Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Year of Consecrated Life

2015 is the year of the consecrated life. A religious sister writing in View from the Ark in the Catholic Times, reminds us of  the subjects of the consecrated life. In Korea, the word consecrated life has become a  synonym for the religious life, secular institutes and those living a celibate single religious life. After the  Second Vatican Council, we are told the consecrated life is a gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church, and the religious life is one of the many varieties of this consecrated life. Heartbreaking, says sister, is the fact that it is associated only with the religious life.

More lamentable is that many others who have been given this gift do not realize it,  a reason there is little interest in this year of the consecrated life. Moreover, the married couples and those baptized don't reflect on the gift and mission they have been given with baptism and marriage.

She mentions the three kinds of consecrated life: priestly, religious and the married life. All three have baptism as their foundation. All three have their own particular characteristics, and calling to love in their different particular ways. 

This year we put a light on those who have consecrated themselves by the three vows and with great meaning, we just finished the synod on marriage. They are both, said Pope Francis, a calling from God one in the forming of life and the other in evangelizing, both working together. Families have many problems; she quotes Pope Francis: children, quarreling, in-laws and the like, there is the cross but also the resurrection.

She was especially surprised in the words Pope Francis used when speaking about creation when he said God created the family which he called the most beautiful part of creation: he made man and woman and entrusted all to them. He gave the world  into their hands. He didn't just create two people but a family. All that he created in love was handed over to them.

In conclusion she mentions the short prayers, Pope Francis introduced to the couples when saying the Our Father: "give us today our daily love"... To those engaged or married: "teach us how to like  to love each other." Both religious and families are on a journey to the God of love, should we not ask for our daily portion of love?

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