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189. Entrance into the Religious Life

1. The religious life is a school of perfection, and evenuntutored pupils may enter that school to begin their progresstowards perfection. Hence, not only those who are well practiced inthe observance of the commandments should enter that fife, but alsothe unpracticed, that they may be removed from temptation, avoidsin, and work towards the attaining of perfection.

2. A good work done in fulfillment of a vow is better thanthe same work done without a vow. Hence, it is a praiseworthy thingfor one who is called to the religious fife to make a vow ofentering that life.

3. Such a vow binds in conscience. It must be fulfilledaccording to the measure of obligation assumed by the maker of thevow at the time he made it.

4. A person may make a vow to enter religion, and keep itby actually entering a community, and then, during his time ofprobation, conclude seriously that he is not called to thereligious life. Such a person does not sin against his vow inleaving the order. For he fulfilled the vow when he entered theorder as a candidate, and he has taken no further vow in the orderitself. But a man who has passed his probation, and has freely madehis solemn vows in religion, is bound to remain in the orderperpetually through all his life.

5. In olden times, it was the custom of pious parents toenter little children in a religious community so that they mightbe trained from early youth in the duties of the religious life.This custom is no longer in vogue.

6. When parents are in need of support and cannot befittingly cared for without the help of their children, theselatter, even if they be grown up, cannot lawfully enter religion.Apart from such necessity, one who feels called to the religiousstate is not to be prevented from entering it because of parentaldisapproval or prohibition.

7. Parish priests may surrender their parochial duties toenter the religious state. For this, they need no specialpermission from the pope.

8. It is lawful and commendable to pass from one religiouscommunity or order to another if there are genuinely seriousreasons to justify the change, and if the change is made in fullobservance of the pertinent laws of the Church.

9. One may lawfully urge or induce another to enter areligious community, provided there is no compulsion in theinducement, and no unholy circumstance, and no trickery.

10. A person who feels called to the religious liferequires no great amount of discussion or seeking of advice. Hemust simply follow his vocation. With reference to which order heshould enter, some consideration and counsel may be wise.

"The Lord has always revealed to mortals the treasures of his wisdom and his spirit, but now that the face of evil bares itself more and more, so does the Lord bare his treasures more."
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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"Those who love God are always happy, because their whole happiness is to fulfill, even in adversity, the will of God."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"It is better to be burdened and in company with the strong than to be unburdened and with the weak. When you are burdened you are close to God, your strength, who abides with the afflicted. When you are relieved of the burden you are close to yourself, your own weakness; for virtue and strength of soul grow and are confirmed in the trials of patience."
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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