It is becoming increasingly common to talk about accompaniment in all kinds of contexts. The media and social networks are reporting on numerous situations that have surfaced or have been highlighted during the pandemic. People are looking for help, encouragement and, almost without naming it, a desire for personal growth and development that can be integrated into their lives.
The second session of the seminar “Keys to accompaniment in Poveda” was held at the end of January in online mode as the pandemic did not allow for a face-to-face session in Santa María de Los Negrales. An international group joined us online for part of the weekend.
During this session we brought together all that we had done previously on the topic of how to understand accompaniment in Poveda using the text “To fill with God those who are to live a truly human life” written by the founder of the Association in 1915.
Then we opened a new topic entitled “The purpose of accompaniment”. It is taken from another 1915 writing that says that “Looking at a crucifix is a pertinent educational means for a specific purpose... it moves our emotions and inspires and sustains actions that form a person’s character”.
Pedro Poveda's writings followed one after the other every day. They included specific letters sent to the academies, teachers and students, and correspondence addressed to individuals such as Carmen Escario, a married lady who was one of Poveda’s earliest collaborators. These writings continued to define the desirable characteristics of members of the Teresian Association.
In addition to the writings, we watched a film La vida secreta de las palabras [The secret life of words] by Isabel Coixet. This produced a very interesting discussion around its theme and shades of meaning.
Looking at the crucifix
Contemplation of the crucified and risen Christ led us deeper into the theme.
Looking at the crucifix has laid the foundations of our spirituality of incarnation since the beginning of the Teresian Association.
It is a way to embrace life, to be united in support of life and inclusion, to evangelise and proclaim life. It is a resource being called for by our times. The purpose, in Poveda's words, is to seek holiness and to work for the holiness of our neighbour.
Both the person who accompanies and the one who is accompanied share the call to be another Christ, a living Christ. They are encouraged not to live life as consumers but to be consumed in the gift of love.
It is by looking at a crucifix that we learn to heal wounds, both our own and those of humanity. It helps us to protect and safeguard and care for the vulnerable.
We had time for group discussion in which we spoke about our experience of reading these texts. We did so in a spirit of prayer in the presence of the Holy Spirit. In this way, we accompanied each other with gratitude. We noted the difficulties and we created bonds of union.
As a biblical symbol, the figure of the Samaritan woman in the Gospel of John (4:15) connected us with our desire for wholeness. She will accompany us until the next session with her request, Lord, give me this water to drink.
Fátima del Río.
TA translators team.
Published in News