Group 1 of this Vatican COVID -19 Commission, which has the task of listening to the local Churches in the challenges they face especially in the field of health, wished to listen also to the communities of consecrated life in the face of this pandemic because consecrated life is placed at the very heart of the Church. It is a precious and necessary gift for the present and for the future of the People of God, because it belongs intimately to its life, holiness and mission. (cf. Ap. Ex. Vita Consecrata 3). Pope Francis declared that " The consecrated are a sign of God in the different areas of life, they are leaven for the growth of a more just and fraternal society, they are the prophecy of sharing with the least and the poor. Thus understood and lived, consecrated life appears as what it really is: a gift from God, a gift of God to the Church, a gift of God to his People! Every consecrated person is a gift for the People of God on it’s journey. "(Pope Francis, Angelus of 02/02/2014)
In these dark times of suffering, consecrated life with its multiple charisms of spiritual and apostolic life given by the Holy Spirit invites the local Church, but also society, to open its horizons.
We had the privilege of listening to some religious congregations in the United States (June 9) and in Latin America (June 30) whose charism is the care of the person. They spoke to us about their challenges, the good practices they have been able to put in place, but also about hope. They proposed 4 verbs to build the future towards a greater humanity in the image and resemblance of Christ.
Organizing to CARE, CONTEMPLATE, DISCERN and ACT MERCIFULLY:
CARE. To take care of each other, being responsible for one's own life as well as that of others. This care will lead to rethinking our lifestyle to review our daily decisions and in a comprehensive manner. To care so that it allows us to live in solidarity with the poorest and neediest of this Pandemic.
CONTEMPLATE. From a prophetic viewpoint, to listen and perceive God in the reality that we are living, stimulating our conversion to a new way of living and relating to each other and embracing the culture of encounter. A contemplative look impels us to pray for our world.
DISCERN. To listen to the voice of God and to know where He ‘s leading us in the here and now. To discern in order to attend to reality with the strength of our charisms and spiritualities as signes and the power of the Spirit of God.
ACT MERCIFULLY : It is time to expand and update the works of mercy. To be merciful and embrace mercy. Let us contemplate that what we are living concerns us and will occupy us for a long time.
* You can see below a selection of photos that we received from the congregations in Mexico, Venezuela and the group of Parish Missionaries of the Vicariate of San José del Amazonas in Peru.
* You can download and read the details of the questionnaires to which the congregations in Mexico, Venezuela and the group of Parish Missionaries of the Vicariate of San José del Amazonas in Peru responded. (PDF in Spanish only)