for you my soul is thirsting.
For you my flesh is pining,
like a dry, weary land without water.
I have come before you in the sanctuary,
to behold your strength and your glory.
Your loving mercy is better than life;
my lips will speak your praise.
I will bless you all my life;
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul shall be filled as with a banquet;
with joyful lips, my mouth shall praise you.
For you have been my strength; in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.
your right hand upholds me.
36. Many traditional and new foundations bring consecrated men and women to places where others usually cannot go. In recent years consecrated persons were able to leave the security of the known to thrust themselves into unknown places and works. Thanks to their total consecration they are in fact free to step in wherever there are critical needs. This has been witnessed in the recent foundations in new countries which present unique challenges, involving many provinces at the same time and creating international communities. With discerning eyes and generous hearts121 they have responded to the call of many who suffer in a concrete service of charity. Wherever they are, they have constituted a link between the Church and marginal groups and those not reached by ordinary pastoral ministry.
VITA CONSECRATA APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION VITA CONSECRATA (1996)
104. Many people today are puzzled and ask: What is the point of the consecrated life? Why embrace this kind of life, when there are so many urgent needs in the areas of charity and of evangelization itself, to which one can respond even without assuming the particular commitments of the consecrated life?
These questions are asked more frequently in our day, as a consequence of a utilitarian and technocratic culture which is inclined to assess the importance of things and even of people in relation to their immediate "usefulness". But such questions have always existed, as is eloquently demonstrated by the Gospel episode of the anointing at Bethany: "Mary took a pound of costly ointment of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment" (Jn 12:3). When Judas, using the needs of the poor as an excuse, complained about such waste, Jesus replied: "Let her alone!" (Jn 12:7).This is the perennially valid response to the question which many people, even in good faith, are asking about the relevance of the consecrated life: Could one not invest one's life in a more efficient and reasonable way for the betterment of society? This is how Jesus replies: "Let her alone!"
Those who have been given the priceless gift of following the Lord Jesus more closely consider it obvious that he can and must be loved with an undivided heart, that one can devote to him one's whole life, and not merely certain actions or occasional moments or activities. The precious ointment poured out as a pure act of love, and thus transcending all "utilitarian" considerations, is a sign of unbounded generosity, as expressed in a life spent in loving and serving the Lord, in order to devote oneself to his person and his Mystical Body. From such a life "poured out" without reserve there spreads a fragrance which fills the whole house. The house of God, the Church, today no less than in the past, is adorned and enriched by the presence of the consecrated life.
RULE OF LIFE:
Article 1: Our Lord had very much at heart the creating of a spirit, a missionary spirit, an
Evangelical burning that would sweep over the whole world. He came to cast a fire on the earth, and he willed that it would be enkindled (Lk 12:49). The Holy Spirit has enkindled this fire in our hearts. This is our heritage: an apostolic spirit, a Gospel spirit, a Catholic spirit. The Missionary Cenacle Spirit is charity, charity aflame.
You must determine to do some big thing for Him. And that big thing must mean that more and more you are going to put on Christ; more and more you are going to show forth His spirit which will effect that your brothers will recognize in you more generosity, more devotion to your Missionary Cenacle and its duties, more forgetfulness of self, more detachment from worldly things, worldly ways; more self‑sacrifice P. 29
I wish that during this (meditation) you would, as it were, take your own temperature. How is that fire within me? Is it at white heat, is it intense, or is it a dull glow; or is it next to being extinguished? When the smith plunges the metal into the fire, if his fire be at its proper temperature, there is a fusion; but he might plunge that iron many times into the fire and it would be futile unless the fire was at white heat. P 183
Question posed by Pope Francis to consecrated men and women
“ Look into the depths of your heart, look into your own inner depths and ask yourself: do you have a heart that desires something great, or a heart that has been lulled to sleep by things? Has your heart preserved the restlessness of seeking or have you let it be suffocated by things that end by hardening it? God awaits you, he seeks you; how do you respond to him? Are you aware of the situation of your soul? Or have you nodded off? Do you believe God is waiting for you or does this truth consist only of “words”?