other elements. They will permit the Superior to pronounce the call and the candidate to answer, to present himself for the call... to leave all, in order to give himself totally to God in this or that higher state of life, or “Vocation.”

            Our Lady of Good Counsel, deign to enlighten me!

            Saint Joseph, Patron and Guardian of Vocations, vouchsafe to come to my aid!

But how do I know if I am called?

            — Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth!

            In order to know, we must first of all pray. A vocation requires many prayers in order a) to see clearly and b) to put oneself in the right disposition.

            Say with Saint Paul: “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” (Acts 9:6); say with young Samuel: “Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth” (1 Kings 3:10); invoke Our Lady of Good Counsel, pray to St. Joseph, patron of vocations, to your Guardian Angel, to your baptismal saint, etc. And make the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.

The Spiritual Exercises

            The Holy Father, in his talk on vocations does not explicitly name the Spiritual Exercises but he asks us to prefer the conditions which will help and dispose the adolescent to hear the Word of God. Now, the conditions listed by the Holy Father are found assemble, in fact and above all, in the retreat of the Spiritual Exercises:

In the first place, interior silence… for their thoughts (that of young people) … assailed by a great deal of external excitements, often vain and empty, sometimes even wicked and pernicious, prevents them from conceiving and meditating on the idea of the perfect life, the value and beauty of this life... Moments of silence, of recollection… meditation on eternal realities… will be very profitable for them… as well as thanksgiving after Mass. It is above all through this latter devotion that they might unite themselves to God and that God Himself might unveil to them by stages His mysterious Will; and… that the adolescents might understand better if they are called to the priesthood or what role God is confiding to them.” (ibid.)

Chapter IV – Some Signs of a Vocation

What are the “secondary elements” of which the Pope speaks above and which will help one see clearly?

            There are five of them. They will show a young man if he has the right... and perhaps the duty to say: “Here I am, Lord!”

            Five signs give a candidate to a state of perfection the certitude that he can advance secure in his conscience.

            1. To understand that, in such a vocation, I will serve the Lord better, I will be more sanctified, I will work more for the salvation of my own soul and the souls of others, and I will give more glory to God both here below and above in Heaven.

            Speaking of those who remain virgins for the Kingdom of Heaven, Our Lord tells us that no one is capable of understanding it without a special grace: “All men take not this word, but they to whom it is given” (Matt. 19:11). It is not a question of knowing that, in theory, a religious vocation is higher than the common path; but that I, with my particular qualities, I will serve the Lord better in such a state. If I understand this, I already have the first divine sign.

            2. To have the required dispositions.

            In the fifteenth addition, Saint Ignatius tells us that outside of the Exercises, it is “licit and meritorious” to “push” not everyone, but “every person having the required dispositionsto choose: “Virginity, the religious life and every form of evangelical perfection.”

            Here is a very precious indicator. If someone does not have the required dispositions, normally (barring a miracle) one can conclude that God does not call him… But be careful! God might be calling him to another vocation. But normally not to that vocation for which he does not have the required dispositions.

            (Examples of the required dispositions: a minimum level of intelligence, if there are studies to be done, a minimum of health, if it is necessary to do missionary work, et… and, for every vocation: To have common sense.)

            3. There should not be any counter-indicators.

            In medicine there is a thing that one calls a “counter-indicator”; for example: if you have heart problems, you cannot be a pilot, a stevedore, etc...; if you have a bad liver, do not eat too much chocolate; if you have bad eyes, that is a counter-indicator for working on the railroad, and so on.

            In like manner, there are “counter-indicators” for a vocation. There are some from the natural law; others are imposed by Canon Law. For example: a young man who is the sole support of his poor family, a man who has debts or pending lawsuits, cannot enter the novitiate without having settled these questions. An illegitimate son cannot be a priest. Nor can those with certain sicknesses, certain bodily defects, certain public faults, at least for some vocations. Nor can a young man who has certain habits that he cannot correct.

            There is in this #3 an important eliminatory element that can shed light on the existence or absence of a vocation.

            4. You must, in giving yourself to God, accept the renouncements that the evangelical counsels require.

            It is much better not to vow,” says Ecclesiastes 5:4, “than after a vow not to perform the things promised.” Someone who does not want, for example, to observe chastity, poverty, or obedience, should not engage himself in the religious life. A man who has sinned against chastity must not advance before having corrected his wicked habit: “A long period of chastity” says Saint Bernard, “is a second virginity.

            5. Finally, you must find a Bishop or a Congregation that will accept you.

            We have here the official sign of God’s call. If you cannot find any Bishop or any Congregation that will accept you, be at peace. It is a sign that God is not calling you.

