Sun 3 Feb, 2013
Tags: BSPA, Catechism, Consecrated Life, Vocations
In 1997, Pope John Paul II instituted a day of prayer for women and men in consecrated life. This celebration is attached to the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord on February 2 as He is our model and our guide. It is with Christ, and in Christ and for Christ that we dedicate our lives in a special way to the church. These faithful are a special sign of the mystery of redemption (CCC 932).
All the baptized are consecrated to God by the very act of baptism. Those in consecrated life are called to reflect the light of Jesus Christ in a special way to all peoples. Those who follow a narrower path of consecration freely choose from various forms of consecrated life within the Catholic Church. Most consecrated members of the church are men and women who join religious communities and live their celibate chastity in union with others called in the same fashion. However, included under the umbrella of consecrated vocations we have:
- hermits who live secluded from the world and live a life of deep prayer and penance for the world, renouncing even the comfort of human contact.
- consecrated virgins and widows who live within society but do so in a state of virginity and perpetual chastity. In this state of consecration they become an eschatological and transcendent sign of the Bride of Christ. Sometimes these people form associations to observe their commitment more faithfully.
- those who join secular institutes who vow chastity and charity to serve the world and work for its sanctification.
- brothers and sisters in apostolic life who pursue the work of the church and live within communities but do not take religious vows.
You can learn more about the different walks of consecrated life from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.