We continue deepening in our sister Teresa Mira as MISSIONARY BY ESSENCE and EXPERT IN COMMUNION. In this part we will focus in her as the one who LISTENS AND RESPONDS IN TOTAL AVAILIBILITY TO THE MOST URGENT NEEDS OF THE CHURCH
- With Teresa Mira, TO LISTEN AND TO ANSWER …
… In total availability to the urgent needs of the Church.
« When the poor cries, the Lord hears » (Ps 34, 7).
Pope Francis presents us to the Lord who listens to the poor crying to him with hearts filled with sorrow, solitude and exclusion; all who are deprived of their dignity to receive light and consolation; all who are persecuted in the name of false justice, afflicted and scared with violence.
The Lord answers to these poor proclaiming them blessed: “Blessed are the poor in the spirit, theirs is the Kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:3).
We cannot listen and remain indifferent in front of these urgent necessities of the Church, but we need to answer, like Jesus did. There are many ways of answering. “The believer extends his hand, like Jesus does with him”, says Pope Francis. And how do I answer to the cries of my brethren wherever I might be, in my community, in my family, in my mission?
“The commitment with the suffering Church requires from us to answer as Congregation in front of any situation of emergency or catastrophe” (Dir 11). As CMT, how do I answer or extend my hand to the needs of others? As consecrated women, in Mary we encounter our model of listening. “We look at ourselves in her because, with her trustful listening to the Word and her availability to the Plan of God, she helps us to go forth to encounter our brothers and sisters, putting into practice our love, service and intercession” (Const. 36).
From Mary we learn not only how to listen, but also how to answer. “We have Mary as our model. She is the missionary who lived in absolute openness to the will of the Father. Feeling herself family with humanity and moved by the Spirit, she brought forth new relationships of freely given love and service in her day to day life” (Const 22).
Mary answers with concrete gestures of love and generosity, generating new kind of relationships. We see her in hurry going to the house of her cousin Elisabeth to serve her.
To listen and to answer in the life of Teresa Mira
The whole life of Teresa has been this interior movement of “feeling compassion” towards everyone. The witnesses say that she never rejected anyone; she was known in Novelda and wherever she was passing, people stopped her and she was listening their sorrows and joys; she allowed them to embrace her, kiss her; she loved everyone and allowed others to love her.
In Teresa one could experience the kind of listening that transforms, restores, liberates. They were calling her “the sower of peace”. Peace is a sign of welfare and interior healing. “I leave you my peace, I give you my peace; not like the one that the world could give” (Jn 14:27). The sign of liberation of the disciples from their fears, anxiety… is the peace that Jesus transmitted to them. “Do not let your hearts be troubled, do not be afraid”, Jesus says.
True disciple of Jesus, Teresa transmits peace and promotes it in her life and her words. “Don’t be afraid”, she used to say during war. “Whoever got close to Teresa, was leaving tranquil and serene in sensation of peace that he/she was receiving from her”.
“Her life was continuous prayer… I know that she was taking advantage of any free moment she had to spend them in front of the Holy Sacrament”. From her listening to God in prayer, her listening to others was born. Her attitude of listening was expressed in “direct relation she was having with every one she might encounter on the street”.
She was listening to everyone with love and tenderness and she was inspiring an attitude of responding to love of God and neighbor: to do good to all.
This attitude of Teresa calls me to make an exam of conscience and renew my relationships:
- Am I a kind of a sister who listens and transmits peace, wherever I might be? Or am I the one who disturbs, discourages, critics, destroys instead of constructing…?
- How well do I listen to God and to my neighbor? With attention and love?
- Does my relationship with God in prayer have any impact in my relationship with the persons with whom I share my life and mission?
Teresa invites me to “weave the new relationships” with my brothers and sisters wherever I might be. She is teaching me to be “an oasis of mercy” for others, creating an ambience favorable in my surroundings. An ambience of family and community where everyone feels good and is happy.
My words and gestures should speak of peace, communion, service, universal charity, reconciliation and forgiveness. My relationship, my way of listening, of being and responding to the most urgent needs of my brothers and sisters should encounter its source in my deep relationship with the Lord.
To listen to the Lord and to be filled with of Him, to listen to my brethren, to my sisters, and answer to their cries, will make me happy.
At the end, the message of Teresa Mira is a challenge for consecrated and Christian life today, when we live in lockdown due to the pandemic of coronavirus. “Stay at home” obliges us to be always together, because there are no activities outside, to look at each other’s eyes, sharing our bread, prayer, daily tasks… Teresa Mira invites us from the testimony of her life to the authentic life of communion in the middle of quarantine, rediscovering “the value of the family and communitarian sense”, in the words of Pope Francis.
Teresa Mira indicates us, from her life, the way of the Gospel lived in simplicity, in trusting in the Lord and in humility as the best way of living in creative fidelity our charism. How? Creating communion; announcing and restoring the beauty; listening and responding in total availability to the most urgent needs of the Church, in the daily life and in the apostolate, making an option “for simple actions, knowing that one word or gesture can renew life and the way of our relation with God, with ourselves” (Const. 22).
Let us give thanks to God for the gift of our sister Teresa Mira to the Church, the world and our Congregation.