Forty days after Christmas, we celebrate the Lord who enters the Temple and comes to encounter his people. In the Christian East, this feast is called the “Feast of Encounter”: it is the encounter between God, who became a child to bring newness to our world, and an expectant humanity.
Concerned about the declining numbers of the consecrated, the pontiff notes that a world dominated by the culture of the provisional and money forgets “the beauty of a simple and austere life”. He calls for evangelising in lieu of the culture of success at any price, shying away from worldliness, yet maintaining the “strength of mission”.
Either the vc will understand this cultural period of transit and once more adopt a deeply relational and communal approach, or it will risk placing itself outside the meaningful human context, no longer meeting any demand or any aspect, any expectation held by men and women today, and, therefore, having nothing more to say, no image to present, no appeal.
My working hypothesis is that the new image of the vc should first and foremost be that of relationship. “Relationship” in its widest and most essential meaning, precisely because relationships are at the basis of human life.
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