Thursday, April 2, 2015



After realizing the importance of choosing a right state of life, the next step is to recognize the means whereby we will be given the grace to be open to God’s will-and accept it once we know what it is.

In this article I will mention some useful advice from Reverend Father Lasance’s book A Catholic Girl’s Guide which he gives for a those who wish to prepare themselves properly to choose a right state of life. 

In the 3 following posts I will quote what he says about how to tell if once is called to a particular state of life or not.

The Means to Make a Wise Choice (LXVII)

“Everyone desires to choose aright, but how many young persons there are who are so unfortunate as to make a wrong choice!  A girl who had not long left school made the acquaintance of a young man who was not only very well off, but appeared to be all that was desirable.  She married him, imagining that she had made a fortunate choice.  But on the evening of her wedding-day she discovered how terribly she had been deceived.  In all simplicity she showed her husband a beautiful statue of the Mother of God, which had been given her as a souvenir of the occasion.  He snatched it from her roughly, and dashed it to the ground, saying as he did so: “We have done with these follies; remember that for the future!”  And I regret to say that the poor girl’s fears were realized, for her marries life proved to be most unhappy.

May you be more fortunate, not only if you should marry, but in your choice of a state in general.  To this end follow the practical advice I gave you in the previous chapter (which was about who is proper to seek advice from in discerning one’s state of life, and a few other practical tips) and make use of the means I am about to point out to you.

In the first place, direct your heart constantly toward heaven.  Have but one desire, namely, to know and to do the will of God.  God will then bestow His grace upon you, and you will be certain to make a wise choice.  No one must count upon an extraordinary call, such as the apostles and many great saints received.  Those were very special gifts of grace, which you cannot expect.  But if you keep your eye and heart constantly directed toward God, He will enlighten you with His grace, will give you prudent counselors, and so ordain external circumstances that you may, if I can thus express it, be led by the hand of your guardian angel to enter the state of life God intends for you.

Truly the ways of God are wonderful and manifold.  Sometimes He impresses on the heart of a young child a desire for a particular state.  Consequently, later on in life there can arise no question as to making a choice, the question having already been decided.  To others He signifies His will only when a choice has to be made; and these often enter with joy of spirit into a state for which they had long experienced a rooted aversion.

In the second place, keep your soul pure.  A very great deal-everything, indeed-depends upon this.  The brighter and more transparent is the glass of window, the more readily do the rays of sun penetrate into the room; but the dimmer the glass, the darker will the apartment be.  The soul may be compared to glass, to a mirror, into which the beams of divine grace shine, and in which they are reflected.  If you desire to be enlightened from on high in your choice of a state of life, keep your heart clean, preserve therein the bright light of innocence.  If this light is obscured or extinguished by sin, delay not to rekindle it by means of contrition and confession.

In the third place, be diligent in prayer.  From what has already been said you must plainly perceive that prayer is of the utmost importance in choosing a state of life.  For, on the one hand, you seek to choose the state of life which will best promote your eternal salvation; on the other, the world, the flesh, and the devil strive to decoy you into taking the wrong road.

There are two epochs in the life of every individual when the devil lays snares for him with particular cunning.  The first is when he ceases to be a child; then comes the crisis, the critical period when the result of previous training will show in the innocence and purity of the youth or maiden, or the reverse be unhappily the case.  I believe this critical period has already passed with you; I confidently hope you have successfully withstood the test and preserve your innocence.

But with yet greater and cunning force will the devil attack you either now or a few years hence when you come to choose a state of life.  Should he succeed in inducing you to take the wrong road, he will expect to emerge victorious from your final, death-bed struggle.  Therefore, my dear child, pray, pray!  Pray for light, that the mists may disperse and the road of life stretch clearly before you; pray for strength to resist your passions whatever the sacrifices it may cost you; pray simply that you may know and do the will of God.

In the fourth place, receive frequently and worthily the Sacraments of Penance and of the Altar.  These Sacraments will maintain the purity of your soul, and the Giver of grace will descend into your heart with His light and strength.  After each communion entreat Our Lord, with earnestness and confidence, to teach you what are the designs of His Sacred Heart in regard to you, and to strengthen you to make any sacrifice that may be necessary.  And on your communion days give some time to serious reflection.  Imagine that you are stretched upon your death-bed.  Ask yourself if you were in that awful hour what state of life you would wish you had chosen.  Would it not be a cause of bitter regret if you had acted in accordance with your own self-will, instead of following the advice of your confessor?

I cannot refrain from mentioning one more means for arriving at a right decision, namely, a true, filial, confiding love and devotion to Mary.  On the present occasion I will only make two brief remarks in regard to this devotion.  If you desire wisdom and enlightenment concerning the choice of a state of life, the surest way to obtain it is through Mary, for she is “Sedes sapientiae” the “Seat of wisdom.”  And if you wish to attain eternal salvation, the surest way to realize this is through Mary, for, as a great saint tells us, “a true servant of Mary can never be lost”.

Do not imagine that thoughts like these are suited only for a young woman who is about to enter the cloister.  These reflections are not intended for this one or that one, but for all who desire to choose aright so as to ensure their eternal salvation.

As you ought to beware of rashness in choosing a state of life, so ought you to guard against over-anxiety.  Do not lose heart in presence of the momentous decision.  Make use of the means I have pointed out to you; look constantly toward Heaven.  Keep your soul pure; be diligent in prayer; frequently approach the sacraments; practice devotion to Mary; regard her as your Mother; and look with cheerful confidence into the future.  Eternal peace and joy follow the earthly struggle.  The way of the cross leads to the crown of immortal glory.”

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