Sunday, February 2, is the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord which is also the World Day of Consecrated Life. Pope John Paul II instituted this special remembrance “to help the entire Church to esteem ever more greatly the witness of those persons who have chosen to follow Christ by means of the practice of the evangelical counsels.”
This particular day was chosen because, the Holy Father noted, “the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple is an eloquent icon of the total offering of one’s life for all those who are called to show forth in the Church and in the world, by means of the evangelical counsels the characteristic features of Jesus — the chaste, poor and obedient one.”
In support of this day of prayer for consecrated men and women, the IRL has published a novena booklet: Living Signs of the Gospel: A Novena to Support All Consecrated Persons in the Church, written by Msgr. Charles M. Mangan, highlighting excerpts from the Holy Father’s nine messages/homilies for the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life. The goal of this novena is:
1) To pray for consecrated men and women
2) To strengthen consecrated life
3) To pray for vocations to the consecrated life
Please join us in saying this novena during 2013. A free copy of the booklet may be obtained by calling the IRL office at (847)573-8975 or by e-mailing us at IRLstaff@religiouslife.com.
Last week, on the World Day of Consecrated Life, Cardinal Carlo Caffara of Bologna said that the consecrated life is a sacrificial offering because “dying and leaving behind the structures of this creation, you enter into the incorruptible life of the risen Lord.”
“Your chastity exalts the spousal meaning of your body; your poverty is for the possession of the good that is only satiated by the person of Christ and communion with Him; your obedience introduces you in an experience of freedom that the world does not know and cannot know,” he explained.
According to the prelate, “perhaps we are moving toward a time in which the Church here in the West will be stripped of many things.”
“But she will not be able to do it without holy priests, capable of sanctifying and of offering sacrifices in keeping with justice.”
“Therefore, remain firmly attached to Christ, and nothing will trouble you,” concluded Cardinal Caffarra.
Please visit Zenit to read the entire article.
Today, the United States celebrates the World Day of Consecrated Life.
In an article in the The Boston Pilot, a Sister reflected on what it means to be consecrated to Christ:
Consecrated Life is a witness to generous Gospel dedication.
The Consecrated Life is a witness to the promise of eternal life…that God indeed will have the last word in our lives.
The Consecrated Life strives to mirror the compassionate heart of Christ.
The vows of poverty, chastity and obedience proclaim to the world that there is something more to life than materialism and success. Only God can satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts.
THROUGH OUR PRAYERS, MAY WE BE BLESSED WITH THESE FRUITFUL VOCATIONS!