Pope in Castel-Gandolfo

Benedict XVI says the Teresian Association is a “good idea” and is asking Our Lady’s blessing on their efforts to awaken “the Christian and human soul in the world of education.”

This was the message in a papal note sent on behalf of the Pope by his secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, to the Teresian Association. The association is celebrating its centennial this year and is gathered in plenary assembly through Thursday.

The association was founded in Spain by St. Pedro Poveda in 1911. The lay group is today working in 30 countries. Modeled on the spirituality of St. Teresa of Avila, the members live as ordinary lay people, but seeking to be salt and light in the world.

The Holy Father’s message spoke of the association as “an idea” that was born under the gaze of Our Lady of Covadonga, “a good idea to give a breath of renewal to an exacting Christian life and to a generous mission of evangelizing and humanizing the various social sectors.”

The founder, the papal message continues, put this inspiration into practice “with determination, gentleness and competence.”

The Pontiff invited the assembly’s participants to “renew with joy their commitment to cultivate diligently in their hearts the presence of Christ, according to St. Teresa, the great teacher of the things of the spirit, so that their lives are an example in the world and their activities project the light of God in every human being.”

He expressed his prayer that the celebrations of the centennial would bring many fruits “in this exciting task of awakening the Christian and human soul in the world of education, culture and the holistic promotion of the person.”

For his part, the president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, Cardinal Stanisław Ryłko, also sent a message to the assembly, recalling the founder’s idea of “an association that, in promoting the relation between faith and culture, can contribute to human growth and to social transformation, thus being committed to the building of a just and solidary society animated by the values of the Gospel.”

LOS NEGRALES, Spain, JULY 26, 2011 (Zenit.org)