To be a Filia Reginae Apostolorum (FRA) is a call for the present time to serve God’s plan: a gift for all times and in every situation .
Each FRA is called to live, in the midst of the world, a passion both for God and for history, as the anonymous writer of the letter to Diogneto suggests : a Christian is both a faithful citizen of the earthly city where he works without sparing himself and a member of the Heavenly City “.
The words by Paul VI can become a reality : “You are an advanced wing of the Church in the world. You represent the will of the Church to be in the world to mould and sanctify it from the inside as a ferment .”
Today in the World
A FRA is called to be in history a ferment of evangelic spirit, as a hidden leaven (Mt 13 , 33) and she tends to dialogue and to be an instrument of unity always and anywhere, as she follows Jesus who is poor , peaceful , persecuted , meek , thirsty for justice . Gratuitousness is the habit of her life: You received without charge, give without charge (Mt ,10,8).
The force of this call urges her to see the signs of God’s presence and become a docile instrument of His longing for salvation.
Here are some of the pressing problems of our days which need to be faced and gradually solved:
- material poverty and social injustice
- cultural and intellectual poverty
- absence of faith in God
- incapacity to find the meaning of death and suffering
- negligence of the common good and disengagement in politics
- overbearing and arrogance towards the weak (war included)
Helped and urged by the Word of God, the FRA reads these needs and consequently tries
- to assume a lifestyle of sobriety, to signify her freedom from things, from possession, from the
logic of market and profit;
- to promote an apostolate of opinions;
- to open a dialogue for a Christian approach to disease and death;
- to work in a “net” with anyone who seeks truth;
- to encourage social, political, cultural commitment.
These are some possible ways how to walk in our time according to the intuition of Elena da Persico, who would urge the FRA to pay attention to the “signs of the times” and not to crystallize as the course of history is continually evolving
Today in the Church
The ecclesiological and theological studies on secular institutes and their form of life in the world and in the Church is now more than half a century old. After Provida Mater Ecclesia and Motu Proprio Primo Feliciter, the speeches of Paul VI, of John Paul II and of Benedict XVI represent the greatest sources to reflect upon. The interventions of Paul VI are particularly important when he asks the members of Secular Institutes to be faithful to their vocation and to be ”an advanced wing “ and “experimental workshop in which the Church ascertains the ways for her relations with the world” . (6 November 1976).
Also John Paul II had strong and exacting words, particularly on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Provida Mater in a compelling speech in which he invites the lay consecrated people to be “courageous and consistent witnesses” to the Gospel.
The Church expects a lot from Secular Institutes and from their witness in history. Recently, in the 60th anniversary of Provida Mater (1 February 2005) the words of Benedict XVI to the members of Secular Institutes sound very significant