1) What is life consecrated to God? 2) What is the everyday life of consecrated people like? 3) What are vows? 4) Why just these three vows: chastity, poverty and obedience? 5) What would you like to say to consecrated people?
1) I think that life consecrated to God is the decision of love, devotion and sacrifice.
2) The one who realizes the greatness of this gift has joy in his/her heart every day. And the one who does not fully realize such greatness is missing something all the time, with a feeling that he/she needs to look for something and is lost in him or herself.
3) A vow means to seal the decision to serve the Lord and to live with Him.
4) Chastity because it is the pure heart that sees the Lord. Poverty because the love of money is the root of evil. If there were no poverty, a man would easily fall into the sin of the love of money. And this sin produces other sins. Obedience because obedience teaches us humility.
5) That they enjoy every day the fact that God finds pleasure in their hearts and houses. That they commemorate it again and again. And that they give thanks a lot.
Simona (23), Slovakia
1) I think that life consecrated to God is nothing else than life consecrated to people. Jesus is an example for us. He not only shows how to serve people, He even dies on the cross for people. We can consecrate life to God in many ways: priestly life, monastic life, life in community or in the family… The most important is to live with God in every moment of our life. To offer to him everything that we meet and experience. Only then can I say that I have consecrated my life to God!
2) Every day is unique in its way. I think it is challenging, joyful and surprising at the same time. Something new always comes – something attractive which will overcome the old. Every day has its troubles but there will be time for relaxing. I cannot speak for others but I see it like this. If you live for God, every day is different.
3) The vow is a commitment given to God. Sacrifice for God.
4) Chastity – allows them to be pure before God. It helps to be close to God and hear His voice. Poverty – allows them to see the world in all its beauty, to see good and evil, and to receive and do good to other people. Obedience – gives power in the fight against evil, teaches humility. It is the biggest shield against satan.
5) In any profession things must be done with love as Jesus taught. And also, to do everything for others and not for yourself. “My command is this: Love one another as I have loved you.” (Jn 15, 12)
Andrew (21), Belarus
2) To pray and work. Not to despair and to thank God for everything.
3) Vows given to God.
4) Chastity – so that evil does not have an effect on man (it kills delusive thoughts immediately they appear). Poverty means to look for the divine and collect heavenly wealth. Everything earthly will go away as it came, and also acts without love. Obedience – I miss it a lot. God protects us, He has a plan for our lives, leads us and loves us. He is a chasm of mercy and forgiveness. And I am malicious and ungrateful and I am not able to force myself to listen to loving words. Love is not loud but we got used to living in noise and that’s why we don’t have enough love. So, let’s pray for love, because obedience without love is slavery.
5) I admire their courage, I am grateful to them for their asceticism and devotion to God. Any Christian is a fighter, but in this spiritual fight they march in front and often get struck by darkness. They are examples and the living witnesses of God’s existence. I admire their unselfishness, the readiness to give up their life for a friend. People consecrated to God should ask themselves whether they are ready to follow Christ until the end, death. As He did. I am not sure if I would be able to make it. Probably, I partially place responsibility on them for the testimony of Christ in this world.
Arseny (19) and Vasily (14), Russia