Work with your soul loving God above all, work with your heart practicing neighborly love, work with your mind while holding steadfast to the Cross of Christ, work with your hands serving the needy and the ill as if you served Jesus Himself. Even if your strength decreases, do not hesitate in your faithfulness. Do not search for reward on earth, do not work for yourself but for God and for your neighbor”.
– Bl. Edmund
The promised Savior of the world Jesus Christ became the first Apostle. He went about proclaiming the Good News and doing good to all people.
A sister, through her life and work, must reveal to the world the presence of Christ in His contemplation, proclaiming the Gospel, converting the sinners, leaning over the human materialistic and spiritual misery, blessing the children and doing good to all people in order to save them and draw them to God.
Hence, at the beginning of the apostolic activity, there is prayer.
“My Jesus, I simply cannot imagine how one can live without You – but they tell me that there are some people on earth who live far away from You. I am sorry for them. Oh how I long for all to race against each other in order to reach You! How I long, even at the cost of the greatest sufferings and sacrifices, to win people for You”.
– Sr. Leonia
The action is supposed to flow from contemplating the mysteries of God because although in matters of teaching, care, etc. the laity can be better specialists, it is the religious person’s genuine concern that makes every activity saturated with the mystery of God’s life.
Prayer is the beginning and the foundation of apostolic work, and it remains the essence of it when older age and lack of strength lower the sisters’ activity. Prayer is a clamp that holds together the evangelical works, and which becomes even stronger when combined with suffering accepted and offered for these intentions.
Elderly or sick sisters can say with St. Paul:
“In my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s affliction for the sake of His Body, that is the Church”.
Sisters bear in mind the words of Jesus Christ:
“So let your light shine before all men that they may see your good yorks and give glory to your Father Who is in heaven”.
– (MT 5:16)
Through the authentic Christian life and fidelity to the evangelical counsels, sisters should be a visible sign which would draw people to believe and seek their happiness in God.
Apostolic work may be done not only through activities outside the convent but also through ordinary, domestic duties.
To consecrated persons
“But it is above all to you, consecrated women and men, that at the end of this Exhortation I appeal with trust: live to the full your dedication to God, so that this world may never be without a ray of divine beauty to lighten the path of human existence. Christians, immersed in the cares and concerns of this world but also called to holiness, need to discover in you purified hearts which in faith “see” God, people docile to the working of the Holy Spirit who resolutely press on in fidelity to the charism of their call and mission.
You know well that you have set out on a journey of continual conversion, of exclusive dedication to the love of God and of your brothers and sisters, in order to bear ever more splendid witness to the grace which transfigures Christian life. The world and the Church seek authentic witnesses to Christ. And the consecrated life is a gift which God offers in order that everyone can recognize the “one thing necessary” (cf. Lk 10:42). To bear witness to Christ by one’s life, works and words is the particular mission of the consecrated life in the Church and in the world.
You know the one in whom you have put your trust (cf. 2 Tim 1:12): give him everything!
Do not forget that you, in a very special way, can and must say that you not only belong to Christ but that “you have become Christ”!”.
From Vita Consecrata 109