Source of religious life is holiness, says Vatican prefect

Addressing the 800 superiors of major religious congregations gathered in Rome, the Prefect of the Congregation for Consecrated Life, Archbishop Franc Rode, said the source of consecrated life is holiness.

“We should listen to the call of our times by giving a true witness of life,” Archbishop Rode told the superiors gathered together for the Assembly of the International Union of Religious Superiors.

The Archbishop said the source of consecrated life is holiness and he underscored that the founders knew and desired to “respond to the concrete needs of the life of the Church.”

“They saw a problem in the Church and in the society of their day and they tried to resolve it.  They were convinced that with the grace of God they could do it,” he said.  “In the life of founders and their followers, difficulties spring up, they are confronted and they are overcome, and they are overcome with holy dynamism,” he added.

“Faith in the possibility to change” should also inspire consecrated life today, in which “decline” poses “important questions” about the future of many Congregations, especially in Europe, where the numbers are “tragic,” said the Archbishop.   

Likewise, Archbishop Rode referred to religious vows explaining that “with our lifestyle of poverty we counteract the current obsession with riches and comfort.  With obedience we counteract the obsession with absolute autonomy and freedom without limits.  With chastity we counteract the obsession with sexuality which leaves so many people today with a feeling of emptiness.”

“With our lifestyle we should say that God is our only treasure,” he concluded.

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