Vita consecrata EN
John Paul II
Post-synodal Apostolic exhortation
on the consecrated life and its mission in the Church and in the world
March 25, 1996
Copyright Libreria Editrice Vaticana
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_jp-ii_exh_25031996_vita-consecrata_en.html

Headings

POST-SYNODAL
APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION
VITA CONSECRATA

OF THE HOLY FATHER
JOHN PAUL II
TO THE BISHOPS AND CLERGY
RELIGIOUS ORDERS AND CONGREGATIONS
SOCIETIES OF APOSTOLIC LIFE
SECULAR INSTITUTES
AND ALL THE FAITHFUL
ON THE CONSECRATED LIFE AND ITS MISSION
IN THE CHURCH AND IN THE WORLD
1 INTRODUCTION
2 Thanksgiving for the consecrated life
3 The consecrated life: a gift to the Church
4 Gathering the fruits of the Synod
5 The work of the Spirit in the various forms of the consecrated life
6 Monastic life in the East and the West
7 The Order of Virgins; hermits and widows
8 Institutes completely devoted to contemplation
9 Apostolic religious life
10 Secular Institutes
11 Societies of Apostolic Life
12 New expressions of consecrated life
13 Purpose of the Apostolic Exhortation

CHAPTER I


CONFESSIO TRINITATIS


THE ORIGINS OF THE CONSECRATED LIFE


IN THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST


AND OF THE TRINITY


14 Icon of the Transfigured Christ
15 "And he was transfigured before them ..."
16 "This is my beloved Son": listen to him!

I. IN PRAISE OF THE TRINITY
17 "A Patre ad Patrem": God's initiative
18 "Per Filium": in the footsteps of the Son
19 "In Spiritu": consecrated by the Holy Spirit
20 The evangelical counsels, gift of the Trinity
21 Reflection of Trinitarian life in the evangelical counsels
22 Consecrated like Christ for the Kingdom of God

II. BETWEEN EASTER AND FULFILMENT
23 From Tabor to Calvary
24 The Paschal dimension of the consecrated life
25 Witnesses to Christ in the world
26 Eschatological dimension of the consecrated life
27 Active expectation: commitment and watchfulness
28 The Virgin Mary, model of consecration and discipleship

III. IN THE CHURCH AND FOR THE CHURCH
29 "It is well that we are here": the consecrated life in the mystery of the Church
30 New and special consecration
31 Relationships between the different states of Christian life
32 The special value of the consecrated life
33 Bearing witness to the Gospel of the Beatitudes
34 The living image of the Church as Bride

IV. GUIDED BY THE SPIRIT OF HOLINESS
35 A "transfigured" life: the call to holiness
36 Faithfulness to the charism
37 Creative fidelity
38 Prayer and asceticism: spiritual combat
39 Fostering holiness
40 "Rise, and have no fear": a renewed trust
CHAPTER II


SIGNUM FRATERNITATIS


CONSECRATED LIFE AS A SIGN


OF COMMUNION IN THE CHURCH



I. PERMANENT VALUES
41 In the image of the Trinity
42 Fraternal life in love
43 The task of authority
44 The role of the elderly
45 In the image of the apostolic community
46 "Sentire cum Ecclesia"
47 Fraternity in the universal Church
48 The consecrated life and the particular Church
49 Fruitful and ordered ecclesial communion
50 A constant dialogue animated by charity
51 Fraternity in a divided and unjust world
52 Communion among different Institutes
53 Coordinating bodies
54 Communion and cooperation with the laity
55 For a renewed spiritual and apostolic dynamism
56 Associates and lay volunteers
57 The dignity and role of consecrated women
58 New possibilities of presence and action

II. CONTINUITY IN THE WORK OF THE SPIRIT: FAITHFULNESS IN THE COURSE OF CHANGE
59 Cloistered nuns
60 Religious brothers
61 Mixed Institutes
62 New forms of the evangelical life

III. LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
63 Difficulties and future prospects
64 Fresh efforts in the promotion of vocations
65 Commitment to initial formation
66 The work of those responsible for formation
67 Formation in community and for the apostolate
68 The need for a complete and updated "ratio"
69 Continuing formation
70 In a constant search for faithfulness
71 Dimensions of continuing formation
CHAPTER III


SERVITIUM CARITATIS


CONSECRATED LIFE:


MANIFESTATION OF GOD'S LOVE IN THE WORLD


72 Consecrated for mission
73 At the service of God and humanity
74 Ecclesial cooperation and apostolic spirituality

I. LOVE TO THE END
75 Loving with the heart of Christ
76 The specific contribution of the consecrated life to evangelization
77 The first evangelization: proclaiming Christ to the nations
78 Present in every part of the world
79 The proclamation of Christ and inculturation
80 The inculturation of the consecrated life
81 The new evangelization
82 Preference for the poor and the promotion of justice
83 Care of the sick

II. A PROPHETIC WITNESS IN THE FACE OF GREAT CHALLENGES
84 The prophetic character of the consecrated life
85 Significance for the contemporary world
86 Faithfulness to the point of martyrdom
87 The major challenges facing the consecrated life
88 The challenge of consecrated chastity
89 The challenge of poverty
90 Evangelical poverty at the service of the poor
91 The challenge of freedom in obedience
92 Carrying out together the Father's will
93 A decisive commitment to the spiritual life
94 Listening to the word of God
95 In communion with Christ

III. SOME NEW FIELDS OF MISSION
96 Presence in the world of education
97 Need for a renewed commitment in the field of education
98 Evangelizing culture
99 Presence in the field of social communications

IV. ENGAGED IN DIALOGUE WITH EVERYONE
100 At the service of Christian unity
101 Forms of ecumenical dialogue
102 Interreligious dialogue
103 Spirituality as a response to the search for the sacred and the desire for God
CONCLUSION


104 Unbounded generosity
105 The consecrated life in the service of the Kingdom of God
106 To young people
107 To families
108 To men and women of good will
109 To consecrated persons
110 Looking to the future
111 Prayer to the Holy Trinity
112 Invocation of the Blessed Virgin Mary