FOMO and Real Freedom

9 August 2017
Sr Rosie Drum mgl (top row, second from right) with fellow pilgrims during World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow, Poland. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.

National Vocations Awareness Week: 6-13 August 2017

Ever heard of FOMO? It’s a phenomenon known as the ‘Fear of Missing Out’ – and it’s the number one reason why young people struggle to say whether they are or are not coming to your youth event, your dinner or even your birthday party! It’s also why they might have ‘Still discerning my vocation’ written on their tombstone. They don’t want to commit themselves to something just in case ‘something better’ comes along and they therefore miss out…

When I chose to consecrate myself to God at the ripe age of 21, the amount of people who asked me about whether I was afraid of missing out on getting married, having babies, or going travelling was astounding. I guess to most people the vows we make (also known as the evangelical counsels) of poverty, chastity and obedience pretty much mean ‘no money, no sex, no power.’

Yes, that sounds really attractive!

But the reality of living a consecrated life is so different to that perspective. The vows we make are actually incredibly freeing, when they are founded on the right motives. I guess when I entered the Missionaries of God’s Love Sisters, I thought I was giving up a lot for God. But over the last 13 years, I have been given so very much I am almost speechless with gratitude!

Sr Rosie Drum mgl plays the guitar for fellow pilgrims during World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow, Poland. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.

Far from ‘missing out’, I’m experiencing the joy all of us want to experience, of doing what I have been created to do: I fall deeper in love with God daily and draw other people into a loving relationship with God and the Church.

No, I won’t ever have babies, but I help to love those who are already born into the fullness of life through being reborn in faith. I won’t experience the sacrament of marriage, but my Bridegroom and I are devoted to each other for all of eternity, not just ’till death.’ And while I rarely travel where I want to, the places God sends me are much more exciting!

Those same vows that seem to deny me so much are called evangelical counsels because they speak in and of themselves – they evangelise. The Vow of Poverty says, ‘There is no material thing that I can own that compares with knowing and loving God.’ The Vow of Chastity says, ‘There is no earthly relationship that can compare with knowing and loving God.’ The Vow of Obedience says, ‘There is no plan or agenda of mine that can compare with the plan and will of the God whom I know and love.’ And when the vows are lived in that way, a consecrated life becomes at all times a “blazing emblem of the heavenly Kingdom” (to quote Pope Paul VI in Perfectae Caritatis).

In other words, the way I’ve chosen to live my life simply doesn’t make sense without God at the centre – all I am points to Him.

In my work with Catholic Youth Parramatta, the agency for young people in the Diocese of Parramatta, this is a real asset. Our goal is to draw young people into a living relationship with God and the Church, which coincides with the ultimate aim of the whole of my life, so my work is very fulfilling!

So if FOMO is stopping you from committing to the exciting adventure of living completely for God, then be assured – you are already missing out!

If you are interested in finding out more about consecrated life, and in hearing God’s call for you, the Missionaries of God’s Love Sisters are hosting a Discernment Weekend on the 26-27 August. Contact me – Sr Rosie at rdrum@parra.catholic.org.au

By Sr Rosie Drum mgl, Assistant Director of Catholic Youth Parramatta

National Vocations Awareness Week: 6-13 August 2017

The Catholic Church in Australia will celebrate National Vocations Awareness Week from the 6th – 13th of August. This annual event is a time to pray for vocations to the Married, Consecrated, Ordained and Single States of Life. It is also a week to reflect on and celebrate our own vocations.

The first Sunday is set aside to pray for vocations to the Single life and Married life.

The second Sunday focuses on Ordained life and Consecrated Life.

Throughout this week, communities are encouraged to share about God’s call, and the many ways we can respond to it. To find out more about priesthood, Holy Spirit Seminary and vocations in the Diocese of Parramatta, visit http://parracatholic.org/vocations.

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