A comprehensive and scholarly treatise on Christian living. After highlighting the dignity of lay Christian life and its mission to transform the world, it contrasts the lay and consecrated vocations and then proceeds to explore the splendid love and mystery of the consecrated life from the Scriptural, historical, conciliar and theological perspectives. It deals at length with the three evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience which are the principal elements of the religious life, with the common life and apostolic work of consecrated men and women. It also addresses the mutual influence of consecrated life and ministerial priesthood in the lives of religious who are ordained. Besides tracing the origin and development of the three evangelical counsels, the books presents a lucid and balanced exposition of the real meaning and essential features of the allied virtues and suggests practical ways and means of avoiding pitfalls and of growing in each virtue. Of special interest is the sensitive treatment of delicate issues like friendship with the same or opposite sex among consecrated persons.