English Summary – Consecrated Life 3/2015

Pavel Vojtěch Kohut OCD
Prospects of Consecrated Life
Theological-Spiritual Essay
The author in his essay examines the prospects of consecrated life in the Church and in the world today and tomorrow. In the first part he outlines the post-conciliar evolution of both theology and practice of consecrated life (from the legal perspective to the theological-spiritual one), secondly presents urgent challenges – resulting from the aforesaid – for the present time and the near future (discovery and adoption of one’s own identity, being a sign for the others, sharing with others one’s own gifts), and eventually he formulates the role which consecrated life can play in the Church and in the world, if it would be able to accept and creatively realise these challenges (to manifest both the Christ and the all-human solidarity, to share in the Church the joy of the consecration, to be a consolation for the world).

Philippe Lefebvre OP
Consecrated Life – Biblical Roots and Unexpected Biblical Dimension
The study considers prototypes of consecrated life in the Old Testament. The author observes various forms of consecration, such as nazirites chosen by God, anointed kings (Saul, David), or prophets (Elijah, Jeremiah). An eloquent example of consecrated life is according to the author the Old Testament Joseph whose entire life – lived in the world among people – bears the signs of God’s action. Particular attention is paid to women among whom there is shown the principle of consecrated life on Anna, mother of Samuel, the prophetess Anna of the New Testament, and on the widow putting the money into the temple treasury.

Being the a Witness of Fidelity
Interview about the Consecrated Life with Gabriela Vlková OP and Marie Pitterová OP
The interview led by Benedict Mohelník OP refers to specific attitudes of two Dominican Sisters – both engaged in Bible studies – on the consecrated life. There is mentioned the relationship between male and female element in religious life, the experience of the university environment, and the interviewees reflect on the past and the future of women’s religious communities – as such, as well as their contribution in the present time.

Benedicta Hübnerová OP
The Crisis as an Historical Chance
On the Background of History of the Czech Dominican Province
Dominican historian’s essay is dedicated to the principle of crisis as a certain impetus of every living organism, and therefore also the one of a community, such as the Dominican Order. Based on the psychological, sociological, and historical premises the author views the history of the Dominican Order in Bohemia, and shows how throughout the history its identity was formed and solidified.

Dom Samuel
Thou, Whom God Calls to the Service
The abbot of the Trappist monastery Nový Dvůr deals – primarily on the bases of Fr. Jerome’s texts – with several key issues related to the adoption of monastic form of consecrated life. This includes the question of vocation and its free reception, the issue of the generally Christian and specifically monastic identity, and the issue of the relationship between teacher and pupil accompanying the entire life of a monk.

Benedictine Sisters at Bílá Hora
Another Aspect of Return to the Rule of St. Benedict in Bohemia
Since 2007 a group of Benedictine sisters of the Benedictine Community Venio from Munich, Germany, resides at Bílá Hora (“White Mountain”) in Prague. Sisters live according to the Rule of St. Benedict, but they do not wear religious habits, and they go to work in secular occupations. They represent a specific form of life according to the Rule, here introduced in three texts by Sisters Petra, Brigitta and Francesca.

Benoît-Dominique de La Soujeole OP
Consecrated Life in the Christian Mystery
The study notices the very “foundations” of the consecrated life. The author believes that the decrease in the number of those who are deliberating the possibility of consecrated life in Europe stands among other things the fog shrouding the nature of this way of life, and that the reality of the astonishing variety of this form of life perhaps caused that the lost of sight of the true essence of this vocation. Together with the liturgy, the consecrated life constitutes “the place where the Church reveals her true face most freely, where it is apparent in the best way that even though the Church lives within the world, is completely unlike the world”. The author therefore examines the origins of consecrated life, its grounds – including evangelical fundament and “common life” understood as life in the Church and for the Church – and the multiformity of consecrated life (with the basic differentiation to active and contemplative). At the conclusion the author discusses the place of consecrated life in the Church in general.

Jan Poříz OCD
“Here All Should Be Friends“
Love of Neighbour in “The Way of Perfection” by St. Teresa of Jesus
The author in his study shows that the book of St. Teresa of Avila “The Way of Perfection” is not just a book about prayer of which an ideal is union with God. St. Teresa meanwhile doesn’t forget the other elements of the common life, especially the building of interpersonal relations within the community. The author of the study analyzes Teresa’s references to the virtues of mutual love, detachment, and humility. He reveals that Teresa presents a model of community as a family of friends – friends of Jesus and of each other. And precisely the effort to harmonise synergy of natural and supernatural levels in the human life, and the convergence towards a dual unity with God and with each other, constitutes according to the author one of the great challenges of our time.