The seeking of the will of God all through one’s life
“Wisdom and upright judgement will guide us, consecrated women and the Directress in our journey of seeking the will of God, a journey which will be lifelong; the seeking jointly, however, can never exonerate each of us from personally assuming our own responsibilities.”
It is necessary to pray God for the gift of wisdom and honesty to seek always the will of God: “it is not enough to begin if not having also persevered; whoever perseveres until the end will be saved “. (Memoirs pr.11)
“Against the spirit of discord and division, authority and obedience shine like a sign of that unique paternity that comes from God; of the brotherhood and sisterhood born of the Holy Spirit, of the interior freedom of those who trust in God no matter what the human limits of those who represent them. (Consecrated Life 92)
The responsibility is always personal. Is it a responsibility that has been checked or is it an obstinacy? Is it a seeking of the will of God or of one’s own interests?
Fidelity to God, to the vocation therefore, could be maintained only if we embrace the necessary means and ways: the observance of the Rule, the listening to the Word of God (which remains our light to be able to discern the deceptions of the devil), to be vigilant and on one’s guard, and to be prudent.
Saint Angela is conscious of the human nature, its fragilities, and its dangers, in which we can fall and she puts us on guard by asking us to be vigilant… “Water, air and earth, with all of hell, will take up arms against us.” (Prologue 20) and at the same time she indicates to us how to come out of them successfully: “It is necessary to be wary and prudent.” (Prologue 18)
Vigilance, being on one’s guard, prudence… human virtues which every daughter of Saint Angela must possess if she wants to be able to avoid the dangers that surround us, remembering that all creation could be a means to go to God, and at the same time it could become an obstacle.
Even if it seems superfluous in being precise about it, we must remember that the observance of the Rule is not the end but the way to reach the end which is and remains the communion with God: “For if you strive in the future, with all your might, to live as is required of the true spouses of the Most High, and to keep this Rule as the way along which you have to walk and as that which has been drawn up for your benefit, I have this firm and unquestioning faith and hope in infinite divine goodness that not only shall we easily overcome all dangers and adversities but also to our great glory and jubilation, we shall defeat them.” (Prologue 23-25)
To follow Christ in the consecrated life implies also poverty, or rather the choice of a poor life, of self-sufficiency in the use of things, of a certain style of a sober and mortified life, of an availability of spirit to accept God without limits.
At times one has the impression that when we talk about poverty, it is emphasized too much the fact of possessing or not possessing, very often at the expense of freedom and the detachment of heart that we must have of all that we possess.
“Finally, we exhort each one to embrace poverty; not only effective poverty … but above all the true poverty of spirit by which man strips his heart of all affection and longing for created things, and of his very self. And in God he has all his wealth.” (Rule 10, 1-6)
The poverty that Angela suggests to us has its roots in faith: the certainty that the destiny of our life is in the hands of God and whoever consecrates themselves to Him “they will never be abandoned in their needs. God will provide for them wonderfully” (Fifth Counsel 31)
The spouse must be always ready, so that the divine Bridegroom would fill her of his fullness, availability, stripping and renouncement of herself, because she could rely only on Him.
“We will know how to accept our limitations, our problems and the sufferings of life serenely as a sharing in the poverty of Christ… We will be always ready to give our sisters and brothers time, advice, prayer, money, and other goods, attentive to the emerging poverties, the demands of the Church and the needs of the Company.”(Const. 21.2)
Poverty as an interior detachment, as a habitual moderation in the use of things, and as an abandonment in Providence is the condition, so that God can enter and take a dwelling in the intimacy of our heart: