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July 13, 2018

Joy and Gratitude for Ecclesiae Sponsae Imago


Recently, on 4 July 2018, the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, released an Instruction Ecclesiae Sponsae Imago on the Ordo virginum. It was approved and signed by our Holy Father on 8 June 2018, Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

It is with great joy and gratitude that we receive this Instruction! It is very encouraging for our vocation and takes care of more than we ever expected, regarding our practical concerns.

As with any new document released at the Universal level, there is need for clarification on a few but significant points, and it seems the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life is very approachable via email for this.

Having discussed about this in our closed facebook group "Order of Consecrated Virgins: Spirituality & Pastoral Ministry," I would like to place our thanks on this blog.



We praise you,
Virgin Mother of God
Woman of the covenant,
of expectation and fulfilment.
Be the mother and teacher
of consecrated virgins,
so that imitating you
they will receive the Gospel joyfully
and every day
with humility and wonder
discover in it
the holy origin
of their spousal vocation.

Virgin of virgins,
sealed fountain,
gate of heaven,
inspire and accompany
these sisters of ours,
may they have the gift
of spiritual discernment
pilgrims in history
may they live the dynamism
of prophecy
with freedom and courage
with determination and tenderness.

Woman full of grace,
overflowing with charity,
Virgin become Church
bless their journey
so that hope
enlightens their minds
and opens their hearts
guiding every step
and faith
makes their hands industrious
and creative
so may their lives be fruitful
and anticipating here and now
the reality of the Kingdom,
may they generate
and build up the people of God
sharing in its mission
kingly, prophetic and priestly.

We proclaim you blessed
woman of the Magnificat
mother of the living Gospel.
We pray for these sisters.
Gather them in your song
involve them in your dance
so that they follow the Lamb
wherever he goes
with lamps alight.
May they lead us also
to the eternal wedding banquet,
to the final embrace
with the Love
that never ends.


P.S. I shall be updating the previous posts on this blog in harmony with developments because of the Instruction, in the coming days.

May 30, 2017

Are Consecrated Virgins More Lay Than Religious Women?

The history of Religious Life during the recent centuries, shows that some of the founders intended their communities to have greater interaction with the world through apostolic activities.  Some of them did not see the vocational commitments in the form of 3 evangelical counsels.  However, pressure from authorities in the Church led most of them to embrace the regimented lifestyle of convents and separation from the world.  They were intended to live like today's Secular Institutes, but landed in the category of Apostolic Religious life. As a result of this, today we find a spectrum of possibilities in the degree of separation from the world and insertion in the world, among the thousands of Apostolic Religious Congregations and Institutes.

Analogically, The Order of Virgins too has a spectrum of possibilities in the degree of the separation of a consecrated virgin from the world and her insertion in the world. She is in the world but not of the world.  Every vocation of celibate chastity called to live in union with God, by its very nature demands an interior separation from the world.  This is compatible with varying degrees of external involvement with the world.

HENCE MY OBSERVATION IS THAT BOTH APOSTOLIC RELIGIOUS AND MEMBERS OF THE ORDER OF VIRGINS ARE LIVING IN THE WORLD IN THE RELATIVE SENSE OF NOT LIVING IN CLOISTERED MONASTERIES.

THERE IS NO THEOLOGICAL GROUND TO CONSIDER CONSECRATED VIRGINS AS 'MORE LAY' THAN RELIGIOUS WOMEN!

Also read Charism of Consecrated virginity NOT Sacred Secularity