Today marks the start of the "Year of Consecrated Life."
This is a special year in the church and one that Pope Francis has referred to as evoking a great joy in religious communities. In an Apostolic Letter, To All Consecrated People he not only dedicates this year to all religious but describes his aims and expectations of the year. Francis describes his three aims for religious during this year are:
1. To look to the past with gratitude.
2. To live the present with passion
3. To embrace the future with hope
Francis writes that; "Where there are religious, there is joy." The expectations of this year as they should be every year that we are men and women of of joy. We are also called to be prophets and to "wake up the world" as we follow the gospels by adhering to our radical way of living. And we are to be people of communion. Striving for greater Communion within our communities and with those who we encounter.
In addition, Francis clearly asks that all of us to go out to the "peripheries" to be men in the world serving the poor. And he expects that "each form of consecrated life will question what it is that God and people today are asking of them." Which is a question to be addressed throughout the year. Readers may help us find the right topic and ask the right questions by sharing their comments below.