Religious or monastic life is not an exercise in personal salvation or individual spiritual development. No…it is an exercise in faithfulness. It’s an exercise in gratitude. It’s a journey of conforming the will to what we believe God in Christ calls us to do, in love and service, for the world we inhabit and the people we inhabit it with. Religious life is not a selfish pursuit. In fact, the benefits for the individual who chooses religious life come mainly from its outward focus rather than an inward one. It is true that the faithful journeying in religious life will transform the individual, provide a rich spiritual life from engaged prayer, worship, and discipline. But, the fruits of that transformation are intended for the benefit of the world and others. It is, by its nature, self-giving and self-sacrificial. You know…like Jesus, the One who calls us to follow.