Cardinal George lays his hands on Juan Carlos Arrieta Correa during the sacrament of priestly ordination earlier this year at St. Rita High School in Chicago.
(Catholic New World/Karen Callaway)
This is easier said then done for many Catholics who seek to live as disciples of Christ. Women and men also often have difficulty in "letting go and letting God" when they feel called to serve God as a religious sister or brother or priest. This is especially so in our culture that often mocks these vocations. Discernment of religious life or diocesan priesthood can become more difficult when families or friends do not support these vocations. At times they may seek to dissuade those called from answering. But support is plentiful and available in the form of discernment retreats and discernment groups organized and hosted by religious communities and dioceses.* Catholic parishes also can be supportive environments when parishioners pray for and actively encourage their members. Men and women called by Jesus to this path to love and serve Him should feel supported by others. Priesthood and religious life is a joyful, fulfilling life for those called who pursue it deeply rooted in prayer and the love of Christ.