My parents gave me 14 brothers and sisters. I am number seven and I am blessed to have eight siblings who are religious: four priests, two religious sisters and two seminarians.
A few years ago, I wrote a letter to my brothers and sisters who are religious, thanking them for their fidelity and docility to the call of their religious vocation. I felt obliged to thank them and to commit myself to pray for their perseverance and holiness in such a sacred mission. To thank them for what? Thanks to the exercise of the priestly ministry, our families are founded upon the grace of marriage, our children are baptized, we receive communions and confessions that increase and maintain grace, and when the time comes, it is they who prepare us to go to our Celestial Homeland. Are they not our most direct contact with God the Father? Their gestures, their words, their actions, all their lives are burning for the salvation of souls. I cannot help but see in them, our closest and most direct union with God the Father. What would be of this world, without those consecrated hands that bring us the Bread that feeds our souls? In the same way, when we think about religious sisters, don’t they remind us of the humble, detailed and silent work of Mary for her Son?
Then, how can we not ask for more of those men and women who put us in direct contact with God? As a mother of small children, how can we not prepare our hearts, and those of our children, so that one day, if they are called to that sacred vocation, we can respond with joy and generosity as Mary did with her “fiat”?
We pray daily prayers as a family especially for them, for their fidelity, for their holiness, and for their perseverance; because thanks to that daily commitment in each mission, the flag of Christ still waves in our homelands, despite so much evil that surrounds us.
And if they keep the flag of the Divine army upright and waving, then, mothers and sisters, let us think of ourselves as a great army of souls. That in these days of continuous prayer for them, our petitions, prayers and sacrifices rise to heaven like burning spears, asking God to increase, protect and sustain the vocation of his faithful servants, priests and religious.
Let us ask unceasingly that those spears of flames, allow our religious to ignite, burn and be consumed with love in the heart of God, our Father.