Evangelical Counsels ( Part I)

In the life of a Priest or Nun/Sister or Brother, that belong to a particular Religious Order, take vows of the three Evangelical counsels.  These are :

Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience.    Those who belong to a diocesan priesthood take vows of chastity and obedience.

Those who may not be Catholic or Lutheran or Episcopalian/Anglican, might not quite get the whole Religious Order thing.   We can talk about that a bit later.


So, lets  try to understand a little about what the Evangelical Counsels are, and why should we care ?….  The Evangelical counsels are called what they are because they are lived out in the gospels by Jesus, and are written all over the Gospels, and therefore Evangelical, and counsels because they are recommended to us.

These Evangelical counsels are required of priests and religious but are also “recommended” for all of Christendom and indeed the whole world.

These counsels are recommended as a path towards Christian perfections and a way to attempt at imitating the life that  Our Lord, lived as an example for us here on earth.

There are many different families of Orders in the Christian family, and primary amongst those is the Catholic church.   Families of Orders each of whom follow these counsels with an emphasis to excel in one of these virtues or another and usually in the example or footsteps of one Saint or another.

The point of the Evangelical Counsels is to surrender ones self to God, and in the efforts of striving towards Christian perfection.  The road to this striving, this effort this way of living occurs in the pursuit of these lofty and heavenly virtue.


” Whether their witness is public , as in a religious state, or less public ( laity) and in secret Christ’s coming remails for all those consecrated both the origin and rising sun of their life”  ( CCC 933)

All the faithful share in the Royal priesthood (*not the same thing as the clerical priesthood)  “ever united with him they exibit the grace of Baptism and Confirmation in all dimensions of their person, family, social, and ecclesial lives , and so fulfill the call to holiness addressed to all Baptized.”   ( CCC941 )


As you can see the path for all the faithful is laid there before us.  The point would then be how closely will you follow….. ?    How deeply will you surrender ?   …


In the coming weeks posts we will examine these three counsels from the view and vantage point of the laity.    I look forward to your joining me on this journey.


May God give you the gift of his Peace, and every Good !





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