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The year of consecrated life

New wine in old wineskins: with a commitment to ensuring that the wine does not become acid!

The Year of Consecrated Life, the year when the fiftieth anniversary of the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium and of the Decree Perfectae caritatis (the Second Vatican Council) will be commemorated, is a favourable opportunity for interior renewal and growth in depth. Every consecrated man and every consecrated woman is called in time to be witness to the Gospel, a sign of hope that becomes nearness and mercy, prophecy that proclaims ‘new ways to apply the Gospel in history, in expectation of the coming of God’s Kingdom’ (Vita Consecrata, n. 84).

We must not be afraid to discard the “old wineskins”: that is, not to renew those habits and those structures which, in the life of the Church and thus also in consecrated life, we recognize as no longer corresponding to what God asks of us today in order to help his Kingdom move forward in the world: the structures that give us false protection and that condition the vitality of charity; the habits that distance us from the flock to which we are sent and prevent us from hearing the cry of those who await the Good News of Jesus Christ’.

‘In order to assess the new wine and test the quality of the wineskins that must hold it, you are led by a few guidelines: the evangelical originality of choices, charismatic faithfulness, the primacy of service, attention to the smallest and most fragile, and respect for the dignity of each person’.

(Pope Francis to the Plenary Assembly of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, 27 November 2014).

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