Image by Alex Andrews.

Reflection for the World Day for Consecrated Life (2 February 2024)

Consecrated life is an evolving reality. To explore what it really means and matters for our world today, we need to engage in conversation about it.

Recently I asked some Sisters to consider these questions. These are some of the thoughts they raised. I was interested to find that they were mindful of religious life within the context of the call to everybody to live the Christian life. They were certainly conscious of classic statements about the “universal call to holiness” (Lumen Gentium, Ch 5, #39):

In 1965 in Gaudium Et Spes #1, Vatican II called all Christians to live “The joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the people of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ. Indeed, nothing genuinely human fails to raise an echo in their hearts.”

In 2013, in Evangelii Gaudium #3, Pope Francis, in his first exhortation to the Church, sends an insistent call to all: “I invite all Christians everywhere at this very moment to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them. I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day.”

Consecrated life is about living this encounter and encouraging others to live it. Religious are those who are consecrated to be in mutual companionship with all seeking to live this life of encounter. Called to wonder and awe, and to living justly, are we are prepared to live contemplatively knowing we influence each other and all creation by the way we live our life and the way we approach it?

A spirituality of ‘rejoicing’ calls us to live life to the full. We have a potential within us to become a new type of people rejoicing and engaging in the world as authentically human, genuinely holy people.

Ilia Delio reminds us that we are all on a vocational journey in life, defining vocation: “Sense of Vocation: Listening to the inner call to serve. To know that each person has a special role in the formation of the world.”[1]

Sr Therese Carroll rsj
Convenor, Congregational Immersion and Discernment of Call (CIDC)


[1] Delio, Ilia. 2023. The Not-Yet God: Carl Jung, Teilhard de Chardin, and the Relational Whole (p. 344). Orbis Books. Kindle Edition.