            Nevertheless, be careful! Let us not judge too quickly or too summarily. It is possible to be unfitting for one Congregation, yet succeed quite well in another. Likewise, those who judge in a single glance that a child does not have a vocation, can be mistaken. It is permissible to insist and try a vocation elsewhere. This is especially true if the subject has the four preceding signs.

            For example: The story is told that a seminarian was sent home from the Minor Seminary for some sort of thoughtless act. The parish priest, knowing the child, sent him to an apostolic school where the young man made great progress, went on to the Major Seminary, and passed his theological courses. Ordained a priest, he soon became a prelate entrusted with high functions and one great day was made a Cardinal. According to the custom, his home diocese, honored to have one of her children clothed in the cardinal’s purple, made a great ceremony for him at the cathedral. A banquet followed which took place at the Minor Seminary. At the end of the meal, the new Cardinal asked the Superior there: “Could you bring me the admissions records?” ... and he read from a year long ago forgotten: “Pizzardo, sent away for lack of a vocation.” Then the Cardinal took out his pen and added with some humor: “And today, Cardinal of Holy Mother Church!” He was His Eminence Cardinal Pizzardo, today [1967] at the head of all the Seminaries and Catholic Universities of the world. The moral is that we must not judge too quickly. One can be deceived!

            Canon Law reduces these signs of a vocation to four: 1) The right intention; 2) The call of the Bishop; 3) The required qualities; 4) The absence of any irregularity or impediment.

May one who fulfills these four conditions put himself forward without fear of being mistaken?

            Yes! ... even if he does not have the desire to do so. (Obviously, it is different if there is question of an unconquerable repugnance or of a forced entry due to the pressure of a father or a godmother. In this case, the candidate does not fulfill the required conditions.) The wise theologian Noldin says: “Whoever is suitable and has the right intention, while aspiring to the priesthood, may present himself to the Bishop.

            It is besides the same teaching that we find in various conciliar decrees.

The Teaching of the Council

            In the decree on the formation of priests (Optatam totius), the Second Vatican Council gives the same teaching:

2. The task of fostering vocations devolves on the whole Christian community…

Teachers should strive so to develop those entrusted to them that these young people will be able to recognize a divine calling and willingly answer it…

… Such an active partnership between the whole people of God in the work of encouraging vocations corresponds to the activity of Divine Providence. For God properly endows and aids with His grace those men divinely chosen to share in Christ’s hierarchical priesthood. To the lawful ministers of the Church He confides the work of calling proven candidates whose fitness has been acknowledged and who seek so exalted an office with the right intention and full freedom. Her ministers exercise the further commission of consecrating such men with the seal of the Holy Spirit to the worship of God and the service of the Church… “

Chapter V – A Vocation Does Not Leave One Free

Young man, if thou wilt!

            Here we have a young man, lively and intelligent. He would willingly be married and several young ladies have their eyes on him. He has only to make a sign.

            But, struck by the lack of evangelical workers and the great number of souls that perish due to the lack of apostles, he foresees all of the consequences that would follow for the salvation of the world by his renouncement of the lawful joys of marriage... if he consecrates his entire life to the service of God. He sees the results of this gift in the likes of St. Francis Xavier, St. John Bosco, St. Vincent de Paul, St. John Vianney. He says to himself: “Why not me?”

            He has the five signs or conditions indicated above:

            1) He understands the efficacy that his sacrifice for the service of God and the Church would have. The number of families transformed! And how much more he would be sanctified!

            2) He has the required dispositions.

            3) If he gives himself to God, he is determined, with God’s grace, to hold himself to the obligations entailed therein.

            4) There are no counter-indicators.

            5) He will easily find a Bishop or a Congregation which will accept him.

            Can this young man say to himself: Does God call me? Should I devote my life to Him? Should I vow myself to His service?

            Without any doubt! The young man can consider the words of the Divine Master as if they were addressed to him: “Si vis! If thou wilt, go, sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow Me!”

Nothing,” says St. Ignatius, “ought to move me to take such means or to deprive myself of them, except only the service and praise of God our Lord and the eternal salvation of my soul.” (n. 169)

            St. Thomas (read the whole of II-II, q. 189, a.10) tells us that there must be more reasons for not becoming a religious than to become a religious. And he repeats several times in the same article: “Above all, do not seek advice among those who will prevent you” and he quotes this sentence of St. Jerome: “Make haste, I beg you, and if you hesitate, cut away your moorings rather than lose your time untying them.

Hasten, young man! Hasten and make a decision!

            St. Ignatius (n. 185, 187) is saying to you:

            — To a young man who is in your exact situation, what advice would you give him for the greater glory of God and the greater perfection of his soul?

            — On the day of your death, what choice would you have liked to make today?

