Through their consecration lived without external signs, as lay people among lay people, they become salt and light specially in those situations in which a visible sign of consecration may be rejected or serve as an impediment. To be in the world by practicing secular profession is their way of being the church. Sharing common conditions of life, members of secular institutes work for the Kingdom of God by participating in the political and social reality bringing to them values of Jesus. Their role is to be in the world to transform it from within like leaven. Though apparently a contradiction, Consecrated Secularity is the very essence of Secular Institutes. It derives its meaning from the Mystery of Incarnation. Members of Secular Institutes are called to incarnate, to give flesh and blood, to the values of Jesus in the contemporary world. They are called to be salt which needs to be dissolved in to the temporal realities without losing its ‘saltiness’. By their vocation they are called to be contemplatives in the heart of the world.
This implies that they recognize the goodness in creation. Creation becomes a ‘sacrament of God’ imbued with the spirit of God, their action and involvement become powerful sacrament of God’s presence. Their experience of the all pervading and all penetrating presence of God, make them more sensitive to the cries of Mother Earth. By and through their life, God is involved in the tensions and struggles of the universe and especially the human race. All this is possible only with an intense life of prayer and constant union with God as Jesus was with His Father. Union with God is the source of their being and their apostolic and prophetic presence. Though the members of Secular Institutes do not have a life in common in the traditional and canonical sense, they do have a communitarian dimension. This arises from the communion of members who share the same charism and the same mission. This familial Bond and fraternal communion act as a source that strengthens individual members in their own specific fields of work.
This is best experienced through bonds of deep friendship among members. This gives a sense of belonging to each other even when great distances and professional differences separate them. This friendship and communion of life is nurtured by personal correspondence and contacts. They occasionally come together for study, reflection, prayer and holiday. They remain connected through prayer. In this single vocation of Consecrated Secularly, one can distinguish different types of Secular Institutes. In some members live together with other members of the same institute. In others each member lives wholly by oneself. In some the members work for specific ends, peculiar to their institute, like health, education etc., while in others they work for the general purpose of promoting the welfare of the world, together with other people in a variety of secular fields. The formation for life in a Secular Institute is in the concrete situation of the candidate.