CONGREGATION FOR INSTITUTES OF CONSECRATED LIFE
VI WORLD DAY FOR CONSECRATED LIFE
2 February 2002
CONSECRATED LIFE DAY, which is celebrated on February 2, the feast of the Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple, each year, is an occasion for the whole Church to praise and thank the Lord for the gift of this state of life in the Church.
All Christians share a common call to holiness and, as branches of the one vine, are called to bear fruit, each in accord with the particular charisms and ministries bestowed on them by the Holy Spirit.
“All the states of Life, whether taken collectively or individually in relation to the others are at the service of the Church’s “mystery of Communion” and are dynamically coordinated in its unique mission. Thus in the diversity of the states of life and the variety of vocations the same unique mystery of the Church reveals and experiences anew the infinite richness of the mystery of Jesus Christ” (ChL 55)
But what does The CONSECRATED LIFE represent in the Church?
“The consecrated life, deeply rooted in the example and teachings of Christ the Lord, is a gift of God the Father to the the Church through The Holy Spirit. By the profession of the evangelical counsels the characteristic features of Jesus – the chaste, poor and obedient one- are made constantly “visible” in the midst of the world and the eyes of the faithful are directed toward the mystery of the Kingdom of God already at work in history, even as it awaits its full realization in heaven,” (VC 1)
On February 2 the Church remembers the day on which Jesus, the firstborn of the Father in the Family of Nazareth, is presented in the Temple of Jerusalem where his whole existence is submitted to the will of the Father. In the same way, on this day, all members of consecrated life wish to renew their offering of self and witness that their entire existence is a constant gift to God for the salvation of the world.
With The Holy Father in St Peter’s Basilica consecrated men and women will celebrate, the mystery of the love of the Father who has called them to a holy vocation, the mercy of Christ who has consecrated them to be a sign of the radicality and depth of the life of the Baptized, and will invoke the Holy Spirit to grant fidelity to their witness and an abundance of fruit to their ministry.
In the Various Dioceses gathered with the Bishops, they will give witness to the unity in the diversity of ministries and of the charisms which give life to the Church. Together, bishops, priests, deacons and lay men and women will seek to know, love and accept the ministries and the services which members of consecrated life carry out each day in their midst and which give witness to the extraordinary greatness of the merciful love of God.
In Parishes the entire local church community, gathered around their ministers, will give special attention to this particular state of life in the Church and more ardently ask the Heavenly Father for the gift of new and holy vocations to the consecrated life so that this sign of the presence of Christ who for them became poor, lived chastely and died in obedience to the Father for their sins, might not perish.
Communities of consecrated life also, especially on this day, should seek to be more aware of their own vocation and consecration and humbly and courageously witness to them in order that Christians might come to know the services and the moments of grace which through them are offered to the people of God.
Witnessing to freedom from worldly goods, to the totality of love for Christ, and to the joy of always seeking and doing the will God, is the best way to make known, appreciate and love CONSECRATED LIFE in the Church and in the midst of all men and women.