The third video in the series, Vita Consecrata – 3 of 10 – Why Profess Religious Vows?, highlights passages from #87 of Vita Consecrata.

We would like to present this ten-part series of short videos highlighting selections from Vita Consecrata, Pope John Paul II’s 1996 Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation “On the Consecrated Life and its Mission in the Church and in the World.”

Transcript of Vita Consecrata – 3 of 10 – Why Profess Religious Vows?

From Vita Consecrata, #87 © 1996 – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

87. The prophetic task of the consecrated life is brought into play by three major challenges addressed to the Church herself: they are the same challenges as ever, posed in new ways, and perhaps more radically, by contemporary society, at least in some parts of the world.

(00:19) These challenges relate directly to the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience, impelling the Church, and consecrated persons in particular, to clarify and testify to the profound anthropological significance of the counsels. The decision to follow the counsels, far from involving an impoverishment of truly human values, leads instead to their transformation.

(00:42) The evangelical counsels should not be considered as a denial of the values inherent in sexuality, in the legitimate desire to possess material goods or to make decisions for oneself. Insofar as these inclinations are based on nature, they are good in themselves. Human beings, however, weakened as they are by original sin, run the risk of acting on them in a way which transgresses the moral norms.

(1:06) The profession of chastity, poverty and obedience is a warning not to underestimate the wound of original sin and, while affirming the value of created goods, it relativizes them by pointing to God as the absolute good.

(1:20)Thus, while those who follow the evangelical counsels seek holiness for themselves, they propose, so to speak, a spiritual “therapy” for humanity, because they reject the idolatry of anything created and in a certain way they make visible the living God. The consecrated life, especially in difficult times, is a blessing for human life and for the life of the Church.