Seeking God Through Religious Life?
part of a talk with Novices of the Society of St Francis by Br Geoffrey SSF
As I look around you I feel I want to put the question which St Benedict put to aspirants: “Why have you come?”
Have you come because you:
- think we are a jolly lot and you will have a lot of fun?
- feel a need for community and that without it you can’t live or grow?
- are sickened and alarmed by the world?
- feel this is the best way in which your particular gifts and attributes can be fulfilled and your ambitions achieved?
- want to help people who are in need and proclaim the gospel?
It is not wrong to have any or all of these motives in your mind as you come and seek to join us. It may be that in being here all these things will be achieved. But not one of these is entirely adequate as a motive. There is one motive which must be over and above all these subsidiary motives and which must be your consuming passion if you are to become a true Friar: I come to seek God.
If you come only to meet certain needs in yourself, or to help you cope with problems of one sort or another then, when the need is fulfilled or the problem is resolved there will be no point in you staying. You will leave, as others have done in the past. I come to seek God, to know him, to love him and to serve him.
In God we gloried day by day. Your name we praised always.