'Nourish the flame' of consecrated life, Pope exhorts religious
“Do not fall in with the prophets of doom who proclaim the end or the non-sense of consecrated life in the Church in our days,” Pope Benedict XVI urged religious men and women in a past homily at a Mass in St. Peter’s basilica.
Celebrating the Day of Consecrated Life, which coincides with the feast of the Presentation, the Pope remarked that the day’s traditional candlelight procession in the Vatican basilica, led by superiors of religious orders, was a reminder of “the beauty and the value of consecrated life as the reflection of Christ's light.” The Pope went on to say that the theme of light in the evening ceremony “recalls Mary’s entrance into the Temple: the Virgin Mary, consecrated woman par excellence, carried Light itself in her arms, the incarnate Word who had come to dispel the darkness of the world with God's love."
Pope Benedict encouraged the religious in attendance to “nourish the flame” of their “first love” for Christ. He also suggested that they appreciate the “wisdom of weakness” that is a part of their vocation. The Pope explained that the silence of consecrated life, “by its empathy with those who have no voice, becomes an evangelic sign of contradiction.”