Although specifically addressed to communities of contemplative women within the Church, this Apostolic Constitution of Pope Francis makes for interesting reading for all members of the Church who take seriously the vocation stemming from their baptism.
At the heart of the document is the enumeration and elucidation of “twelve aspects of consecrated life in general and the monastic tradition in particular” (para. 12):
- the word of God
- the sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation
- fraternal life in community
- the cloister
- the communications media
The consideration of theses twelve aspects constitute the major part of the Constitution, covering paragraphs 12 through 35, and has much to offer the ordinary Christian pilgrim who, though not called to the contemplative or monastic life, is still called to seek always the “the Face of God”. It is quite easy to see how some of these aspects of the formal contemplative life can, with suitable modification, have much to offer the pilgrim Christian as they walk the path of the baptised life.
Though short in length (my printed copy runs to only 40 pages) there is much contained in this Apostolic Constitution that speaks to the contemporary situation facing Christians of all walks and states of life.