We are asked today to pray in solidarity with Catholic Christians throughout the world on this World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life. We recognize and give thanks for those who have consecrated their lives to God and the Church through the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Some join a religious congregation or a secular institute. Others remain single and make profession to God through the local bishop and are known as consecrated virgins. The consecrated life is one way that men and women live out their baptismal commitment as followers of Jesus. At a time when people lack a clear understanding of what “consecrated life” is all about, we need to turn to our scripture readings to rediscover the meaning and purpose of this life; a life in which “the characteristic features of Jesus – the chaste, poor and obedient one – are made constantly ‘visible’ in the midst of the world.” (Vita Consecrata)
Amidst his busy days of ministering to the lame, the blind and the sick, Jesus often took time for prayer: “Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.” A deep sense of prayer and being connected with the Father was a characteristic feature of Jesus – an essential aspect of the consecrated life.