After the official closing of the Year of the Jubilee of Mercy we continue to reflect on the characteristics indicated by Pope Francis in his speech at the Roman Curia in December 2015. This is the last letter of the word MISERICORDIA, namely A, corresponding to the words accountability and sobriety.
For Pope Francis “accountable and trustworthy persons are those who honour their commitments with seriousness and responsibility when they are being observed, but above all when they are alone; they radiate a sense of tranquility because they never betray a trust. Sobriety – the last virtue on this list, but not because it is least important – is the ability to renounce what is superfluous and to resist the dominant consumerist mentality. Sobriety is prudence, simplicity, straightforwardness, balance and temperance. Sobriety is seeing the world through God’s eyes and from the side of the poor. Sobriety is a style of life which points to the primacy of others as a hierarchical principle and is shown in a life of concern and service towards others. The sober person is consistent and straightforward in all things, because he or she can reduce, recover, recycle, repair, and live a life of moderation.”
In such description I can see WUCWO women so committed to the spreading of the Good News. They work seriously both when with others and when alone, because WUCWO women are not looking for power, career or a special place at any level, but, as described in the New Testament, we are similar to those “women who have struggled hard for the Gospel…whose names are written in the book of life (Ph 4,3). WUCWO women want to have a lifestyle that expresses their attention to the needy, the suffering, the victims of abuse, conflicts, violence, war, discrimination, in every part of the world.
As the Holy Father encourages in the Evangelii Gaudium 171: “Today more than ever we need men and women who, on the basis of their experience of accompanying others, are familiar with processes which call for prudence, understanding, patience and docility to the Spirit, so that they can protect the sheep from wolves who would scatter the flock. We need to practice the art of listening, which is more than simply hearing. Listening, in communication, is an openness of heart which makes possible that closeness without which genuine spiritual encounter cannot occur. Listening helps us to find the right gesture and word which shows that we are more than simply bystanders. Only through such respectful and compassionate listening can we enter on the paths of true growth and awaken a yearning for the Christian ideal: the desire to respond fully to God’s love and to bring to fruition what he has sown in our lives.”
WUCWO women want to be on the side of the poor and for this reason as WUCWO members we assume sobriety as a way to demonstrate our attention and care towards those who are victims of the globalization of indifference. “Be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate” (Lk 6, 36) : this is our way to make profitable the grace received during this Year of the Jubilee of Mercy and to contribute to render a more just and peaceful world.
EG 209- 216
Social Teaching Church 130 – 159