Year For Consecrated Life 2015
“We are called to wear God’s smile.”
João Braz Cardinal de Aviz
Prefect, Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life
On the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, 2 February 2014, the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life published a letter to all the world’s consecrated men and women aptly and simply entitled, “Rejoice!” explaining the desires of Pope Francis for the upcoming Year For Consecrated Life throughout the Church. The short document also provided a guided examination of conscience for all religious to review God’s call to them in their lives and how they are living it out. In keeping with much of the themes of Pope Francis’ pontificate, the letter resounds with calls to JOY in the tone of his encyclical Evangelii Gaudium. This JOY is something that speaks to the hearts of all religious but especially to us as Handmaids of the Precious Blood for it was often our Founder’s rallying cry and motto that is in engraved on our rings presented to each nun at final profession: JOY Semper. Jesus, Only You…Always
“So the joy I am preaching to you…is the ideal of living so much in love with Jesus Christ that when He crucifies you, you will be happy! To do this, you have to make good that definition of joy:
Jesus Only You…
….When you have real spiritual joy, God is supreme in your life and nothing else matters. That is why I say, aim and pray and work to rejoice always, because when that joy is truly supernatural, Christ is supreme in your life and your heaven has already begun.”
– Father Gerald Fitzgerald, s.P.
The year officially begins with the start of Advent 30 November 2014 and ends on the World Day of Consecrated Life on the Feast of the Presentation 2 February 2016. During this special period in the Church, all are invited to reconsider the immense gift of the religious life to the world. It is not just a year for those who happen to be called to live the vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience. It is a year for everyone to better appreciate the graces that all receive whether single, married, religious, ordained, Catholic, non-Catholic, Christian, non-Christian etc through the lives and prayers of a small segment called to give themselves to God in a particular, consecrated way. It is not a year for a few to celebrate themselves. It is a year for everyone. For those consecrated souls to better live their vocations in reviewing the history of their own personal calls and the charism they live out now in the Church as well as for those souls in all walks of life to realize that there are dedicated souls praying and sacrificing for them and for the Church.