Called to Holiness


‘Vita Consecrata’ series Part 5 of 12

from Vita Consecrata #35-40

“What we seek with all our soul, is the possibility of opening ourselves up in prayer to God’s transforming action.  Whether we are fully conscious of it or not, in other words we desire a change of life, a conversion from what we presently are to a more precise embodiment of the likeness of Christ at the center of our being, radiating out from us through all our thoughts, words, and actions.”

These are the words of Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis as he describes what believers seek as they read the Word of God.

This desire for change speaks to every human heart.  Even in our modern culture we see the desire for change everywhere…most recently millions of people around the world made a New Year’s Resolution with the hopes of making a change in this New Year.  In entertainment, a whole genre of Reality TV shows has been created around the idea of remaking and reorganizing people’s lives.  Certainly the world offers a possibility for change and often one with instant gratification but the change is temporal and if we allow ourselves to pause we recognize we want more.

In Vita Consecrata JPII says that those called to consecrated life give witness to the more!  The More we are created for, destined for and long for!   He articulates the “more” as a “deep need for conversion and holiness” which ultimately points towards “every Christian’s desire for perfection.”  This perfection is, as Leiva-Merikakis says, “a more precise embodiment of the likeness of Christ.”

JPII goes on to say that it is the role of Consecrated Religious to inspire in all the faithful this longing for holiness, personal renewal and conversion.  The inspiration for such conversion must come in the context of ever more intense prayer and solidarity with one another.

The nature of consecrated life “to seek first the Kingdom of God is first and foremost a call to complete conversion, in self-renunciation, in order to live fully for the Lord, so that God may be all in all.”  Religious life provides a privileged structure to live out this call often called – “the school of the Lord’s service,” or “the school of love and holiness.”

In Vita Consecrata, JPII reiterates that a renewed commitment to holiness by consecrated persons is more necessary than ever – because “Holy men and women have always been the source and origin of renewal in the most difficult circumstances throughout the Church’s history.”

The world is desperate for change, and it will come in the witness of holiness, the witness of SAINTS!
____

This meditation is part 5 of 12 in our series on Blessed John Paul II’s Apostolic Exhortation Vita Consecrata.  You can download a copy of this document from the Vatican’s website: www.vatican.va