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Living Billboards: Weekly Message for 1-30-18
Dear Fellow Digital Pilgrim, pax Christi:
Every year on February 2nd, the liturgical feast commemorating Mary’s presentation of Jesus in the Temple, the Church celebrates in a special way the gift of the consecrated life. Here at RCSpirituality, we have very personal reasons to give thanks for it. Our Director, Lucy Honner, is a consecrated woman of Regnum Christi. Myself and the other three regular priest contributors are members of a religious order, the Legionaries of Christ.
I believe God’s wisdom shines through in a special way through his gift of consecrated life to the Church and the world. When men and women hear and heed a call to follow Christ more closely through making vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, they are sounding a shockingly counter-cultural note. In a sense, every consecrated person in the Church is a living billboard for the reality of God’s existence, God’s love, and God’s promise of eternal life to those who believe in him and follow the Lord Jesus.
In my 25 years of living as a consecrated religious, I have had countless conversations with people who simply don’t understand how anyone could ever desire to follow this path. Many of the most interesting ones happen in airports and on airplanes. These days, the aspect of religious life that most people find particularly intriguing is our consecrated celibacy. It simply befuddles the post-modern, secular mind to think that any sane human being would voluntarily – and joyfully – renounce the natural human impulse to get married and have a family. I have found that engaging in these conversations gives me, on a regular basis, privileged opportunities to speak to people about my experience of Jesus Christ. And I am amazed at how many times the mere fact of my priestly collar opens the door to heart-to-heart exchanges.
If you have benefited from anything that we have produced over the years, please join us in thanking the Lord for consecrated life in general, as a gift of light and inspiration for the Church and the world, and also for our own vocations and the grace we have received to persevere in them up to now.
Although it is our calling that has nourished all that we strive to do and provide through this apostolate, it is your generous support through prayers and donations that has actually sustained the platform itself. So once again we also extend our thanks to you for making our own work for the Kingdom possible. On February 2nd, and on every other day of the year as well, you can count on our gratitude and on our prayers for you.
God bless you and keep you.
Peace in Him,
Fr John Bartunek, LC