Following Christ more closely

“From the earliest centuries the Church has shown great esteem and sincere love for those men and women who, in docility to the Father’s call and the promptings of the Spirit, have chosen to follow Christ more closely, dedicating themselves to him with an undivided heart (cf. 1 Cor 7:34). Moved by unconditional love for Christ and all humanity, particularly the poor and the suffering, they are called to reproduce in a variety of forms – as consecrated virgins, widows, hermits, monks and religious – the earthly life of Jesus in chastity, poverty and obedience.” ~Pope Francis, Vultum Dei Quaerere, #5

St Romuald (c.951 – 1027)

“He joined a Benedictine monastery but made himself unpopular there by trying to get the lax monks to mend their ways and so, with the permission of his abbot, became a wandering hermit. In a constant fight against the degenerate monasteries of the day, he founded hermitages and monasteries where a life of prayerful solitude could be truly lived. The monastery at Camaldoli, which he founded and where he remained as abbot for a number of years, became the first house of an order of hermits which still exists. But Romuald took to his wanderings once more, and died in a monastery he himself had founded at Val di Castro – as he wished, alone in his cell.” ~Universalis

Let us pray:

O God, who through Saint Romuald renewed the manner of life of hermits in your Church, grant that, denying ourselves and following Christ, we may merit to reach the heavenly realms on high. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

St. Romuald, pray for us.

Hidden With Christ in God

“In profound communion with every other vocation of the Christian life–all of which are “like so many rays of the one light of Christ, whose radiance brightens the countenance of the Church”–contemplatives “devote a great part of their day imitating the Mother of God, who diligently pondered the words and deeds of her Son (cf. Lk 2:19.51), and Mary of Bethany, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened attentively to his words (cf. Lk 10:38)”. Their lives, “hidden with Christ in God” (cf. Col 3:3), become an image of the unconditional love of the Lord, himself the first contemplative. They are so centered on Christ that they can say with the Apostle. “For to me, to live is Christ!” (Phil 1:21). In this way, they express the all-encompassing character at the heart of a vocation to the contemplative life.” ~Pope Francis, Vultum Dei Quaerere, #3

Consecrated Life: A Living Exegesis

“Consecrated persons, by virtue of their consecration, ‘follow the Lord in a special way, in a prophetic way’. They are called to recognize the signs of God’s presence in daily life and wisely to discern the questions posed to us by God and the men and women of our time. The great challenge faced by consecrated persons is to persevere in seeking God ‘with the eyes of faith in a world which ignores his presence’, and to continue to offer that world Christ’s life of chastity, poverty and obedience as a credible and trustworthy sign, thus becoming ‘a living ‘exegesis’ of God’s word’.” ~Pope Francis, Vultum Dei Quaerere, #2