New Vatican letter on contemplation and consecrated life


The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life has issued “Contemplate,” a letter to consecrated men and women.

The letter is the third in a series of circular letters issued by the Congregation for the Year of Consecrated Life, which began on the First Sunday of Advent in 2014 and concludes on February 2, 2016. The first two letters were entitled “Rejoice!” and “Keep Watch!”

It is an invitation to all consecrated persons to live the contemplative dimension in spite of the many things they have to do in their daily lives, in order to rediscover that vital relationship with God that allows them to see humanity and creation with His eyes. During one of his homilies at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, Pope Francis emphasized that: “The contemplative dimension is indispensible while dealing with urgent and grave issues. The more our mission urges us to go forth toward the existential outskirts, the more our heart feels the need to be intimately united to that of Christ, which is full of mercy and love” (May 22, 2015).

The three Letters  are the golden thread of the three publications is the Book of Canticles. In the introduction we read: “To look deeply into our life; to question the meaning of our pilgimage in search of God; to evaluate our contemplative dimension in our daily life; to recognize the mystery of grace which sustains us, excites our pasion and transforms us”.

At the onset of the Holy Year, the text invites each one to follow Jesus, the Countenance of the Father’s mercy, and traces a path to be treaded: “each consecrated person is called to contemplate and witness the countenance of God as the One who understands and comprehends our weaknesses (cf. Ps 102), to pour the balsam of closeness upon the human wounds, to contrast with the cynicism of indifference” (Contemplate, 59).

The circular Letter was officially presented on Wednesday, December 16, at 5.00 p.m. at the Pontifical University Urbaniana.

The Italian version of “Contemplate” is available for purchase from Libreria Editrice Vaticana. No online English translation is yet available.




Arpanam brings you the fabulous stories of the heroic men and women who lead consecrated life in the Catholic Church. It is one of the projects of CONNECT, an initiative for doing research and and documentation as well as organising various programmes in the interdisciplinary area of media and socio-cultural life.

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