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A Life Not for the Faint of Heart, Says Nun
ROME, JULY 15, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The life of a religious is about taking risks and "giving one's life," says the secretary-general of the International Union of Superiors General.

"I don't doubt for an instant that if religious life disappeared, the world, humanity, would miss us," Sister Mar?a Victoria Castej?n said in an interview with ZENIT.

Sister Castej?n, of the Society of the Sacred Heart, lives and works in Rome, from an office full of light and air, a good metaphor for religious life, she says. Religious life is "an open life to let in air and light," she said.

Born in Vitoria, Spain, Sister Castej?n has been on mission in several continents. She has dedicated herself above all to formation, retreats, and the stimulation of religious life.

More than numbers

"What must be clear is that religious life cannot be measured only numerically. I really believe that what was not so normal was the growth of vocations after the World Wars. Today the number is more reduced but, perhaps, it is somewhat more real," she said.

"Religious life is a sincere commitment to give one's life for the kingdom. I don't think it is about large numbers. Let's reflect on where the men and women religious are to be found: in the Tsunamis, in places of conflict, where the cause of the poor must be defended and, in this defense, more than one has suffered martyrdom," she said.