In my blog, last week, I gave an explanation about how the ring I wear is symbolically tied to the vows I profess as a religious sister. As a religious, I am consecrated to God by vows of poverty, chastity, obedience, and instruction. When I visit a school or parish to give a vocation talk, I always start out by saying that God calls everyone. That call flows from our baptism. When I was a month old, my parents took me to church to be baptized as a Catholic Christian. This baptism marked me as belonging to Christ. As an adult I chose to live out my baptismal call to holiness through the vocation of religious life. By our baptism, we are all called to witness to the kingdom of God. This is not just the work of priests and religious. Through our vocation our baptismal call takes shape – be it through ordained life, religious life, married, or single life. We all work together, and none would be complete without the others.
This weekend, February 4th and 5th, the Church celebrates World Day for Consecrated life. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) gives the following explanation for the day, “In 1997, Pope Saint 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 2nd. This Feast is also known as Candlemas Day; the day on which candles are blessed symbolizing Christ who is the light of the world. So too, those in consecrated life are called to reflect the light of Jesus Christ to all peoples. The celebration of World Day for Consecrated Life is transferred to the following Sunday in order to highlight the gift of consecrated persons for the whole Church.”
Each vocation is holy. In a special way, the Church sets aside this time to celebrate Consecrated life and to pray that more people will respond to the call to live this way of life. Take time to thank a person who lives out this way of life and if you know someone who possess the qualities to live Consecrated life…tell them!
Click on this link to hear from a few people who have chosen Consecrated life https://youtu.be/QXfLtCltftU
Prayer for Consecrated Persons
God our Father, we thank you for calling men and women to serve in your Son’s Kingdom as sisters, brothers, religious priests, consecrated virgins, and hermits, as well as members of Secular Institutes. Renew their knowledge and love of you, and send your Holy Spirit to help them respond generously and courageously to your will. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.