religious life

Why is it that the priesthood is a sacrament and religious life isn’t?
Or is it?

No, I don’t believe it is and yours is a good question. I don’t know.

Catholic Encyclopedia: ‘Sacraments are outward signs of inward grace, instituted by Christ for our sanctification’.
I think religious life was not instituted by Christ, at least there is no clear indication to it in Gospels.

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