To the women of her time Angela offers a new style of life, that of a Consecration to God, freely chosen and lived as a “spouse of the Son of God”, open to a spiritual maternity, while remaining in the world living in one`s family or in one`s working environment. To this family Angela gives a proper Rule, Counsel and Testament with a profound ascetic and spiritual value as well as impregnated in a remarkable pedagogical intuition.
It is directed to the members of the “ Company of St. Ursula” It indicates the way to become what we are called to be “ true and intact spouses of the Son of God” In the prologue a syntheses of our call is expressed: to be together serving the Lord. Jesus Christ is the absolute reference; he is the all of life. Perfection becomes union with Christ.
In this key virginity is presented as an exclusive love for Christ, a love which sustains and manifests itself in poverty and obedience. Angela emphasizes several times that the origin of the call is in the invitation of Jesus, in the mystery of His ineffable love. The core of this call we find it in a constant reference to the Word of God and in particular to the Gospel with which Angela sustained herself continuously.
These are addressed to the leaders of the Company. They are a collection of counsels and suggestions to help them to lead the members entrusted to them. They express the will and the desire of the Foundress. St. Angela entrusts to the leaders a pastoral and ministerial duty since they govern and look after a great treasure.
Here, one can see clearly her “maternal skill”. Angela is a wise and tender mother, profoundly human. These counsels are also a mine of teachings for every daughter of St. Angela who is responsibly involved in various situations in the family, at work, in civil and ecclesial domain.
This is addressed to the matrons, noble women of Brescia who were interested in the Company and who were a guarantee for it in front of civil and religious authority. Through them Angela suggested to be instructed in their mission from which are emphasized dignity and importance. From them emerge the sense of maternity with which the “matrons” must govern the virgins. Beside the Christian anthropology, rich in an extraordinary wisdom a profound ecclesiological sense in these writings is outlined.
Beside the writings of St. Angela which remain unchangeable, to nourish our spirituality, today the Company has elaborated the Constitutions. They represent our code of sanctity in the attempt of deepening and realizing our specific charism, in syntony with the invitation of the Foundress, “keep to the ancient way and custom of the Church and live a new life.”
Igitabu c’amategeko y’umuryango
wa Beneangela Merici mweranda
Iragi ry’ibanga rya
Angela Merici mweranda