Consecrated life is a permanent state of life recognized by the Church, entered freely in response to the call of Christ to perfection, and characterized by the profession of the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience. - Catechism of the Catholic Church
Consecrated life is a formal promise in the presence of someone in authority in the Church which proclaims that one is going to give oneself totally to Christ by living in poverty, chastity and obedience. Within consecrated life, there are many different ways it is lived, individually and communally. This includes religious life (active and contemplative), secular institutes, societies of apostolic life and individuals who are consecrated to serve God through following the evangelical counsels.