The Church can't exist without the consecrated life. Why not? Because it expresses the very nature of the Church. It makes present today the way of life that Jesus himself chose. When Jesus invites others to follow him in this way of life, he invites them into a special relationship with the Trinity. Marked by radical chastity, poverty, and obedience, the consecrated life is modeled on Jesus' own way of life. The Church can't exist without it because Jesus always calls some persons to make this gift of self. Saint John Paul II explored these ideas and more in his ground-breaking document Consecrated Life (Vita Consecrata). The consecrated life is rooted in baptism and is a gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church. The Pope uses the icon of the Transfiguration to explain what consecration involves. Then he discusses how this life is a sign of communion in the Church and how it must lead to new ways of mission. This 20th anniversary edition features the full text of the apostolic exhortation (dated March 25, 1996), and includes helpful commentary by Sr. Marianne Lorraine Trouve, FSP. Her insights unpack the rich thought behind Saint John Paul II's words, including connections with themes from his theology of the body. Reflection questions and a prayer are included after each chapter.
Catholic Church, Paperback, ISBN 10: 0819816477, ISBN 13: 9780819816474