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Archives Feb. 2 is World Day for Consecrated Life

January 31, 2024

By Sister Mary Eamon Lyng, SSJ
Diocesan Vocations Coordinator

In the Opening Prayer for the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, the Almighty ever-living God is called upon. As the Only Begotten Son was presented on this day in the Temple in the substance of our flesh, so, by God’s grace, we, too, may be presented to Him with minds made pure.

As the Son of God, Jesus is already “consecrated to the Lord.” It is in the Temple that Mary and Joseph present Jesus in accordance with the law so that Israel could encounter its long-awaited consolation and redemption. It is here in the Temple that Mary offers herself and us into the saving mission of Jesus.

The journey of faith for Mary was not always an easy one! There were days of consolation and desolation. She continually pondered the words of the Angel Gabriel, Simeon, and Jesus as she walked by faith, trusting in her “Fiat” that God’s plan of salvation would be fulfilled.

Mary is a model for all of us who, as our mother, desires her children be like her Son. As a woman, a faithful disciple, and as Mother of the Church, Mary witnesses her consecrated life for women and men who have consecrated their lives in a specific manner by professing vows of chastity, poverty and obedience within a specific community with a specific charism – grace, to witness God’s love to the world. There are consecrated men and women who also dedicate their lives specifically vowing their lives to a life of chastity who witness God’s love for the sake of the world. As Pope Francis said, we are “Brothers and sisters for the mission.” This means that each one as a consecrated person is a mission with a particular grace of their own for the strengthening of the Church and for her mission.

We especially pray to Mary, the Mother of the Church, for more vocations to the consecrated life and ask her to guide young people to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit as she did. There are many young people who have so much potential, but often there are so many voices trying to squander their potential. They are often allured into trying different ways of living to feel accepted and to fit in. The voices can be so strong that it can be so difficult to say “no.” It is a special grace to encounter a deeper love for Christ and for His people. A simple prayer to Mary, the Hail Mary, a decade of the rosary, a visit to the Church where there is a Holy Hour, a conversation with a sister or parish priest are some of the ways to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit.

In every vocation, there is sacrifice, just as Mary encountered. With every sacrifice, there is a grace beyond understanding. With every grace, there is only gratitude and joy beyond explanation. As consecrated men and women of the Church, we invoke Mary to be the bearers of His light, to bring His light to others, not our own; to bring Christ to others, not ourselves; and to bring Christ’s way of life to the world, not the world’s way.

It is the religious women and men consecrated to God in their specific religious communities in the Diocese of Ogdensburg who continue to bring the message faith, hope and love founded in Jesus Christ to the world. There are men and women from the diocese who have consecrated their lives to God as a priest, brother and sister. For their gift of their presence and gifts to the Church, let us give thanks and praise to our God who is and always will be forever our hope and salvation.

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