Catholic Q&A

What sort of people become Sisters? Is it possible to be live temporarily in a convent in order to gain the experience?

To become a Sister you first need to receive Baptism and become a Christian, and then live as a Christian for a number of years. To put it briefly, the Sisters sought to make their desire of becoming “Christ-like persons” much more thorough, and so they studied the options in diverse ways of life. They are people who grew convinced that a lifelong membership in a religious congregation was the most meaningful way for them to spend their lives.

This is so to speak an unusual way of leading a Christian life, a situation where your entire being is dedicated. It is a radical way of subsisting, wherein the individual lives solely under the motivation of the Gospel spirit. For some it will be a genuinely blissful way of living that enables their personalities to flourish, and yet, it is not a life meant for every person. Also, entering a religious congregation in order to seek a place of rest or due to disappointments in life, or with a desire to escape the cares of the world, would be a terrible misconception. The monastery is not a place of rest. Rather, it is a place of hard struggle, for those who seek to live in accordance with the precepts of Christ.

Religious life is impossible without the special grace of God. Religious life does not stifle the natural qualities and characters of people. Rather, it enables them to flourish, and it brings true joy to the persons concerned. For that however a person’s will, power, and so on, will not suffice. For that we need an aptitude for religious life, what we refer to as a “call” from God. Unless we are specifically chosen by God and given the grace to do so, we will be unable to sustain it until the end of our life.

Certain monasteries welcome aspirants on a temporary basis and permit them to stay with the community, for the sake of the experience. Here the aspirants can live with the members of the congregation, and consider carefully in the presence of God, as to whether such a life would be suitable for them. Regardless of what the case may be, I personally would advise people to consult an experienced instructor, for guidance in this matter.

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