The Hardest Thing about Religious Life

Father Mark-Mary reveals the hardest thing about religious life, for him.  

It wasn’t moving across the country, or taking a vow of poverty, or assisting the poorest of the poor.

The hardest part of religious life was singing a solo during mass.

All his life Fr. Mark-Mary hung out with people who affirmed him in the things he was good at, like sports and school.

But as a friar he was being called to be vulnerable, and that meant doing things he was not good at. He knew he couldn’t sing, and he knew he’d be embarrassed (and he was).

Nonetheless, he sang the alleluia in front of his brothers. Even though he practically whispered the words, he knew that this was the right challenge for him.

Despite how bad it was, afterward he knew his fellow friars accepted him because of who he is, not because of his talents.

It’s in our weakness that we are able to have a profound experience of love. When people see our flaws, but love us anyway, we are validated as unique, imperfect human beings.

We experience this every time we go to confession. God sees our sins, and forgives us out of love.

Whether or not you are discerning religious life, do something good that makes you uncomfortable today. Smile at someone on the subway or ask a coworker if you can pray for them – anything to stretch yourself to do the will of God.

And if you felt uncomfortable and awkward, know that God loves you anyway.

Learn more about the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal here.