With our faith under attack in every corner of the globe today, let us offer our prayers and sacrifices on this 22nd annual World Day of Consecrated Life for those men and women religious who have consecrated their lives to Jesus Christ.
Vatican News is reporting on the day which began with a liturgy in St. Peter’s Basilica with thousands of religious and members of the Societies of Apostolic Life.
“A vocation is a gift we have received from the Lord, who fixed his gaze on us and called us, calling us to follow him in the consecrated life,” the Pope reflected.
It’s not by accident that this celebration coincides with the feast of the Presentation of the Lord. In 1997, Pope Saint John Paul II chose this occasion as the annual day of universal prayer for those who consecrated themselves to the service of God and their brothers and sisters.
“This reminds us of the first Baptismal consecration experienced by all Christians. It is the living out of this consecration in religious communities or other forms of consecration that provides the basis for all consecrated life in the church,” explains Sr. Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp.
The International Union of Superiors General in Rome considers this day to be a festive occasion to recognize the thousands of men and women around the world “who welcome the gift of vocation with joy and willingness in the myriad charisms; in their life they seek the face of God, committing themselves to build peace and fraternity, in spite of the difficulties.”
But it’s also a day of commitment to pray for the gift of new vocations in men and women “who will renew the face of the Church and the world, by announcing the joy of the Gospel and the love of God which gives meaning to our existence.”
Our world is in dire need of these courageous souls who witness to Christ every day of their lives and bring His light into some the darkest corners of the globe.
On this day, let us remember the consecrated, particularly those who are in difficult situations who may be experiencing discouragement, doubt, or any other human frailty. Let us remember those who are in positions of leadership that they may shepherd the flock according to God’s will, regardless of whether or not it is politically correct. And let us never forget those whose hearts are being called by God into His service, that they may be open and receptive to His will.
Take a moment today to thank any religious you may come in contact with and let him or her know that they can count on your prayers – today and always!
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