The Unfortunate State of Religious Life Today Updated 12/26/2014
Although we have quoted numerous Church documents and writings from the saints on the glory of the religious state, they are all based on the assumption that religious communities today are living up to the ideal which this life demands. This includes;

      1.  They exercise their will: They try to become better each day, avoiding the trap of habit or cynicism.
      2.  Fidelity to prayer and the rule: They are faithful to their vows, the rule, and the spirit of their founder
      3.  Spirit of Sacrifice: They strive to deny themselves, even in the smallest things (and they fast more than just twice a year!)
      4. They do not run from suffering, as if to be avoided at all costs, but embrace the cross when presented
      5.  They love: They deeply desire the salvation of souls, and often make sacrifices with this intention in mind
      6. They act in one accord: There is no division within the community, above pettty contentions of seculars.

Unfortunately over the past century, many religious communities have fallen away from some of these basic characteristics. For the saints, this is a great tragedy, for it is better for a soul never to have entered religious life, than to spend one's life in a lukewarm community. In fact, the saints use strong words for such communities, even calling them an "apostasy." It is thus all the more important for us to be equipped to make an informed decision about which community to enter, so as to avoid choosing a bad one. This is especially poignant in our modern society, when for the first time in history, religious life is so deeply afflicted from within. In 1938, Our Lord revealed to Saint Faustina the deplorable state of religious communities, and warned us about their fate should they persist in their ways (emphasis added);

"Towards the end of the Way of the Cross which I was making, the Lord Jesus began to complain about the souls of religious and priests, about the lack of love in chosen souls. 'I will allow convents and churches to be destroyed.' I answered, "Jesus, but there are so many souls praising You in convents." The Lord answered, 'That praise wounds My Heart, because love has been banished from convents. Souls without love and without devotion, souls full of egoism and self-love, souls full of pride and arrogance, souls full of deceit and hypocrisy, lukewarm souls who have just enough warmth to keep them alive: My Heart cannot bear this. All the graces that I pour out upon them flow off them as off the face of a rock. I cannot stand them, because they are neither good or bad. I called convents into being to sanctify the world through them. It is from them that a powerful flame of love and sacrifice should burst forth. And if they do not repent and become enkindled by their first love, I will deliver them over to the fate of this world... How can they sit on the promised throne of judgment to judge the world, when their guilt is greater than the guilt of the world? There is neither penance nor atonement. O heart, which received Me in the morning and at noon are all ablaze with hatred against Me, hatred of all sorts! O heart specially chosen by Me, were you chosen for this, to give Me more pain? The great sins of the world are superficial wounds on My Heart, but the sins of a chosen soul pierce My Heart through and through.'   When I tried to intercede for them, I could find nothing with which to excuse them and, being at the time unable to think of anything in their defense, my heart was seized with pain, and I wept bitterly. Then the Lord looked at me kindly and comforted me with these words: Do not cry. There are still a great number of souls who love Me very much, but My Heart desires to be loved by all and, because My love is great, that is why I warn and chastise them." - diary of Saint Faustina, 1703

And so it happened, just as Our Lord predicted in 1938. In the United Sates alone, the number of religious sisters dropped by 120,000 members in just forty years--a blink of an eye in world history--from 1965 to 2005. Thousands of convents and monasteries were abandoned, and those that remained arrested in spirit and fervor.

Our Lady of Fatima also predicted great trials for the world as well. Even though the consecration to Russia was made, it nonetheless occurred late, and thus the consequences have been tempered. Although nation have not been annihilated, and the "errors" of Russia (such as Marxism and socialism) have died away, nonetheless, these errors rippled out in variant forms, under the guise of Freudian psychology in the 1940's, and the "sexual revolution" of the 1960's. .

We mention this not to discrouage our readers, but only to underscore the point that religious life as we know it today is in a wounded state. However, in the same breadth, Our Lady has also been applying the ointment with Her most tender hand, raising up new communities devoted to Her and faithful to the Church. In 1995, Pope John Paul II stated that the Church is on the verge of a new springtime. The authentic renewal of religious life that Vatican II called for is now beginning to bud forth, fifty years later.

We see now the importance of visiting communities first hand, given the wide variance between them, in order to observe their way of life. As a general guideline, we recommend reviewing the information listed on the pages; "8 Tips for Choosing a Community" and also "7 Practical Tips for Discernment". We hope that with these guidelines will serve this purpose, that is; to better equip the reader to make an informed decision about which community Our Lord may be calling him to.

 

 


SOURCES:


Davide A. Bianchini, Contact