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declaration through this article on Consecrated Lives. It is an account of my honest personal experiences with consecrated people. This account won the Best Essay award in the student's category in the entire North-western province in the Provincial Consecrated Life Essay competition.
The Consecrated Life
“That’s my chocolate”, yelled the 4 year old tyke, and her brother rushed behind her. Do we humans know what could be called as “mine” in our life. We all are the children of God, then how can we tag anything as “our” when we ourselves aren’t “our’s”? Did that infant know of the spiritual world and the essence of life? So her words could be excused. But the baffling point is that with growing knowledge of life that we gain with age, our “mine”s become even more dominant. The chocolates are replaced with other possessions. And in the murk of the greed for tagging more of elements made by the Creator as “mine”, we gradually forget our Creator himself.
In such a scenario, presence of consecrated lives is quite flabbergasting. These serene and composed humans are the true idol of chastity and purity. In a world where people cannot sacrifice chocolates, there are people who devote their entire lives in service of God.
Being a Convent student, in every walk of school life, I have been with the consecrated people. Their abnegation of worldly life has always been appealing to me since childhood.
The archives section of my brain reminds me of my very first day at school in India. The sight of my principal- a nun, was more tranquilizing than anything else. I wondered why she wore that white cloak-like dress. But the glow of chastity and divine knowledge on her face attracted my attention. And so was the case with other sisters from our Convent. The way they walked, the way they conveyed knowledge and the way they spoke had created an ambience of peace at school. Being an innocent infant, I didn’t understand what made me gaze at those people, but today I understand its secret.
My interaction with the sacred people was soon not bound to one country alone. I met a father at a church abutting my house in Britain. Being new to the country, I used to have a feeling of insecurity within me. I talked my heart out to him when I met him. I never used to participate in any school events. But the next day Bramley Church of England Infant School had a mere demonstration or something, and for that it was to conduct some act by the students. The priest of that church was coincidently organizing it and so he came into the hall in our school and chose me for the main role. From that day itself, I earned a new confidence. I was encouraged by a consecrated person to show up my talent among strangers.
It is said that the consecrated people help in the uplifting the poor. They serve God by serving the humans- his Creation. For me, that priest was a blessing of God. So, the consecrated people not only help the poor and the needy, but they sow a seed of confidence in every frightful heart, a seed of hope in every melancholic being and a seed of religiousness and spirituality in every soul.
So, when I returned back to India, I compelled my father to get me an admission in the same Convent School I studied, before going to Britain.
Every person has a gloomy part just like I had, in shifting of countries rapidly. Though we didn’t settle in England after the immigration, but I brought back to India, a changed myself, affected by the culture of Europe. And so I had become the reason for everyone’s merriment at school. My attitude, accent and behavior seemed strange to my Indian mates. And so being bantered was obvious. I used to cry every night underneath my blanket. I had as though become a victim of mental abuse. But luckily, I had a sister as our class teacher. She soon understood the situation and held my hand, lifted me up, and gave me a new attitude of settling issues of life. She didn’t stop the mischievous students, but her words and her presence gave me the strength to tackle the depressed condition.
How can I ever forget the help of these two consecrated people? They have contributed to making me what I am today- A confident student, ready to fight against all odds. All words of gratitude fall short of their effect.
This is about me, a sixteen year old, than what of those who are elder and have ever been in contact with these consecrated people? Their lives must have been inspired deeply by these sacred humans.
Even today, at one point or the other, I am inspired by the chastity and composure of these people. The way they organize everything and tackle situations has always taught me great lessons. The control over their desires and their temper has always been a point to learn from. Their lives are a true example of dedicating oneself to God. They live such a life that they can become closer to Jesus. Their solemn prayers invoke in us a feeling of closeness to God.
Secularism exists in every society. So, the most important part is respecting each other’s faith. And these consecrated lives have always respected the religion of the students. This point heightens my level of respect for them.
From Sciences to Morals, they have been the best of teachers of the subjects. Whether it be the ‘A’ or the ‘Amen’, they have always taught us in the best manner, invoking in us a respect for all the knowledge that we gain.
For me, these consecrated people have changed my life and added a better scent into it- the scent of the purity of Virgin Mary into it.
We must learn to dedicate ourselves to God from these people. If not completely, then at least to some extent. The aura of peace is what we must develop around us in order to do so.
Pope Francis declared 2015 as the Year of Consecrated Lives, but I would say, every year could be the Year of Consecrated Lives because the selflessness of these people has uplifted millions. Just like St. Teresa, every Consecrated person today, is spending himself to spread light in the lives of other people. I thank all the consecrated people from the deepest core of my heart for all that they have done for me and for my brothers and sisters round the world.