Becoming a religious is the greatest direction of life of the early Catholics.
When the Kingdom of God was announced victoriously for almost 2,000 years ago, and the fresh birth of the children of God was aflame by a burning desire in their own hearts to proclaim to all nations that "the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand", the baptized Christians were battled by the devil and his minions and his instrument to destroy the growth of the Church and the proclamation of the promised salvation and eternal life. The instrument that Satan used was the Roman Empire who were living in the darkness of paganism or animism.
The Roman Empire then was a nation or a state that had so many gods. Polytheism was the reigning belief then. And on the coming of the Christians, they stand solidly in evangelizing the pagans that there is only One living God, and those gods that the Romans worship then in particular were not really gods at all. At this, the Romans became furious, for such proclamation were ultimately against the living law of the Roman Empire - gods must be served by rightful ceremonies, rites, rituals, offerings, sacrifices in accordance with the law, there are proper ways to deal with these gods, based on their observation on how to "control" these gods and be favorable to the Romans appeals or wishes.
So the Christians were considered as criminals, deserved to be put to death, and now bloody persecutions began.
But the killing of thousands of Christians didn't help to stop the spreading of the Christian Faith.
Because the killing of the Christians, the living, strong and solid faith of Christians facing persecution even unto death, the martyrs who endured the cruel persecutions with indescribable patience and faith in God and His words, the love and hopes that lives in the Christians hearts and always seen in their works or deeds in the Christian community and to the Gentiles, the victory of the God of Christians over "gods" or demons, were flourished altogether. And on these main reasons, the many exorcisms done by Christians was one of the factors that, the Romans believed when they saw then how the God of the Christians subdued and rebuked those demons that the Romans worshiped as "gods", and, how the Holy Name of Christ drove out all those evil spirits who were pretending and hiding themselves in the form of "gods".
The Roman Empire were now truly convinced to the authenticity and the Power of the God of Christians over their "gods", and after seeing these marvels of Christians, Romans received the Catholic Faith and established it as the official religion of the state. Catholicism quickly spread to the neighboring lands of the Roman Empire.
By that time, becoming a religious is the greatest direction of life, so Catholicism is full of grace of women and men then, and the "fashion" of themselves was to become a monk, an hermit, a nun, a religious sister, a religious brother who prepared themselves to serve God and to win souls for Him. The "popular modes" then was going to a deserted place somewhere or being in a community (monastery or convent) enjoying and living in solitude, silence, being in the presence of God and the focus is almost God alone, fighting the temptations of the devil and fighting him head-on, destroying his holds on the people of God and so on.
I think that they must be envied by us modern people of these modern times. How greatly different they are to us! I pity myself. Let me show you why.
In these modern times we see how people live nowadays, all bodies are so abundantly enjoying the deliciousness of the inventions of man and its fruits which the purpose is to develop and give easy and comfort to man's needs (and too many wants) in its day-to-day living. Now, God is mostly, mostly forgotten by billions of people because these material things' brings so much delicious comfort and are so swift on attending people's needs (and so many wants) rather than prayers to God. We are greatly surrounded by these things that always and always catches our attentions. So in addition to this, these inventions or things, as I typed, are so great in number that we focus only to these material things. Wherever a person goes elsewhere, there is always things that gives him/her comfort and entertainment (like from televisions, radios, air-conditioner, electric fan, cellphones, computers, laptops, iphones, ipads, etc.). These worldly material things are now Satan's instruments to keep us away from God and His presence in us, little by little we end up to these and after that we plunge ourselves to be completely unrelated to God. These may serve as doorways of the devil and his demons to us, in the form of these things that brings lesser form of "Godlessness".
Of course, it is super easy to listen to always available music on the music player (like ipods) rather than spend a 30-minute silence in prayer and or, reciting the Holy Rosary of five decades and or, reading spiritual books and or, studying catechism and or, reading the Holy Bible prayerfully and or, attending to one's own pious practices and devotions, etc.
It is so easy to click on the television button or having a remote control(er) just in hand for so many fancy channels offering so many shows.
It is so easy to relax in a comfortable bed while the head of the electric fan is just 12-inch away from your head giving you fresh air (one of the roots of laziness?).
It is so easy to on your hi-tech music players while eyes closed, waiting for the crows to become swans.
It is so easy to use the Internet and open so many windows as you like, bringing so many virtual realities: games, videos, movies, etc. Of course, Internet is a doorway to another world, the virtual world, full of infinite excitements and fun!
And many more...
Now the presence of God on the person will vanish little by little because the heart and mind of the person were so much so occupied by these material things. How the holy people of old were so always recollected! They were the people who "walked their feet on earth but their hearts were always in heaven."
Let us all strive to become SAINTS!