As most of you know, I’m Catholic. What not too many of you know is I have an affinity towards Religious Orders, especially ones with Third Orders.
Let me back track. You might not know what all of that means.
One of the jewels of Catholicism is its robust array of charisms. A charism is almost like a spiritual personality. It is a manner of living the Gospel that serves one purpose: allowing you to love, serve, and honor God in the most profound way possible.
The Catholic Church has a slew of Religious Congregations that all aim towards giving God right praise and loyal service through a particular charism. You may have even heard of some of them. Do the Franciscans, Dominicans, Benedictines, or Daughters of Charity ring a bell? Those are all examples of religious congregations (or communities) that the Catholic Church approves to do serious work based on a certain spiritual lifestyle.
Each of these congregations have a certain charism for which they are known. The Franciscans, for example, are known for their devotion to poverty and penance. The Carmelites are known for their dedication to contemplative prayer (and their wicked cool scapulars). Dominicans are known for their preaching. And finally, Lasallians are known for their abilities to teach. There are many, MANY more that have different ways by which they help construct and maintain the Kingdom.
Although I have not officially joined any religious congregation, I find my soul constantly contemplating whether I should. It is an interesting dual that takes place, is my spirituality more contemplative or Apostolic? Is it more mission driven or preachy? Have I been create to teach or act in silence?
The answer I know not. That’s why I consider myself a Francarmeliscanite Dominicallian (Franciscan, Carmelite, Dominican, Lasallian).
What about you? Do you have a strong connection to any religious congregation(s)?