In his 1996 Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Vita Consecrata, Saint John Paul II relayed the fruits of a Synod of Bishops on “The Consecrated Life and its Mission in the Church and in the World.”
Out of thanksgiving for the gift of consecrated life to the Church—in its many forms—the late Holy Father reflected on the consecrated life and what the Lord wishes to accomplish through it in the Church today:
The Consecrated Life, deeply rooted in the example and teaching of Christ the Lord, is a gift of God the Father to his 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 towards the mystery of the Kingdom of God already at work in history, even as it awaits its full realization in heaven.
St. John Paul II wrote this exhortation as a source of encouragement for all members of the Church, and so we thought it might be fitting to reflect on his words as we continue to celebrate the Year of Consecrated Life.
In the coming weeks, we will walk through the document piece by piece, hopefully growing in appreciation of what consecrated life is and what role it plays in the Church and in the world.
Please join us! And St. John Paul II, please pray for us!