Women of the Dawn: Sr. Ileane Tolosa
“Who said all is lost…?”
We publish the fourth and last commentary to the new document of the Latin American Confederation of Religious (CLAR): "Women of the Dawn: Inspiring Horizon 2022-2025". (available in Spanish and Portuguese) written by sr. Ileane Tolosa.
Read other commentaries to the "Women of Dawn" document:
“Watching for the dawn of a synodal Church, while seeing the rising of this new hour of salvation.” This is the objective that CLAR proposes to the Religious Life in Latin America and the Caribbean. A vast horizon of hope, after having lived a triennium recovering “joy,” because “the hour has come, do what He tells you!” Keeping watch with the deep joy, flowing from the Gospel and flooding our daily lives, which puts us in tune with God.
This is the joy that convinces, even in pain, women seekers, the women of the Dawn. Joy that places them, without thinking about it, before the Glory of God, because “The glory of God is woman and man alive:” woman and man are par excellence alive, that is to say, we enter the HOUR of God. Hence, the steps and the gaze go forward even in the darkness of history. When God guides life, it is ready for the leap of quality that leads to looking and acting differently and better.
This Inspiring Horizon needs to be welcomed and assumed for its endearing, hopeful strength. It is a lamp that helps to recognize and name what is in the current global and ecclesial reality. Recognizing and not excluding, so that we avoid the “throwaway” culture, as Pope Francis says. Before our eyes and in our hands, this Inspiring Horizon seeks to attune and synchronize the synodal dynamics that are already pulsating in Religious Life.
It is a document that does not deny reality and does not doubt the action of God in history. For this reason, it does not stagnate, but rather flows through the hardness of injustice and the greatness of solidarity and grows cradling at the same time the pain of the victims and the necessary restoration of dehumanized victimizers. Grace is possible if the Spirit is allowed to move, push, or drag, as the case may be, towards the Will of God.
Undeniably, the main character in this Inspiring Horizon is the Divine Ruah who, moving the Women of the Dawn, insists on showing God’s way, from within and from below. The mode is contrary to having power, being superior and egocentric. The Women of the Dawn are the accomplices of the Divine Ruah in the intent to manifest itself through “working in cooperation, feeling-thinking, generating empathy and communicative skills, weaving networks…” Only the Spirit allows movements that human logic does not consider. Such is our Good God.
It is a document that does not deny reality and does not doubt the action of God in history.
The text maintains the scheme of the previous Inspiring Horizon. Namely, See - Listen (analysis of the context); Judge – Discern – Feel-Think (Biblical Framework); Act - Let Flow (Projection). However, this time and as an “impulse of the Spirit,” eight observable and perhaps even evaluable movements are proposed, as responses of concrete witnessing. They are eight movements that totally embrace the life of the consecrated person here and now. These eight movements aim at the humanization of those whose sole and totalizing objective is to follow Jesus in community.
Going a step further and proposing the necessary awareness of the action of the Spirit on us. Movements that imply letting ourselves be moved. Believing that we are pushed or dragged or moved by the divine breath to show, by our witness, that it is time to walk together, to look together, to listen together, to make ourselves mutually visible in synodality. Assuming that helping, in this way, the sisters and the brothers whom God gives in life to believe and grow in faith is our constitutive dimension as Church People of God and disciples of Jesus. From this constitutive reality, it is time to move to promote the real participation of all as Church People of God: no one is more than anyone else, no one is less than anyone else. This is the only way to build communion and inclusion so that there will be no more invisible or excluded people.
It is an insistent call to recover the prophetic and sapiential sap of a Religious Life in need of conversion that, walking together with the laity and clergy, will accompany and allow themselves to be accompanied as People of God. Dawn will come, and rejoicing in it will taste like a novelty because not just a pair of eyes but the coinciding conjunction of gazes shall see it in accordance with the palpitation of the Living God in history. Together, welcoming the flashes of light that dissipate differences and contradictions and, rather, allow us to exercise “dialogue, mutual collaboration and reciprocal knowledge,” as Pope Francis states. We are witnessing the “hour” of encounter because our nature is synodal: God Communion creates, in synodal a relationship, human beings capable of building sisterhood/brotherhood in synodality.
Yes, we are witnessing this manifestation of God, for it encourages and attracts our faith and our hope. Life is already sprouting because Love sees how his beloved daughters and sons are overcoming the night, resisting the onslaught of currents, proposals, and inhuman systems. God is felt and believed, breathing the Divine Ruah in so many lives that are torn, but assisted and protected by the unbreakable solidarity. Listen to the God of Jesus who cries out in the crucified ones and, resurrected, dances because they are overcoming every kind of minority and do not tire of doing Good.
Finally, I extend simple and profound thanks to the team that has elaborated this proposal, which seeks to inspire and encourage our journey together so that we continue unveiling the synodal face of the Good God among our peoples. Following their methodology, we will probably find ourselves watching for the same dawn and dreaming of the “new day in God.” May He continue to bless us!
Sr. Ileane Tolosa
Sister of the Guardian Angel, Born in Caracas-Venezuela. She has a degree in Theology and is Coordinator of the Theological Reflection Team of the Conference of Religious of Venezuela (CONVER).