I am writing this note on behalf of a ‘still, small voice’. And I am ‘aiming’ my note to those who might be thinking about studying for the priesthood or entering religious life as a Brother or Sister?
If so, I wish to begin by encouraging you to read the following quotation from the Bible, as it has a very simple but very interesting message for everyone.
In Sacred Scripture (the Bible), if we look in 1 Kings 19:11-13, we will find the following reading about Elijah being told to “Go forth, and stand upon the mountain before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake …. And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.”
I draw your attention to the last four words of the above: – “a still small voice”. This has great meaning for me because it shows how the Lord never comes crashing and bashing into our reality – more of a gentle whisper, a soft calling of our name, a gentle silence calling us into a quiet space. At least, that is how I describe my own experience when I began to think about living my life in religious service as a priest.
The more I thought about this interior, soft, gentle calling, the more I was intrigued and gave it some good consideration over quite a few months. But it all started with a still, small voice inside me, a gentle embrace, almost a whisper. Actually, it is kind of difficult to describe!
If the thought has crossed your mind about serving in religious life or studying to become a priest or deacon, there are usually many questions about the process involved and how one actually finds an answer to their many questions about the subject.
I can think of no better way to begin your consideration than by the above quotation. The Lord does indeed gently invite us and leaves our response up to us. You might begin by sitting quietly and giving some good consideration to the quotation above.
Be sure of my good wishes,
Former Vocation Director Diocese of Charlottetown