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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.

"God has no need of men."
St Philip Neri

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"Lord, take from me everything that hinders me from going to You. give me all that will lead me to You. Take me from myself and give me to Yourself."
St Nicholas Flue

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"He who wishes to be perfectly obeyed, should give but few orders."
St Philip Neri

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