Our members live their secular consecration in the midst of the world. It is a gift of self to God and a response to a call of grace to follow the evangelical counsels. This commitment recognises the divine values already present in secular initiatives. The concern of the members is to promote and evangelize them. Thus, our clerics and celibate laymen profess vows of chastity, poverty and obedience.
The call to follow Christ is rooted in our baptismal consecration which unites us to our brothers and sisters of the Church. For certain Christians, this consecration can become more extraordinary following a call by the Holy Spirit for greater demands of love.
In order to respond to a call from the Lord to live the fullness of love, our clerics and celibate laymen respond to the invitation by living an unselfish and universal love in a total availability to God and to others. They commit through vows to live a celibate life and to observe perfect self-restraint.
They cultivate within themselves the grace of consecrated chastity by which they witness to the world that Christ is their first love, that all love originates and ends in Him and that He alone shapes for them a universal and faithful heart.
The vow of poverty lived in the midst of the world helps to foster values of sharing and fellowship. In order to live this profession with full spiritual freedom, our Voluntas Dei members strive:
to adopt, with trust in God, a simple and unpretentious life-style which frees the heart and makes these members more available for the service to others;
to maintain a form of employment with sufficient earnings to support themselves;
to contribute financially to the apostolic and missionary endeavours of the Institute and to provide also for its effective administration; and
to exercise a preferential solidarity with the poor.
Our members maintain ownership of their goods and possessions and these are allowed to accrue. They also strive to ensure a wise stewardship of these material belongings as gifts entrusted to their care by God.
Obedience is a defining characteristic of our members. It commits them to seek the will of God as much through people as within the heart of their activities. It is the humble acceptance, not only of divine wishes but also of human mediation, especially those expressed by the Church. With joy, our members apply themselves to discover the presence of God revealed in life from day to day.
As associate members of the Institute, married members commit themselves to live the ideal of Christian perfection proposed by the Gospel within the secular mission which the Church entrusts to them.
They live their sacramental commitment of marriage, witness to evangelical values in the midst of their family and social life, and make a total offering of themselves to the Lord. This act of offering is made within the Institute through a commitment to follow the chaste, poor and obedient Christ while taking into account their state of life and their family.
In the practice of the commitment to chastity, in response to a particular call of Christ to love in charity, our associate members commit themselves to live conjugal chastity and sacramental fidelity in order to give greaterT glory to God and to aid in the growth of a true sense of love in the world. This sacramental fidelity becomes a visible and ecclesial sign of God's love for humanity
In the practice of thecommitment to poverty, the authorities of the Institute and our married members take into consideration the duties of justice and charity that the couple has toward their children and other members of their family.
Our married members and the authorities of the Institute take into account in the practice of thecommitment to obediencethe obligations inherent in the state of marriage, the primary commitment of their life.
Like all Christians united through this sacrament, our Voluntas Dei coupleshelp and serve each other by their marriage partnership; they become conscious of their unity and experience it more deeply from day to day. The intimate union of marriage, as a mutual giving of two persons, and the good of the children demand total fidelity from the spouses and require an unbreakable unity between them. (Gaudium et Spes, 48.1).
By carrying out their conjugal life in the name of the Lord and in the Lord, our Voluntas Dei couples perform a service within the human community. They reveal in their milieu and in their way that reality which will be given to us in the Kingdom: Perfect Love.
Married couples are constituent elements of the Institute itself.
(L.-M. Parent, o.m.i.)