Economy at the Service of the Charism and Mission

We will only be able to recognize the places where the most vulnerable are silenced and life is extinguished if we are able to live with our eyes open. And it is there that we will be able to discover God, present in the Daughters of Charity who are always attentive to their neighbor and to those around them. For this to happen we need to pause from the urgency of our tasks and find time to reflect on the meaning of what we do each day.

Sister Teresa SANNO (former Treasurer General) and Sister Isel NEGRELLI (current Treasurer General) helped a group of Daughters of Charity from Spain from 2 to 24 years of vocation to deepen their understanding of economy through these days of reflections, in Madrid. They started from the document “Economy at the Service of the Charism and Mission” of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. They also recalled the Guides in the Company such as the Guide for Treasurers and the Guide for Sister Servants as well as the Constitutions and some writings of the Founders.

These reflections helped us to see in a deeper way how the vow of poverty of the Daughters of Charity is lived out by following Jesus Christ who chose to be poor in order to be close to the least. However, this should never lead us to a welfare approach, which forgets the dignity of the person. It is about being with those who suffer and walking with them, collaborating with others and establishing relationships for their promotion.

It is a free choice that allows us to be freer and protects us from the desire to have and to be in power. But we live this personal option in community. It is here that, through means such as the annual budget or the accounting of expenses incurred, we grow together in this desire and make our vow of poverty credible. It allows us to redefine the meaning of money, to live always with transparency and to make decisions in the context of social realities and of those who are poorest in the place where we live, by making the goods we have available to them.

To live this vow of poverty as a vital option requires discernment, prayer, reflection, formation, and a readiness to start again and to rethink the paths we have already taken. Communities are needed which become “laboratories of creativity” in order to respond to new challenges both in society and in the reality of the Company. In this search, it will be necessary to ensure that the works are sustainable and that they are financed, avoiding entities with unethical practices.

This intense reflection encouraged us to continue our formation and to adopt the attitudes of living in awareness of what is going on around us, to choose to be leaven in this world, and to act, offering a listening heart, fraternity and joy. It also allowed us to discover other aspects of economy that helped us to see Economy in a broader way, having Jesus as our only model.

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