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Does the Lord Take Things Away from Us in this Life if He Calls Us to Consecrated Life?

Sometimes throughout our journey of vocational discernment (above all, once we have understood that the Lord is calling us to leave everything for Him in Consecrated Life), we can fall into the subtle temptation of thinking that He takes something away from us in this life since following Him requires us to totally renounce those we hold dear, goods, and comforts. As I mentioned, however, this way of thinking is truly a subtle temptation, since Jesus Himself says in the Gospel:

“Everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more and will inherit eternal life” (Matt 19:29).

Peter said to Jesus, “‘We have given up everything and followed you.’ Jesus said, ‘Amen I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life

in the age to come’” (Mark 10:28-30).

St. Thomas Aquinas – the great saint, theologian and doctor of the Church – says, “Eternal life consists of the perfect satisfaction of the desire. In fact, every blessed person will have more than he desired or hoped for. The reason is that, in this life, no one can totally satisfy his desires, and no created thing is able to fulfill man’s aspirations. Only God can satisfy him, or rather go infinitely beyond his desires. The saints in their homeland will possess God perfectly. It follows that they will reach the height of their every desire and that their glory will be greater than they hoped for.” **

In Heaven, therefore, our every desire will be fully satisfied; indeed, God will surpass our every expectation and give us much, much more compared to what He already gave us in this life.

At the beginning, when I entered the Little Friars and Little Nuns of Jesus and Mary, I was thinking about the story of Job and reflected: just as the Lord allowed the devil to take all Job’s possessions away from him, all he held dear, and then when Job understood what he had to understand and corrected himself, God blessed him and gave him back more than he had before, so it will be for me too, now I have left everything for the Lord. I have deprived myself of many things in this life - I was also well-off economically - but in Heaven, the Lord will reward me greatly.

In reality, I had not reflected well on the passage of Mark 10:28-30, but now, seventeen years later, I can testify that these Words of Jesus became flesh in my life: the Lord truly gives us a hundredfold compared to the things we left behind in order to follow him totally!

--Sr. LMV


** Dalle «Conferenze» di san Tommaso d'Aquino, sacerdote, (Conf. sopra il «Credo in Deum»). Nessun esempio di virtù è assente dalla croce (unpublished translation by pfsgm)

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