The discernment or entrance of a young woman into religious life is a major event in the life of their family. The reactions from parents and siblings varies widely. All of this depends upon their understanding of what the person is doing, as well as their own emotional attachments. So it may range from great joy -- to concern – to anger – and perhaps a mixture of all of this as time passes.
There is often a sense of loss, of missing their daughter, or sister. While it is a human ache, this ache can grow through the years into a deeply spiritual bond, with the young woman as well as with her community.
Before her entrance into Carmel, St. Elizabeth of the Trinity wrote beautifully regarding her relationship with her Mother. While her own heart was grieving at knowing she was causing this pain in her departure, she placed this situation into its proper spiritual perspective.
The night before her entrance, her mother came and knelt with St. Elizabeth at her bedside. Their tears mingled: “Why then are you leaving me?” “My dear mother, can I resist the voice of God who is calling me? He is reaching out his arms out to me and telling me that He is unknown, scorned, forsaken. Can I abandon Him also? … I must go, despite my sorrow at leaving you at plunging you into grief. I must answer His call.” She also counseled her mother to meet her kneeling in front of the Blessed Sacrament, no matter what Church she might be visiting. Space could not separate them if they were both in prayer with God!