The teaching and example of Christ provide the foundation for the evangelical counsels of chaste self-dedication to God, of poverty and of obedience. The Apostles and Fathers of the Church commend them as an ideal of life, and so do her doctors and pastors. They therefore constitute a gift of God that the Church has received from her Lord and which by his grace she always safeguards.
From the very beginning of the Church there were celibate men and women who set out to follow Christ with greater liberty, and to imitate him more closely, by practicing the evangelical counsels. They led lives dedicated to God, each in his or her own way. Thus, in keeping with the divine purpose, a wonderful variety of religious communities came into existence.
Many of the baptized throughout history have been invited to live such a life “in the image of Christ.” But this is possible only on the basis of a special vocation and in virtue of a particular gift of the Spirit. For in such a life baptismal consecration develops into a radical response in the following of Christ through acceptance of the evangelical counsels, the first and essential of which is the sacred bond of chastity for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven.
If you are interested in learning more about consecrated life in the Archdiocese of Omaha, please contact the Office of Vocations. Take a look at the various options for consecrated life.