Christ calls certain souls to belong entirely to Himself as consecrated religious men and women. As a woman responds to the call of God, her attention turns to consecration to him through profession of the evangelical counsels by public vows. Essential Elements states:
Consecration is the basis of religious life. By insisting on this, the Church places the first emphasis on the initiative of God and on the transforming relation to him which religious life involves. Consecration is a divine action. God calls a person whom he sets apart for a 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 (EE 5).