Abstract

While all the Christian faithful must direct their efforts to lead a holy life and to promote the growth of the Church and its continual sanctification, according to their own condition, the faithful have the right to follow their own form of spiritual life so long as it is consonant with the doctrine of the Church. Two communitarian possibilities exist in order to realize this important Christian vocation: the faithful may join an association or one of the new ecclesial movements, or they may enter an institute of consecrated life. The author explains that, while the evangelical counsels are not limited to institutes of consecrated life, not every assumption of these counsels can, strictly speaking, be called consecrated life, since this state of life in the Church presupposes the recognition of the Church and an intervention of its authority. It is not sufficient to make a promise or a vow to live according to the evangelical counsels to be a consecrated person. Therefore, dedicating one’s life to God in an association or in a movement and dedicating one’s life to God in an institute of consecrated life cannot be considered the same, even if there are many common aspects. The author warns and explains that there are certain risks if these vocations are mingled.

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