I feel called to priesthood and religious life, but I am scared of abandoning my music when I enter formation. —Andrew E.
Music is a wonderful gift whether you are a composer or performer or listener. Let me first encourage you to think about your music. What kind of messages does it send? Are the lyrics gospel-affirming? In what ways does your music build you up into a person of God or allow you to speak a word of encouragement to others? Music does not have to be “religious” to do that; it just has to be real and touch the soul.
Second, as you think about beginning the process of entering a religious community or seminary, know that you will have to make some sacrifices. Some formation programs may have greater limits than others which will affect how you can express yourself musically. But that does not mean abandoning things completely. The process of formation can be an opportunity to come to a new appreciation of your music and perhaps even a new or enhanced expression of your music. As you grow in your vocation, you may find a ministry or form of prayer that incorporates music.
And you may find others in your community who share your love of music. Speaking to the vocation director or other members of the community will help you with specifics about how music is a part of the life and mission of the community.
Finally, remember that the God who fostered your love of music is the same God who calls you to pursue your vocation.
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