This Friday, February 2, is World Day of Consecrated Life; the date was chosen by Pope John Paul II to correspond with the Feast of the Presentation. Many parishes will commemorate the day during the February 3-4 liturgies.
“The religious state is a state of perfection, or at least a state striving for perfection,” wrote Fr. Leo John Dehon in the Spiritual Directory. “Our Lord points out the conditions: namely, to leave family and live in chastity, to renounce one’s possessions and live in poverty, and to obey our Lord or his representative. Our Lord calls those he destines to this state by a special and personal vocation…Religious profession is, therefore, an honor; but it is also a serious act which should be prepared for and reflected upon, because it imposes duties and responsibilities. To make profession is to consecrate one’s self to God without partition or reserve, and to contract the obligation of following Jesus Christ by the practice of the evangelical counsels.”
Let us pray for those who live the call to Consecrated Life, and for those discerning God’s call to be a religious:
you have provided us
with priests, brothers, and sisters
throughout the history of your Church
to serve the poor,
to preach the Gospel,
and to journey with us
in our celebrations, our successes, and our losses.
Make us sensitive to the call to religious life
in our own hearts
and give us the courage to join you
in your ministry of love.
When we sense the call in others,
may we pray for them,
encourage them, and honor them.
May your kingdom come.
May your will be done.
[Prayer by Br. Ray Kozuch, SCJ]