The President of the TA notes the importance St. Pedro Poveda gave to study as a way of being in the world and as an alternative to the lack of depth to discern how to act and take on the challenges of the time. “We journey as travellers, and in order to arrive soon at the end of the trip, we must look where we are going and be aware of how far we have yet to travel” (Pedro Poveda, prior to 1910)
“To talk about developing the Work means to look at the signs of the times with lucid and well-informed eyes to discern appropriate ways to embody the Povedan charism in our moment of history,” says Maite Uribe in the presentation of the Letter of the Year, the theme of which is: "Lord God, send us your Spirit of Wisdom so that we may discern new ways!”
The message of Maite Uribe is placed within the context of the celebrations for the V Centenary of the birth of Saint Teresa so that we may “learn from her how to express our passion for God and our call to live according to a perfected and God-filled humanism – to be ‘filled with God’, to use Pedro Poveda’s expression. This is humanism tempered by the strength of a fully human life that belongs totally to God.”
Study, coupled with a deep experience of prayer and daring against injustices that grossly enlarge the gap between the most advantaged and the disadvantaged, are the strength and necessary means in the Teresian Work. Three key issues underpinning the "Letters of the Year" written by Maite Uribe following a proposal from the XVII General Assembly of the Teresian Association in 2012.
The current message deepens into "the wisdom of study," in accordance with Poveda’s thought: “add to your faith knowledge." “As we continue to learn with the seriousness and depth that the times require, our faith can mature and grow stronger in order to respond sensibly to the challenges of each period of history,” says Maite Uribe. Thus, "the Christian faith is an attitude worthy of the human person. This is because it allows us to see beyond the visible, to expect the unexpected and to love what may not seem to us to be very lovable." “Spirit and learning" is the substance and form of the Teresian Association.
In the second section of the Letter, "Study has a powerful influence in the development of the Work," the President of the Teresian Association emphasizes three points: “Living in challenging times: to be salt and light, a prophetic minority,” "Recreating a mystical adhesion of faith in a pluralistic religious scenario," and “Promoting a culture of ethics of being.”
Regarding the first point, Maite Uribe reflects on the "experience of being a minority": "For quite some time we Christians are in a minority in many parts of the world. And as with all minority experiences, the challenge is to reflect deeply on our own identity while remaining willing to dialogue, welcome and be challenged by the other, by difference. All this without falling into attitudes of rejection or intolerance, of closing ourselves off or simply of mistrust. ."
In addressing the issue of mystical adhesion of faith in a pluralistic religious scenario, she recognizes that "One of the most exciting spiritual adventures of our time takes place in the encounter between Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, unbelievers...” Today it is important to understand that "In every human life, in the people with whom we share our daily lives, we can recognize a spiritual quest, a search for meaning, which may be more difficult in individualistic societies, because meaning is not something that happens by itself; it is something that emerges from an exchange of different ways of thinking, acting, making decisions, of relationships."
The wisdom of study, if understood, brings us to grasp that "For the search for meaning to emerge, the following must exist: relationships, emotions, fundamental human experiences related to life, death, illness, absence and presence of a loved one, fidelity and breaking up, the desire for happiness, fear of loneliness, etc.”
Finally, to promote a culture of ethics it is necessary to “live each day using our conscienceas the most profound expression of being human. From the point of view of faith, conscience is the place where the human and the divine in us meet, relate, interact and where it is revealed.”
The letter concludes with a brief section on discovering "the utopia of hope", in which Maite Uribe transmits her experience of the universal TA. “Through my visits, my participation in events connected with the presence of the Association in different countries, I have the good fortune of discovering what Josefa Segovia said so expressively in these words, ‘God's loving care’ while at the same time, the urgency for ‘together with God’s part, we must also put our own.’ All human history, all desire for human development is a story of hope and utopia.”
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