Giving God the Whole Tree: An Image of Religious Life

marian srsAn interview with Mother Teresa Christe of the Marian Sisters of Santa Rosa is featured in the most recent issue of the The Catholic World Report. Recognized as an Association of the Faithful in 2012, the Marian Sisters were invited to the Diocese of Santa Rosa by Bishop Robert Vasa, the President of the IRL. The four sisters will welcome three new postulants on February 2, 2014.

In reading Mother’s testimony of their lives, you can truly see the hand of God at work for our time! What a model for evangelization! The ministries they are involved in, their impact on their students, the witness of their religious lives, all point to the value religious life has today in our broken culture. Their goal is to teach people the Catholic faith, emphasizing its beauty and goodness and eternal vision.

That’s one the problems, Mother says, about society today. “The culture previously had a greater sense of God’s presence, and saw life on earth as a temporary time before going to heaven. In the 1960s, …people thought they should get the most out of their lives here, and material goods increased in their importance.  Devastation followed, and many broken families have resulted.”

Regarding communities with a more “liberal” perspective, Mother observes: “As Bishop Vasa has said, theirs is not a religious life but an apostolic one.  They don’t live in common, they have their own bank accounts…they have the elements of the single life rather than the religious one.”

The Marian Sisters begin their early day with an hour of Eucharistic adoration and the Divine Office.  They are a bridge between tradition and today, participating in the Mass celebrated in both forms of the Roman Rite. Mother says, “Ours is a structured religious life, which works for four or 400 sisters.  Our vision is to faithfully and lovingly live our lives.”

Here is her beautiful and vivid description of religious life:

I went on a high school retreat, and listened to a priest speaking on vocations.  He said that we were all like a tree, which bears fruit from the use of our time, talent, and treasure.  As we grow into adulthood, we give to God from that tree.

However, if you are called to religious life, you give God the whole tree.  He gets to plant it where he wants, and pick from it what he wants.  The whole tree belongs to him.  Some are called to give that whole tree. 

To see the entire interview, click here.


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