In my last letter, I spoke about the importance of two Endeavours in particular—the Sit-Down and Married Prayer—as being fundamental means to promote and bring alive the mystery of married love. One can never insist too much on these points. You have understood, given my insistence, that they are fundamental points in the methodology of our Movement. These Endeavours help us experience our charisma to bear witness to the mystery of the sacrament of marriage and to the ideal of holiness in the couple in the Church and in the world.
The vocation of holiness, my very dear couples, is an intrinsic part of the Church’s mystery and mission. Vatican II contributed much to this idea. The authoritative Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, dedicated a whole chapter to the subject of the universal vocation to holiness, which concerns not only a group within the Church, but also every Christian. From the Holy Father to the simplest of the faithful, we are all called to holiness.
This sensitivity to the universal call to holiness has also been a fruit of our Movement, whose charisma and vocation consisted, from the beginning, in seeking out the means to live and experience holiness within the couple. “Let us seek together,” was Father Caffarel’s response to the first couples, when they came to him asking him to help them in their quest in 1947.
Just like the horizon, which gives meaning and direction to our existence, Holiness is not just a question linked to our personal choices, as another alternative that we could choose would be. According to Scripture and humanity’s tradition of wisdom, only two paths are possible: the path of life and truth, which lead us to Goodness, to the supreme Being, who is God; or the path of falsehood and therefore Death. In Scripture, we come across this sentence: I place before you two paths: life and death (cf Dt 30:19). Follow the path of life and you will live, whereas the other one, even if it seems easy and attractive, distances us from ourselves and lead us to death, the destruction of man and his relationships, just as we see today in the crisis of families and societies in a profoundly sick world.
In the pragmatic document of his Papal ministry, Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis insists on the statement that we all, according to our state, must be ‘missionary disciples.’ (EG 120) This means that we are sent to bear witness to those who live beside us, to the joy of being the Lord’s disciples, who loved us and who gave himself for us, according to St Paul’s words. (Ga 2:30)
I truly hope that this letter finds you well. Receive my cordial salutations and may the abundant graces and blessings of God be upon you.
P. José Jacinto Ferreira de Farias, scj