Documentary series NBC Left Field has come out with a video showcasing the Franciscan life. The 8-minute film, part of the "Extraordinary Humans" series, features young members of religious communities, including Fr. Richard Goodin of the Franciscan Province of St. John the Baptist.
Watch the whole thing here:
The video shows an encouraging trend for those who worry about the decline of religious fervor in young people: the number of Millennials entering religious communities is on the rise.
What's most striking about this video is the way the men and women being interviewed describe their call from God. It's not a reasoned, considered thought process about what you want to do with the rest of your life (that part comes later, through a process of discernment that never ends). No, the initial call is just that: an unexpected tug on the heart that seems to come from outside oneself; upon being called, the first instinct is to run away!
Br. Casey Cole describes his call almost the same way in another look at the life of a young Franciscan, Called: What Happens After Saying Yes to God:
I have to admit that I did not find my vocation by searching my feelings. No, no, no. . . . following my own feelings could get me only so far. While it is certainly how I know now that I am in the right place, the very fact that I considered religious life in the first place had very little to do with my own will or desire! I was quite comfortable with my old life and wonderful girlfriend—thank you very much—and had it been simply up to my own desires, I probably would not have changed a thing.