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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Communion of Vocations

THE THREE VOCATIONS:  A DIVERSITY OF GIFTS

Anticipating Vatican Council II and the Church’s concern for all the states of life, the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity from its early days was made up of all three vocations:  Clergy, Laity and Religious.  No one expresses better, the mystery of our callings than Pope John Paul II.
“All the members of the people of God-clergy, men and women religious, the lay faithful-are laborers in the vineyard…Everyone of us possessing charisms, and  ministries, diverse yet complementary, works in the one and the same vineyard of the Lord.  Simply in being Christians, even before actually doing the works of a Christian, all are branches of the one fruitful vine which is Christ.  All are living members of the one Body of the Lord built up through the power of the Spirit…
“The states of life, by being ordered one to the other, are thus bound together among themselves.  They all share in a deeply basic meaning:  that of being the manner of living out the commonly shared Christian dignity and the universal call to holiness in the perfection of love.  They are different yet complementary in the sense that each of them has a basic and unmistakable character which sets each apart, while at the same time each of them is seen in relation to the other and placed at each other’s service.
“Thus the lay state of life has its distinctive feature in its secular character.  It fulfills an ecclesial service in bearing witness and, in its own way, recalling for priests and women and men religious the significance of the earthly and temporal realities in the saving plan of God.  In turn, the ministerial priesthood represents, in different times and places, the permanent guarantee of the sacramental presence of Christ the Redeemer.  The religious state bears witness to the…straining toward the Kingdom of God that is prefigured and in some way anticipated and experienced even now through the vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience.

All the states of life, whether taken collectively or individually in relation to the others, are at the service of the Church’s growth.  While different in expression they are deeply united in the Church’s mystery of communion and are dynamically coordinated in its unique mission.  Thus in the diversity of the states of life and the variety of vocations this same unique mystery of the Church reveals and experiences anew the infinite richness of the mystery of Jesus Christ.”  John Paul II “Christifidelis Laici”
The lived experience within Our Lady’s Society of living and working together in a common spirituality with a common vision is family in which all the members are strengthened and supported by the presence of each other.  We recognize that this experience prepares us for the life we will live as one family of Our Father for all eternity.