What are vows?
What are vows?
Religious vows are sacred promises. They reflect a profound loving commitment to God.
After a period of formation members of religious communities - Sisters, Brothers and those becoming Religious Priests -publicly profess vows of poverty, celibate chastity and obedience. Religious vows joyfully free a person to live for God and, through that first love, to serve others with love and to witness to God’s faithfulness, compassion and care for all.
POVERTY means living simply and sharing what we have with others. By our vow of poverty we promise to live a simple life.
We commit to share our resources and our time and talents within our communities and with those in need.
Any money earned is for the good of the whole. A vow of poverty stands as a witness to God’s gifts to be shared by all, the value of relationship over possessions, respect and care for God’s good creation and concern for and solidarity with the poor.
This vow reminds us that we are completely dependent on God’s gifts.
CHASTITY means we belong completely to Jesus and our love is for all people.
A vow of chastity is a vow of deep loving commitment. Religious are not married but by this vow we are open, like Jesus, to loving all to whom our lives call us. Freedom from exclusive relationships enables them to be sent out for others, available, and to grow in their freedom of heart. Making a vow of chastity does not isolate but is sustained healthily through entering deeply into community, forming a wide and supportive circle of friendship and family and gifting oneself in return.
OBEDIENCE means we listen to God and are willing to go and do whatever we may be asked to do.
Just as married people make promises to each other as signs of their commitment, so we make these promises to God.
Religious, through our vow of obedience, are called to listen to God, that is, to pray. We are called to listen for God’s will in all things.
To do that, we are to listen to “the signs of the times”. We are called to be attentive to the needs of the world in the here and now and to be faithful to the charism of our Congregation.