Brother Alois

2007 Letter to those who want to follow Christ


In the Gospel we hear Jesus call, “Follow me!” Can we respond to him by a lifelong commitment?

In all of us there is the desire for future happiness. But we can have the impression that we are conditioned by so many limits that at times we fall prey to discouragement.

And yet God is present: “The Kingdom of God is at hand!” (Mark 1:15). We become aware of God’s presence when we face the situations of our life just as they are, in order to create on the basis of what is.

No one would want to get bogged down in dreams of an idealized existence. We need to consent to what we are, as well as to what we are not.
Searching for a happy future involves making choices.

Some people make courageous decisions to follow Christ in their family life, in society, in a commitment for others. There are also those who ask themselves how they can follow Christ by choosing the road of celibacy.

I would like so much to encourage anyone who is considering a choice for ever:
When faced with such a commitment you may hesitate. But if you go deeper, you will find the joy of giving yourself entirely. ­Happy are those who do not abandon themselves to fear, but to the presence of the Holy Spirit.

It may be hard for you to believe that God is calling you personally and is waiting for you to love him. Your life matters to him.

In calling you, God does not dictate what you have to do. His call is first and foremost a personal encounter. Let Christ welcome you, and you will discover what road to take.

God calls you to freedom. He does not turn you into someone who is passive. By his Holy Spirit God dwells within you, yet does not take your place. On the contrary, God awakens unsuspected energies.

When you are young, you may be afraid and be tempted not to choose, in order to keep all your options open. But how will you find fulfillment if you remain at the crossroads?

Accept that in you there are unfulfilled longings and even unresolved questions. Entrust yourself in transparency of heart. In the Church there are men and women able to listen to you. Being listened to over time in this way will enable you to discern how to give yourself fully.

We are not alone in following Christ. We are borne along by that mystery of communion which is the Church. In it, our yes becomes praise.

Praise which may be hesitant, which may even arise from our desolation, but which will gradually become a fountain of joy springing up for our entire lifetime.

fr. Alois

Last updated: 7 December 2007