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Beyond Optimism

Beyond Optimism

Among the presentations at the Chapter most significant was that of Bishop José Rodriguez Carballo, Secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic life. “If you were to ask me”, he said during the homily at Mass, “if I am optimistic about the future of Consecrated Life I would say no. But if you were to ask me if I have hope for its future, I would certainly say yes”. Optimism, he noted, is a dimension that is based on human consideration, while hope is rooted in faith and gives us the certainty that for God “nothing is impossible”, and because of this we should not fear.

Hope is a choice in favor of God, not of ourselves. It is about changing the focus of leadership. Our strength does not lie in “chariots and horses”, as expressed in the Bible, but in the strength of Him who is Love and who has guaranteed that “He will be with us forever”. This view of a deep, wide faith sustains and accompanies our steps on a journey of faith and complete entrustment. This is why we continue to commit energy, resources, and our very life to carry out responsibly what God wants from us. Despite the many challenges and inevitable failures.

The times in which we live cause us to enter into this perspective, which in many ways goes against the tide and puts us in an alternative that is not easily understood by many, even believers. Then, perhaps we, too, have hidden doubts!

Of Don Bosco, and Mother Mazzarello, it was said that they knew how to “hope against all hope”. They were not disappointed. They looked for ways to educate young people to hope and with hope, sustaining that this was a fundamental gift for those who lived with them.

Educating to hope means acting in such a way that the young person has broad horizons, that they may lean on the confidence in life and in others, with a positive attitude when meeting reality. Educating to hope is also training the new generations to acquire a very necessary characteristic for today: resilience, “the art of getting back in the boat”, the capacity to face adversity and obstacles without succumbing to them.

Pope Francis indicates to us a few fundamental pillars to educate to hope: Do not lose the memory of the past, the discernment of the present, the management of dreams. The journey is not easy. Paul VI spoke of hope as the “crossroad, the point of encounter between the cross and joy”. We are called to be women of hope, more than of optimism, making the conscious choice each day, even though we know that as Mother Angela Vallese reminds us, “we are not angels, and though we have made promises, we will still fall”.”What is important is to rise and begin again, like from the beginning.”

Always in the certainty that “walking and hoping are synonymous”, as the Holy Father reminds us.

gteruggi@cgfma.org

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