The Eucharistic dimension of Evangelical counsels
The Hunger for God – 1
You are invited to recall a time you experienced hunger. How did you experience it in your body? If you can’t recall, skip a meal and see how it affects you. If you have addictions such as smoking, coffee, cookies etc., you will have the experience of the craving in your body. Be in touch with it and observe how your body lives the craving for something that satisfies it.
In this module we shall reflect on the hunger of humans and Eucharistic dimension of our life as consecrated persons.
Both the joy of living the vows as well as infidelities related to the vows are intrinsically related to the integration of our desires which are ultimately oriented to God. In a joyful and integrated religious, the longing for love, security and power take him/her to rest in the Love of God who is the true wealth and find strength in weakness and fragility. Unintegrated desires drive the person to disordered affective adventures, selfish use of resources and abuse of power. In this module, we shall reflect on the longing of body and mind as experienced in our “thirst”, both physical and spiritual.
Consecrated life is intimately related to the experience of an inner thirst. Certainly it is not possible to embrace religious life to meet just physical satisfaction. You join religious life because of a thirst which the world cannot quench. A life of closer following of Crist has to do with the “I thirst”, the final cry of the Master.
Evangelical counsels, Plugging yourself to the Holy Spirit
Before you proceed with this module that introduces evangelical counsels, you are invited to pause for a while and reflect on the following questions and write down in your journal or take to your personal prayer what it means to you to live the evangelical counsels.
- What does poverty mean for you? What do you enjoy most about it? What are the concrete ways do you live the renunciation involved in it? How is your life more challenging and different from the average people of your culture because of poverty?
- What is consecrated celibacy for you? What gives you joy about living consecrated celibacy? What are the challenges do you face in living celibate life?
- What is religious obedience for you? How do you live it concretely in your present context? What are the joys and challenges do you face in living religious obedience? (more…)
The mission of Consecrated life in the Church and the world
Your vocation is God’s response to the cry of God’s people. Hence in consecrated life both Life and mission are intrinsically united. The very life of consecration with its total and radical consecration to Christ and his Church is itself the primary mission of consecrated life. We identify three important factors in relation to the mission of the Religious in the Church.
1. Witness of Christ (Passion for Christ)
Consecrated Life and the Charism of Institutes
Consecrated life finds its concrete expression in the charism of a religious institute (congregation, order, secular institute or a society of apostolic life). There cannot be any genuine living of consecrated life without taking into account the particular charism of a religious institute to which you belong. The Holy Spirit gives rise to the different Charisms in the Church so that she can present Christ to believers and non-believers alike, portraying the face of Christ in contemplation on the mountain, his proclamation of the kingdom of God to the multitudes, his healing the sick, his converting sinners, his solicitude for youth and his goodness to all men (LG 46). The same Holy spirit calls individual persons to live this charism and form a religious family in the Church.
The joy of consecrate life is often hijacked by collected rancor and hurt feelings in interpersonal relationships. People who harbor hurt feelings and fail to forgive offences are like a person who consumes poison himself to kill his enemy. Learning to let go like Jesus who prayed for those who crucified him is the way to reconciliation and healing. Consecrated persons can be men and women of reconciliation only when they themselves are able to let go of hurt feelings and experience the joy of reconciliation and forgiveness. Here is a practice suggested by Richard Rohr which can bring healing and wholeness in your life.