Posts Tagged 'For Your Vocation'

St. Teresa of Avila: Transverberation

In chapter 29, inThe Life of St. Teresa of Avila, we read the following description of St. Teresa’s mystical ecstasy, also known as “transverberation”. In this description we hear St. Teresa narrate her mystical experience, in which she was spiritually consumed by God’s love:

“In his hands I saw a long golden spear
and at the end of the iron tip
I seemed to see a point of fire.
With this he seemed to pierce my heart several times
so that it penetrated to my entrails.
When he drew it out,
I thought he was drawing them out with it
and he left me completely afire with a great love for God.
The pain was so sharp
that it made me utter several moans;
and so excessive was the sweetness
caused me by this intense pain
that one can never wish to lose it,
nor will one’s soul be content
with anything less than God.
It is not bodily pain, but spiritual,
though the body has a share in it–indeed, a great share.
So sweet are the colloquies of love
which pass between the soul and God
that if anyone thinks I am lying I beseech God,
in His goodness, to give him the same experience.”

Blessed are the poor in spirit…

What does it mean to be poor in spirit? I had a student who once told me that this passage meant God didn’t want us to like ourselves too much. In the Gospel of Matthew, that section in chapter 5 typically known as the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says “Blessed are they who are poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 5:3). Being called to the vocation of priesthood or consecrated life requires poverty in spirit. But what exactly does that mean?

First, poverty in spirit is not self-pity or self-loathing. To be poor in spirit reflects back to the Old Testament notion of the “anawim” the little ones. God takes pity on Israel as His anawim, his little ones whom he loves. Israel’s poverty is also its greatest treasure, since relying on God for everything also means that God provides for all their needs. Poverty in spirit is this fundamental recognition that everything comes from God, therefore, the one who recognizes their life as a gift given by God already begins to live the blessedness of the kingdom of heaven here on earth.

What a liberating freedom to know that we belong to the Lord, despite our inadequacies, imperfections and defects! He chooses us! A vocation to the priesthood or consecrated life requires a special dependence on God. This form of spiritual poverty allows the one discerning a vocation to have the space and freedom they need to follow the Lord wherever He may lead.

Jesus said: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 5:3). Blessed are we who trust in Him and follow Him where ever he may lead us!

A little-known vocation in the Church: the gift of religious brotherhood

There are thousands of men in our country who very often lead a life of hidden service in the Church working in our schools, hospitals, on the streets…wherever you find the people of God. See this beautiful video of Brother Tom Dion.

USCCB Launches New Web Site –

Bishops Launch National Website To Promote Vocations To Priesthood And Consecrated Life

‘’ offers resources for people in discernment
Includes info for parents, teachers, catechists, vocation directors
Efforts respond to Pope Benedict XVI’s call to use social media

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Bishops’ Secretariat of Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations is initiating a new website on April 25 to be a resource for both laity and clergy in the promotion of vocations. The launch date is the World Day of Prayer for Vocations and Good Shepherd Sunday.
The site has two goals:
            To help individuals hear and respond to the call by God to the priesthood or consecrated life, and

            To educate all Catholics on the importance of encouraging others through prayer and activities to promote vocations.  

The Vocations Website can be found at A Spanish-language site will be available this fall at


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