Choosing the Better Part: The Priesthood or the Religious Life by Brother André Marie, M.I.C.M.
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The two ecclesiastical vocations, priesthood and religious life, are both examined in this second lecture. The religious vocation is, of course, a higher state of life than the married or single state. The reasons why are precisely spelled out by our speaker. The consecrated life, given to the exercise of the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience, is the “better part,” which Our Lord reserved for the contemplative Mary; while the good part, although less than “the better,” is exemplified in her busy sister, Martha. The Apostles were called personally by Our Lord; however, that was unique to them. All other religious vocations involve a general call. It is God’s Plan A for him or her. If one does not respond cheerfully, or procrastinates, the “called” can lose this grace. There are only so many “mañanas” that God will tolerate. Our speaker stresses the importance for anyone who is considering a religious vocation to seek advice from a wise counselor and to make a retreat in order to discern better the inspiration’s source. Lastly, our speaker moves on with profound and sobering reflections on the duties of religious and priests, especially the divine duties of the alter-Christus, before eloquently extolling the dignity of the consecrated life and Christ’s promise of the hundredfold reward in this life and eternal life in the next for those who persevere.