What is Religious life ?
If we look at the Vows, Community life and Prayer which are the essence of our life, then each of these are Life giving and life promoting.
Chastity the vow to love is in itself Pro-life, we give up having a family to be able to be free to help every human being wherever we are especially those we live with, in Community which is a microcosm of the world at large.
Obedience gives the freedom to go, wherever we are needed, to be channels of Love to all around us.
As for Poverty of Spirit it is the most challenging. It calls for a certain giving up everything, especially one's ego , and when this happens ( and it takes a life time!!), we become Life promoting because we recognize God's presence in us because God and the person are one not separate, and then God's own life as seen in Jesus flows through us. This can only happen through Prayer.
Then we can truly say Law is the expression of life for what seem like laws and rules leads to freedom.
The essence of Religious life is our living the life in action. Many active and contemplative religious are channels of God's love in and through their activities. What are these activities if not empowering the child as she /he grows Physically in hospitals, Intellectually in schools and Colleges and professional courses, emotionally in and through Counselling sessions or training schools for Counsellors, and Spiritually through the meaning of life in prayer. Socially the empowerment of the poor to stand on their own feet, training for entrepreneurship in these difficult times, preparing girls for Marriage Grihini courses all are Pro-life... life at all levels.
Sr. Angela Rodrigues St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, Mumbai