Witnesses to the Beauty of God: The Apostolic Exhortation Vita Consecrata 25 Years later
The Apostolic Exhortation Vita consecrata was published in a time of great uncertainty, in a liquid society, with confused characteristics and weak commitments. The certainty with which the identity of consecrated life is defined is therefore surprising, “icon of the transfigured Christ” (Vita consecrata, 14) which reveals the glory and the face of the Father in the luminous splendor of the Spirit. Consecrated life as confessio Trinitatis! Truly, the concern here is not only to give a solid foundation to the consecrated person’s identity, but more so as offering an original vision of that identity, integrating the divine and human, realizing that mysterious and luminous connection between ascent and descent, between the transcendent height and the kenotic immersion on the borders of all that is human, between the sublime beauty to be contemplated and the distressing poverty to be served.
The strength of the relationship
Vita consecrata is built upon the notion of a relationship, the relationship generated in and by the Mystery of God and Trinitarian communion. The salvation that comes through the lives of those who take charge of the other. A witness that is not unique, but that of a fraternity that lives and appreciates what it proclaims. Communal holiness, not of perfect solitaries, but of poor sinners who daily share and offer each other mercy and understanding. A consecration that does not oppose the values of the world and the universal thirst for happiness, but on the contrary reveals to all that being poor, chaste, and obedient has great humanizing power, is a true eco-system of the human condition, gives meaning and balance to life, harmony, and freedom in relationships with things, it protects from abuse, creates fraternity, and offers beauty… Today consecrated life is aware of being “poorer” than in former times, but lives – by grace – a much greater relationship with the Church and the world, with those who believe and those who do not, with those who suffer and are alone.