Consecration means to set apart, to make holy; this is the essence of Religious life. The Gospel provides numerous examples of the call to follow Christ by a narrower path and with an undivided heart. The narrative of the rich young man records how Jesus looked at him with love and then declared, “You are lacking one thing; go sell what you have...and come follow me" (Mk 10:21). Blessed John Paul II commented on the passage in one of his general audiences saying, "Jesus' divine and human love…is repeated in every call to total self-giving in the consecrated life" (October 12, 1994). This call from Jesus is a call out of love for a response of love, and this love is transforming - it sets one apart and it makes one holy.
As the document Essential Elements eloquently states, “Consecration is a divine action. God calls a person whom He sets apart for particular dedication to Himself. At the same time, He offers the grace to respond so that consecration is expressed on the human side by a profound and free self-surrender. The resulting relationship is pure gift. It is a covenant of mutual love and fidelity, of communion and mission, established for God's glory, the joy of the person consecrated and the salvation of the world...” Thus, consecration begins with God’s initiative and results in a transforming relationship with the Lord, which benefits the individual person and all mankind. The Church authenticates the public commitment of religious consecration. It is a gift from God, and offers a vivid sign of God's love for His people. In a special way, religious consecration belongs to the Church’s life and holiness.