Whether brother or sister, monk or nun, those persons whom God calls to live the vocation of consecrated religious life respond to a call of living the life of Christ. While their expression of this life may differ depending upon gender, community, charism, and apostolic work, in essence they have been called to give their life to Christ in service to his Church. No one job or career defines the life or work of the man or woman who discerns this vocation. More aptly, the defining character is the witness of joy and holiness they gain through Christ’s love.
The religious brother’s commitment is one sign and living proof that Christ is still among us as the One who is Brother to us all. In his life of celibacy, poverty, and obedience the brother challenges us to be responsible with our use of power, love, and material goods.
Sharing in the intimate life of Christ as bride to the bridegroom, the sister is a sign to the world that God is love. In consecrating her life to Christ, she lives vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. She has given her life entirely to the Lord so that he may draw her deeper into a relationship of love.
Often times, brothers and sisters live in community. Together they draw strength and support for their life of sacrifice and service. They are bound together by a deep desire to live as Christ, thus witnessing to the world that the Lord is present. While each community models themselves after a particular spiritual leader, charism, and service to the church, all communities seek to give a face to the person of Christ in the modern world.