Monday, March 9, 2015

Catholic Hermits: The Church's Institutes of Consecrated Life


Every now and then, the nothing Catholic hermit reviews the below-cited institutes of the Church.  This reference helps to reflect more seriously, to live more conscientiously, and to accept the great responsibility of what the Catholic Church requires and expects of those called to and in the Consecrated Life of the Church.  

The consecrated life of the eremitic is of direct consequence, obviously, to all Catholic hermits--each of whom profess vows including the three evangelical counsels (celibacy, poverty, obedience) even though not always are the evangelical counsels professed publicly. 

All Catholic hermits must profess the three evangelical counsels according to the institutes of the Church in The Catechism of the Catholic Church [cited below].    

From The Catechism of the Catholic Church: 


III. THE CONSECRATED LIFE

914 "The state of life which is constituted by the profession of the evangelical counsels, while not entering into the hierarchical structure of the Church, belongs undeniably to her life and holiness."453

Evangelical counsels, consecrated life

915 Christ proposes the evangelical counsels, in their great variety, to every disciple. The perfection of charity, to which all the faithful are called, entails for those who freely follow the call to consecrated life the obligation of practicing chastity in celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom, poverty and obedience. It is the profession of these counsels, within a permanent state of life recognized by the Church, that characterizes the life consecrated to God.454

916 The state of consecrated life is thus one way of experiencing a "more intimate" consecration, rooted in Baptism and dedicated totally to God.455 In the consecrated life, Christ's faithful, moved by the Holy Spirit, propose to follow Christ more nearly, to give themselves to God who is loved above all and, pursuing the perfection of charity in the service of the Kingdom, to signify and proclaim in the Church the glory of the world to come.456

One great tree, with many branches

917 "From the God-given seed of the counsels a wonderful and wide-spreading tree has grown up in the field of the Lord, branching out into various forms of the religious life lived in solitude or in community. Different religious families have come into existence in which spiritual resources are multiplied for the progress in holiness of their members and for the good of the entire Body of Christ."457

918 From the very beginning of the Church there were men and women who set out to follow Christ with greater liberty, and to imitate him more closely, by practicing the evangelical counsels. They led lives dedicated to God, each in his own way. Many of them, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, became hermits or founded religious families. These the Church, by virtue of her authority, gladly accepted and approved.458

919 Bishops will always strive to discern new gifts of consecrated life granted to the Church by the Holy Spirit; the approval of new forms of consecrated life is reserved to the Apostolic See.459

The eremitic life

920 Without always professing the three evangelical counsels publicly, hermits "devote their life to the praise of God and salvation of the world through a stricter separation from the world, the silence of solitude and assiduous prayer and penance."460

921 They manifest to everyone the interior aspect of the mystery of the Church, that is, personal intimacy with Christ. Hidden from the eyes of men, the life of the hermit is a silent preaching of the Lord, to whom he has surrendered his life simply because he is everything to him. Here is a particular call to find in the desert, in the thick of spiritual battle, the glory of the Crucified One.

[Emphases added for reflection and consideration.]


Thus, the consecrated life of the eremitic is of direct consequence, obviously, to all Catholic hermits--each of whom profess vows including the three evangelical counsels (celibacy, poverty, obedience) even though not always are the evangelical counsels professed publicly. 

All Catholic hermits must profess the three evangelical counsels according to the institutes of the Church in The Catechism of the Catholic Church [cited below].    

Some Catholic hermits profess the three evangelical counsels under the added proviso of CL603. However, it seems that the semantic of "publicly" may be confusing due to the word "publicly" used per the added proviso of Canon Law 603. Perhaps the current coinage of the term "public profession" is due to CL603 stating that the evangelical counsels be professed publicly in the hands of the diocesan bishop.  [See Canon Law 603, cited for review and consideration in the proceeding, or next, post.]   

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