The religious brother has a unique vocation, he is a Christian responding to a call from God to deepen his baptismal consecration by professing public vows of chastity, poverty and obedience within a community setting; doing so he expresses more fully/concretely what it means to be baptised:
VOWS : what are their purposes?
They are a positive response to a call from God and help us demonstrate that the relationship we have with God is to be paramount. These freely entered into commitments don’t make us ‘superior’ Christians, rather they reinforce the original relationship made at Baptism and express this by assuming new obligations from which others are free. The religious’ relationship with Christ and his involvement with the kingdom Christ came to establish are primary and, for the one called, worth renouncing other important human values.
Religious Life makes no sense without reference to God, to Christ and his kingdom. The consecration by vows is folly unless it leads to an authentic relationship with God, with Christ and a sincere effort to live the values taught by Christ – engagement with others that is selfless. A religious brother is not defined by what he does but by whom he is, a man dedicated to God by vow. Understanding the identity and mission of the religious brother begins with acceptance of this consecration by vow. : What a brother is – a religious – is far more important than what he does: a concept hard to appreciate in today’s society, with its emphasis on function and position.
The Blessed Sacrament Religious Brother
This man consecrates his life to God, centring his life on the Eucharist. He exercises his gifts and talents with other men in a community that fosters and encourages inter-related activity. (Some of these men are called to priesthood or deaconate and express this in the particular style of mission of the Congregation.) Both priests, deacons and brothers seek by complementary and collaborative endeavours to articulate the special vision of the Congregation founded by St. Peter Julian Eymard and expressed in the Rule of Life. They develop a life-style of common spirituality that includes an apostolate of prayer, both liturgical and personal, a living and sharing of life in common which embraces ministerial activity: reaching out to the people where thy find themselves and also service to the community itself. Loved by God, a brother responds completely – loving God and neighbour. Catechism C.C. 915 – 932 numbers dealing with the Church’s teaching on consecrated life