… Celano makes clear the prior and more fundamental relationship upon which the gift and challenge of fraternity must be constructed: the absolute and unconditional bond of love and trust with the Lord Jesus. It is this foundational relationship that Francis came to embrace, that directed his every activity and his every choice, and that led him to a profound experience of the Trinity as a circle of love and mercy into which all of humanity and all of creation is invited to participate. The post-synodal document on Consecrated Life, Vita Consecrata (1996, par. 14) makes clear this same radical demand: that we must enter into an intimate relationship of love and trust with the risen Lord Jesus if our lives are to be transfigured, transformed by God and with Jesus. All authentic discipleship must be grounded in the experience of “intimacy with the Master,” where we see “Jesus only”(Vita Consecrata, par. 14). It is when our lives are rooted in the eternal love of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit that we are able to see beyond our own personal limits and sinfulness, to see beyond the limits and sinfulness of the brothers, and to recognize the mystery of the grace of God’s uncontrollable mercy and love, which comes to console us in our difficulties and challenges us to live in the freedom of the children of God.
Profession of Commitment to the Gospel Life
by the grace of God,
renew my baptismal promises
and consecrate myself to the service of His Kingdom.
May the grace of the Holy Spirit,
the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary
and our holy father Saint Francis,
and the fraternal bonds of community
always be my help,
so that I may reach the goal
of perfect Christian love.
As our union with the Lord grows and our prayer likewise becomes more intense, like St. Paul, we too will turn our focus on what is important as well as to recognize that it is not by our own power that the Kingdom of God comes about, but rather by the grace of God who works miracles through us in spite of our weakness.
~Pope Benedict XVI, June 13, 2012, General Audience