Our Holy Father Benedict XVI rightly says that “If the Consecrated life did not exist how poor would the world be”, because they are witnessing the transfiguring presence of God in the world. The World Day for Consecrated Life is celebrated with the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord and it is also known as Candlemas Day- the day on which candles are blessed symbolizing Christ who is the light of the world. Therefore, those in consecrated life are called to reflect the light of Jesus Christ to all peoples: “To mirror His light, to irradiate His love, to bear witness to His life style. “
Today, in Consecrated life, essentially there is a crisis of identity, visibility, and of credibility. In a divided and fragmented world, there is a tendency for “mediocrity in spiritual life and a consumer mentality”. The 19th General Chapter, at various levels, calls us to keep watch over the visibility of personal and community witness and, if necessary, to intervene with clarity and determination in prohibiting attitudes and lifestyles clearly in contradiction with our public identity as men of God and servants of the poor. In this critical situation, there is a strong need for “Renewal,” for going back to our origin, our roots and to the very spring of our charism or charismatic identity. Sometimes renewal is confused with adaptation to the dominant mindset and culture, with the risk of forgetting authentic Gospel values. Our charism inserts us into the great movement of “Sequela Christi”, reproducing Jesus’ own lifestyle with the urgent need to fuel the fire of the great passion that is the driving force of our consecrated life as Guanellians. We need to be visionaries, born out of our commitment to live the Gospel in creative fidelity and to re-incarnate His presence, vision and mission. Through love of Christ and closeness to them, we ourselves become poor and with the poor are ready to evangelize them, while, at the same time, allowing ourselves to be evangelized by them.
The Year of Faith brings a greater opportunity for conversion and to a rediscovery of our faith as consecrated people. Rediscovering faith involves rediscovering our commitment to the Lord and living it credibly and joyously in the changing situations of our life.
The Presentation of Our Lord in the temple is a complete gesture of surrender to God’s plan in the eyes of St. Joseph and the Blessed Mother, even when doing so entails suffering. So also our religious consecration should lead us to do God’s will, always more generously, by living out the evangelical counsels and re-grounding our religious life.
Wishing you all a joyful and faithful Consecrated Life Day Celebration and a radical and passionate love of Christ!