A GIFT FROM GOD
A vocation to the religious life is the most beautiful gift which God can bestow upon a soul. It is our duty therefore to carefully discern whether or not we are called, for it would be an injustice to ignore our Lord’s guiding hand. Moreover, unless we live in the state of life which God desires for us, we will never be truly fulfilled or satisfied in our days in this world. For these reasons, spending time in prayer and discernment to better understand God’s will for us is of great importance.
The religious habit is what gives us our identity. It can be an important feature to consider for those discerning a vocation. For us, the habit signifies our death to the world and the total donation of ourselves to Christ through Mary.
The Franciscan habit finds its origin in Saint Francis’ desire to be stripped of all material goods and to be clothed with Christ. He gave up all of his wealth and wore a vestment of the cheapest fabric in the form of a cross. The habit is an external sign of poverty, a sign that we own nothing, and that everything we appear to have (food, supplies) are gifts of Divine Providence.
Our habit is a grey-blue colour, symbolic of our vow of unlimited consecration to the Immaculate Mother of God. As Marian Franciscans we give ourselves totally to our Lady to the point of becoming her “absolute property” as Saint Maximilian says. When we put on the habit we are ‘putting on Mary’ so that it may no longer be us acting, but her acting through us.