Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Order of Consecrated Virgins

I had the opportunity to attend part of a meeting of the US Association of Consecrated Virgins today. I was there because I am currently involved in the preparation of a candidate for this renewed charism. As it happens, I was the only such attendee, and this gave me the opportunity to have a private visit with Archbishop Burke of St. Louis.

The more I learn about the consecration and its significance for the Church, the more I am quite intrigued and eager to learn more. These are women who have never been married, who live in the world and who present themselves to be consecrated as icons of the Church as Bride of Christ. The charism was common in the early Church. Indeed, some of my favorite feast days celebrate the most glorious of these Virgins: Agatha, Agnes, Lucy, & Cecilia, all martyrs.

Unfortunately, one thing emphasized by Archbishop Burke in our meeting is the lack of good literature on the topic. Interestingly, the Benedictines have been instrumental in the revival of this Rite, and I may have the opportunity to do some reading up when I visit St. John's Abbey and St. Benedict's Abbey in Minnesota next month.

In the meantime, I invite any interested readers to pass along any questions you might have. The Holy Spirit is certainly at work here in a quiet way.

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If I, who seem to be your right hand and am called Presbyter and seem to
preach the Word of God, If I do something against the discipline of the Church
and the Rule of the Gospel so that I become a scandal to you, The Church, then
may the whole Church, in unanimous resolve, cut me, its right hand, off, and
throw me away.

Origen of Alexandria
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