More Reflection from “Vita Consecrata’ Pope Francis has declared this Year dedicated to the Consecrated Life ‘Soul Institute’ “Eschatological dimension of the consecrated life”

John Paul II in ‘ Vita Consecrata’ writes “‘Where your treasure is, there will be your heart be also.’ (Mt 6:21) Those who have dedicated their lives to Christ cannot fail to live in the hope of meeting him, in order to be with him for ever. Hence the ardent expectation and desire to ‘be plunged into the fire of love which burns in them and which is none other than the Holy Spirit which the Lord freely bestows on those who yearn for the things that are above. (Col 3:1)
Immersed in the things of the Lord the consecrated person remembers that ‘here we have no lasting city.’ (Heb 13:14) for ‘our commonwealth is in Heaven.’ The one thing necessary is to seek God’s ‘Kingdom and his righteousness’ (Mt 6:33) with unceasing prayer for the Lord’s coming.”(26)

St Therese of Lisieux says, “All of a sudden I was overtaken by such a violent love for the Good God that I can only explain by saying it was as if someone had plunged me entirely into fire, Oh what fire and what sweetness as the same time! I was burning with love. I felt that one one minute-one second more I would not be able to stand this burning heat with dying. I understood then what the saints said of these states that they had so often experienced. For my part, i only experienced this once and for a single instant. Then I fell back into my usual dryness…From the time I was 14 years old I have also experienced Love’s assaults…But that was nothing like what I experienced after my oblation to love; that was not a real flame burning in me.”

Pope Francis in his book ‘Open Mind Faithful Heart’ writes, “If we read what the Lord ordered John to write, we find there the image of the priest whom we have been commissioned to represent on earth: ‘Then I turned to see whose voice it was that spoke to me, and on turning I saw seven lamp stands, and in the midst of the lamp stands I saw one like the Son of Man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash across his chest. His head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow: his eyes were like flames of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined as in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining with full force.’ (Apoc 1:12-16)
The image of the Lord is that of the priest (tunic and cincture) as once both old (white hair) and young (feet of burnished bronze) stand in the middle of his Church and carrying out his priestly mission. The Lord takes the firm stand of a judge; his gaze purifies and attracts as does the sun when it shines at its brightest; his voice is heard by all and discerns like a two-edged sword….Priests find the source of joy in our encounter with the Lord, who makes himself seen and who speaks to us. This is the joy that makes those of us who are ‘presbyters’ (elders) young again. and it also makes young people ‘elders.’ (“let no one despise your youth.’ Paul tells the ‘presbyter-bishop’ Timothy. ( 1 Tim 4:12) IF we are joined with the Lord, we need not worry about our death for he has it in his hands, protected and insured. It will not neither too soon nor too late, nor will it be untowards. It is not the case that worrying about our death, whether in its daily forms or at the end of life, makes us ‘feel old’ in ways that militate against our joy?”

I remember this beautiful letter that I received soon after a confirmation about 15 years ago. In the letter she mentioned what see saw. The bishop and 3 three priests were about to celebrate the confirmation mass. She saw a bright warm light descend on all the priests. But the light fully descended on one of the priest. When the light full descended upon him. She saw his entire life, even to the point of having a long white beard. In the light she saw his entire life. But as quickly as she saw the light encompass this priest the light vanish, but it still left a hue on the the bishop and the three priests.

Light of the Holy Spirit descend upon me
Light of the Holy Spirit transform me into the image of Jesus the High and Eternal Priest
Holy Spirit put the sword of the word of God in my heart and mouth that I may boldly proclaim your saving message
Amen Alleluia Praise the Lord

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