Monks in Communion with the Laity

In this line we can see that a new type of communion and collaboration within the various vocations and states of life especially among consecrated persons and laity is beginning. Monastic and contemplative Institutes can offer the laity a relationship that is primarily spiritual and the necessary spaces for silence and prayer. Institutes committed to the apostolate can involve them in forms of pastoral collaboration. Members of Secular Institutes, lay or clerical, relate to other members of the faithful at the level of everyday life.

The new phenomenon being experienced in these days is that some members of the laity are asking to participate in the charismatic ideals of Institutes. This has given rise to interesting initiatives and new institutional forms of association. We are experiencing an authentic re-flourishing of ancient institutions such as secular orders or third orders, and the birth of new lay associations and movements linked to religious Families and Secular Institutes. Whereas at times in the recent past, collaboration came about as a means of supplementing the decline of consecrated persons necessary to carry out activities, now it is growing out of the need to share responsibility not only in the carrying out of the Institute’s works but especially in the hope of sharing specific aspects and moments of the spirituality and mission of the Institute. This calls for an adequate formation of both consecrated persons and laity to ensure a collaboration which is mutually enriching.

An excerpt from the Church document: “Starting Afresh from Christ: A Renewed Commitment to Consecrated Life in the Third Millennium”