Servant of God Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J., the founder of the Institute on Religious Life, summarized it this way:
“A religious vocation is a special grace that God gives to certain persons, calling them to a life of the evangelical counsels.”
While he stressed the fact that vocations are a special grace or gift from God, Fr. Hardon pointed out three typical features of a vocation to the religious life: (a) a strong faith in the Catholic Church and her teaching, shown by a firm loyalty to the Vicar of Christ; (b) a love of prayer, or at least the capacity for developing a desire for prayer; and (c) a readiness to give oneself to a life of sacrifice in the footsteps of Jesus Christ.