            — What value do your various reasonings have, on one side or the other, in front of the judgment seat of God?

            Hesitate no longer. Act accordingly. Si vis! Understand the grace... understand the honor which is made you. “You have not chosen me: but I have chosen you; and have appointed you, that you should go, and should bring forth fruit; and your fruit should remain.” (Jn. 15:16)

Chapter VI – Reply to Some Objections

1) But if all this is true, then should everyone give himself to God? That would be the end of the world!

            The holy Father Berthier replies: That would be the most glorious end of the world!

            But be assured, there is the “Si vis”, “If thou wilt,” and there are many who do not want it! And besides, the five signs given above exclude many.

            On the other side, since our earthly pilgrimage is given to us as a means of loving and serving God freely here below and meriting to praise Him in an eternal ecstasy of contemplation and love, we should choose all that will best help us accomplish this. It is God who invites us to do this.

2) But is not my attraction to things of the flesh an obstacle to a vocation?

            No, except for those with an extremely bestial disposition. St. Alphonsus becomes angry when one objects against a vocation due to concupiscence of the flesh. “Do you think,” he says, that you will never be tempted in marriage? You will have occasions to sin, both from within and without... In the religious life, you will have many fewer occasions of sin, and many more aids. It would be a sin against hope to believe that with all of the helps which the religious rule gives, you would not be able to resist the devil.”

            In fact, and this is very little known, It is relatively easy to practice chastity in the religious life! He who observes modesty of the eyes and the senses; he who follows the rule with regard to relations with the outside world; he who flees the occasions of sin; he who prays, confides in Mary, who practices a little mortification, who reveals filially to his spiritual director his faults and temptations, he who engages in a counter-attack (prayer and penance) whenever temptations approaches...

            This man will easily practice perfect chastity. It is one of the graces and the most pure of the joys of the religious life.

3) I do not know all of the Congregations in order to choose one.

            It is not necessary to know them all in order to decide, any more than it is necessary to wait to know every woman in the world before marrying, or to try on all the shoes in Paris before deciding which pair to buy.

            God leads us. If He is calling you, He will make you recognize the Congregation where He wants you to go... or if He wishes you to enter the ranks of the diocesan clergy.

            In itself, all of the Congregations approved by the Church can lead one to religious perfection. However, we should choose that one that corresponds best to our aspirations and our weakness, or that we understand to be of a more urgent necessity.

            St. Alphonsus recommends above all that we not choose a lax community or one contaminated by false doctrine.

4) What should we think of those who enter without having a vocation?

            St. Ignatius answers: if he who has made final vows in a vocation without having the right intention, e.g. in order to please his godmother or to have a favorable position, then he should repent and force himself to lead a good life in the state into which he has engaged himself (n. 172). God will help him.

5) What about he who doubts about his vocation?

            As far as he who has entered in a state of life, been approved by the Church with the right intention and the legitimate call of his superiors, he is following the right path... “The devil is a liar” (Jn. 8:44). He should neither be disturbed nor change his state of life. Let him despise those temptations. One cannot be deceived in giving himself to God. If the Enemy tries to lead him into sentiments of shallow egoism, let the elect of the Lord chase away the demon by renewing with all his heart his total consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and having recourse to St. Joseph, terror of demons. Let him continue without dissembling to accomplish well his duties of state. And the demon will flee.

            If prayer is the great means to know a vocation and to respond to it, prayer is equally the great means to persevere in a vocation. “He who prays is saved and he who does not pray is damned,” writes St. Alphonsus. And he adds: “All of the damned are in Hell because they ceased praying and they would not be there if they had not stopped praying.” And St. Bernard cried out in the face of the traps of the devil: “Ratio spei meae, Maria!” “Mary is the reason of my hope!” How could the Mother of the Church, the Queen of the Apostles, how could she abandon the “consecrated” who call for her: “In the midst of the tempest, look at the Star; invoke Mary,” repeats St. Bernard.

            The perserverance of a consecrated soul is very easy if he only apply the means at hand.

I know whom I have believed! (2 Tim. 1:12)

            God never abandons those who have confided themselves to Him.

            “Non deserit nisi deseratur,” says St. Augustine. “He may abandon God, but God will not abandon him.”

            “The fear of those who worry that they will not be able to reach perfection by their entry into religion is unreasonable,” says St. Thomas. And he cites the words of St. Augustine: “Why do you hesitate? Cast yourself on Him. Do not fear. He will not withdraw from you in order to let you fall. Cast yourself on Him in all confidence. He will receive you and heal you” (Confessions, VIII).


L. M. Barrielle, C.P.C.R.

Superior of the House of Christ the King

Director of the Work of Parish Cooperation of Christ the King

Good Shepherd Sunday, 1967