We are beginning 2019, a year that is for the Teresian Association the first in a new period of six years after the Assemblies celebrated last summer which have reminded us our sending to be “Witnesses to hope and communion, called to leave our homeland”.
Maite Uribe points out “The Assemblies have stirred up and renewed our way of being and doing things, our vocation-mission and commitment, our lifestyles and daily choices”. She presents her “Letter of the Year” with the title “The Incarnation well understood” in this context of renewal.
The letter is an open communication to members and to “all those who find inspiration for their lives in the charism of Pedro Poveda”.
The main source of the letter of the president of the TA is in the words that Poveda wrote in a letter of 1915: “The Incarnation, well understood, the person of Christ, his nature and his life, provide for those who understand it, the sure standard for becoming holy, with the truest holiness, being, at the same time, fully human with true humanism”. It has become a programatic text for those wanting to live this lay charism, committed with the world.
To Maite Uribe, the paradox holiness-humanism, or being fully human as well as being wholly of God, in Poveda’s words, “It is a way of showing a tension that is typical of the spiritual life. It expresses, in a dynamic way, two truths that are not opposed but go together. They are not exclusive but rather complement each other. That is because they weave and interweave, they coordinate with each other and they invite us to incorporate them harmoniously in our lives. This is characteristic of the incarnation spirituality that Pedro Poveda wanted for those working in the association, a work of God”.
“In a way, Poveda is telling us that the Incarnation, properly understood, is the beginning and origin of the mission-vocation that Jesus introduced to his disciples. He offered it to those working with the first Academies, and today we embrace it as a prophetic inspiration for our lives”.
In these “times of great change like ours, a period of accelerating transition that is pluralistic and sometimes contradictory” this paradox, as an expression of human and spiritual tension, shows us, like in times of the T.A. founder, that “the Incarnation is completeness, completeness of God’s communication, of the closeness of God, of the revelation of God”.
That’s why it is necessary to understand the consequences of the Incarnation to our mission-vocation and our spirituality, our lifestyle, our being and doing, and for the faith experience that we want to live and share in order to express it and live it in the most appropriate way. Maite Uribe writes: “A first fundamental consequence of the Incarnation is the gaze of God on the human person. For God, each and every person is a marvel, worthy of undivided and invaluable attention”.
“In our ordinary daily lives, being fully human and totally God’s is an invitation to adopt a personal style and live as citizens who integrate the tension of those who want the Kingdom of God to become close, incarnate, to be open spaces of truth, justice and peace for all, in their personal, family, social and political relationships”.
The Incarnation well understood is the best way to believe in the beauty of human beings, in their ability to fulfil themselves day by day, in their desire to love and to reach the fullness of being.
At the centre of our Christian faith is Jesus of Nazareth
“Everything we know and can say about God is found in the man Jesus. Our spiritual life is to identify ourselves more and more with human fulfilment as Jesus lived it”, continues Maite Uribe, and “that is why to communicate God to our contemporaries, the language we need is that which enables them to understand in practice the human quality of Jesus’ life: his choices, his searches, his way of being, of loving, of forgiving, of giving meaning to human frailty”.
As well as suggesting keys for discernment and encouraging members to walk along with youngsters as the Assemblies haver proposed, the letter ask to recreate that povedan style that is a call to rediscovering the humanizing capacity of faith… “This is a style of doing and acting which can only be born from an insistence beloved of Pedro Poveda: holy fruit can come only from being filled with God, not relying on human resources alone, but on union and friendship with God”.
The president of the Teresian Association ends her letter by proposing the motto “Lord, be for us the way, the truth and the life. Make us eminently human and wholly of God” as a great desire in which we will be united in, share and make known to all those people whose inspiration is Saint Peter Poveda’s charism and spirituality.
NOTE: The letter can be downloaded here in English, Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese.