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Catholic Northwest Progress
Seattle, Washington
April 6, 1962     Catholic Northwest Progress
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April 6, 1962

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I8--Cathollc Northwest Progress April 6, 1962 By Sister M. Alma, O. P.  the religious voca- n is spoken of as a challenge, it is indeed rightly named: co understand and undertake a vocation is a clear call to battle with forces of world and self. Yet, enig- matically, in meeting t h i s challenge the modern twenti- eth-century girl fulfills her greatest worldly dream. The modern world is rest- less because of an unsolved mystery. Relentless modern thought s e i z e s philosophy, misconceptions, shibboleths and bigotry--testing, synthe- sizing, and sifting them. The quest it wants to solve is a !imely one: man's question to himself, "What am I?" N e v e r before has there been such an arsenal of un- satisfactory answers. Some of the responses please vanity, or cupidity, and are thus ac- cepted. One such is, "I am " creature of an hour, meant to milk sweetness for a mo- ment and then vanish with- ottt trace. Exit the courtesan." Another claims, "I am a possible r u i e r, answerable only to myself and those To Be A Sister In The 20th stronger than I. Fo the conqueror." Such answers have strug- gled for recognition and as- cendancy from ancient times. And the world has waited anxiously, with bated breath, to see which is true, because through living and innate knowledge the world knows this, if nothing 'else: if once, only ONCE, it could discover man's real makeup and his end, the world could hope for a man who was happy and free. Free. Happy. The world growls in its wine cup and longs to be free. It lusts after laughter and halts with a tired sigh. Power and commerce and skills im- press it at times, but they fade. The best of men are sometimes debased and de- eline. Sadly, mourning its losses, the world forever turns to youth with the same ad- vice. Be free. Be happy. Be complete. Be perfect in kind. By all means, be perfect in kind, whatever kind you are. Whatever man is. The twentieth-century girl, too, must take up the search. She, like her elders, must sift through the "What am I?" page. And somewhere she may run across an unworldly an- swer. Rather old. Not tried by many. Dealing with man in his bicameral, body-and- spirit complexity. "I am the property of Another, bound to be like Him in perfection a n d joy through service." Authored by God. Many paths lead to perfec- tion, she discovers. She can direct her successes in many fields toward her own recog- nition of God. She can devote her family duties to Him. A still closer, higher, more di- rect approach is religious life. Ah, but this path is foreign to the modern girl, a chal- lenge to her background val- ues. She must buy religious perfection by totally disre- garding all she has been taught to seek, all she was taught to desire: money, pow- er, family, importance. And even more, the life is hard. Dares she elect to serve rather than be served? Dares she embrace avocation's rig- orous demands ? Once she be- comes a religious, these de- mands are mandatory for perfection, n o t accessories she can dispense with as she pleases. Her faltering will struts in its own self-impor- tance, flaunting its self-direc- tion. She must learn to obey. Religious life, with great clarity, punctures the bubble of self-will which would de- flect her in her flight to God. The vocation insists, too, that she see property merely a a means allowing her to reach out to things beyond herself. Property is a step- ladder she treads upon on her flight ul. Possessions kee. her warm, dry, reasonably comfortable, a n d therefore free her mind to others' needs. What matters is the quickest, least entangling ar- rangement to assure her only what she needs. Other things, equally as good as property, can still be an obstacle to her total eman- cipation as a person bent on all - encompassing dedication to Another. Family interests could easily take the talent employed in her life of serv- ice and submerge it under the need tO sooth, protect, persu- ade, entice, restore, and to s o m e extent dominate and Congratulations to those who serve in His name . . . A. S. ALOE CO. E.E. Schenck & o. (Fabrics) 1818 E. Madison  Seattle  EA 4-4250 1803 8t Avenue  Seattle  MA 2.4448 SEATTLE OFFICE SUPPLY 631 Western Seattle MA 4..0290 possess. The image of one or a few who please could loom larger than the image of Him Whom she chose. Her inter- ests could shrink to a privi- leged few, her global r ol e could become a domestic dot. Again she must astound and curtail herself by rejecting the human warmth of one or several to accept the spiritnal fire of an infinitely more elevated Love. Once clothed in these ele- mental garments of self-rejec- tion, the modern girl loses all meaning for a wondering world. She ceases to fit any modern mold the world has cast. Hardly the voluptuary, she gently but firmly guides her affection without compro- mise to a Primal claim. Not the opportunist, she adheres to ideals when their neglect could earn her position, rec- ognition, adulation. She not only disputes the power of money, but she recklessly spends HERSELF for no seeming gain. Not one mag- nate knows her name. The world looks at her but shakes it head. There is no answer here. Only she can assess her life with a candid eye. No living thing has the power to bleed from her her important life. Threats avail nothing: there is a depth in her untouched by storm. Her actual personal independence appalls all ene- mies. Alliances a n d contacts ? She has the best. He Who spun all human affection and delight from the fertility of His Mind in- vites her into the secrets of His Heart. He Who packed wealth and richness and opulence and flavor into not one world but a universe is her Confidant. He Who stills the secrets of a million unguessed, unspok- en, unplumbed balances, in- tricacies, metabolisms, ener- gies, fusions and solvents in His own Mind is her Coun- sellor. And best of all, this Par- tisan and Dispenser of in- comparable, transfixing hap- piness inclines to her, detains her, remains with h'er as His own Promise of blissfulness. In answering the challenge of vocation, she has found herself as the world never can. This woman embodies in herself the absolute an- swer to the question, 'Vhat am I?" She is the partner of God.