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The Profession of Faith

245

wonderfully in her. And so the first mission of those who profess

the evangelical counsels is to live out their consecration. Moreover,

“since members of institutes of consecrated life dedicate them-

selves through their consecration to the service of the Church they

are obliged in a special manner to engage in missionary work, in

accord with the character of the institute.”

476

932

In the Church, which is like the sacrament—the sign and

instrument—of God’s own life, the consecrated life is seen as a special

sign of the mystery of redemption. To follow and imitate Christ more

nearly and to manifest more clearly his self-emptying is to be more

deeplypresent to one’s contemporaries, in the heart of Christ. For those

who are on this “narrower” path encourage their brethren by their

example, and bear striking witness “that the world cannot be transfig-

ured and offered to God without the spirit of the Beatitudes.”

477

933

Whether their witness is public, as in the religious state, or

less public, or even secret, Christ’s coming remains for all those

consecrated both the origin and rising sun of their life:

For the People of God has here no lasting city, . . . [and this

state] reveals more clearly to all believers the heavenly goods

which are already present in this age, witnessing to the new

and eternal life which we have acquired through the re-

demptive work of Christ and preluding our future resurrec-

tion and the glory of the heavenly kingdom.

478

IN BRIEF

934

“Among the Christian faithful by divine institution

there exist in the Church sacredministers, who are also

called clerics in law, and other Christian faithful who

are also called laity.” In both groups there are those

Christian faithful who, professing the evangelical

counsels, are consecrated to God and so serve the

Church’s saving mission (cf. CIC, can. 207 § 1, 2).

935

To proclaim the faith and to plant his reign, Christ

sends his apostles and their successors. He gives them

a share in his own mission. From him they receive the

power to act in his person.

936

The Lord made St. Peter the visible foundation of his

Church. He entrusted the keys of the Church to him. The

476 CIC, can. 783; cf.

RM

69.

477

LG

31 § 2.

478

LG

44 § 3.

775

672

769