The vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience constantly challenge the sister to grow and mature as a person, deepening her human relationships while focusing on the spiritual values that unite her life to God. These vows are an expression of the faithfulness that when we consecrate our life to Him, He takes it and transforms it into Himself. Living the total gift of ourselves in union with Him, we discover that the evangelical counsels bring us closer each day to becoming Christ for others.
The vow of poverty obliges the sister to conscious responsible stewardship of goods and a sharing of goods in common with the community. It also in the word of the constitutions demands of her a profound joy of spirit and trust in God’s providence. The Sister of Our Lady of Sorrows identifies herself with the poor by freely embracing a simple lifestyle. She places herself at their service with humility, and makes her own the cry of the prophets against injustice towards the weak, who have a special place in God’s heart. The Sister does not seek a sense of security in things, but uses them with wisdom and a deep sense of responsibility. “Embracing poverty in the freedom of children of God, in order to place ourselves spontaneously in the situation of total detachment desired by the Foundress, we shall live in profound joy of spirit” (Constitutions of the Congregation) and we will be able to say with St. Paul: “We are sorrowful, though we are always rejoicing; poor yet we enrich many. We seem to have nothing, yet everything is ours.” (2 Corinthians 6: 10)
The vow of chastity is a call to live solely for God, “a response of love to Love, the exclusive, perpetual, and absolute choice of Christ.” This choice renders our hearts particularly free for a complete and generous dedication to the service of God and of our brothers and sisters in the Church. (Constitutions of the Congregation) Chastity is not a negation but an offering of our hearts to the fire of the Spirit, so that we become capable of loving all persons in Christ. It is a sign – the world needs to see the power of the Holy Spirit in action, and that, under the guidance of the Spirit, it is possible to live a chaste life, which is beautiful and has a genuine spiritual dimension.
The vow of obedience is a commitment to live life in an attitude of constant and attentive listening to the voice of God who is ever present among us, in our communities, our places of ministry, and the world. This vow obliges us to be obedient to the Gospel values and to live them radically and wholeheartedly. To live our vow of obedience responsibly, we must be convinced that there is no conflict between the will of God and human freedom. On the contrary, when we accept God’s plan for our lives, we will be fulfilled.
By professing the evangelical counsels, consecrated persons not only make Christ the whole meaning of their lives but strive to reproduce in themselves, as far as possible, that form of life which he, as the Son of God, accepted in entering the world.