Joy present in everything

We, the members of the Institute of the Incarnate Word, want to be characterized and stand out for living in “contagious joy”[1]. That joy that is “fruit of the Holy Spirit and effect of charity”[2] and that is born from considering that “God is infinite joy”[3]. This is the Good News, the great joy [4] – the consequence of the Incarnation – that we wish to proclaim to the whole world with our lives. This is our proclamation: that with the coming into the world of the Word who became flesh and dwelt among us “truth prevails over falsehood, good over evil, beauty over ugliness, love over hatred, peace over war, mercy over vengeance, life over death, grace over sin, and finally, being over nothingness, the Virgin over Satan, Christ over Antichrist and God over all”[5].

For this reason, the members of the Institute of the Incarnate Word want to “try to live what is the essence of the Kingdom that Jesus Christ came to inaugurate on earth: The Kingdom of God… is justice, joy and peace in the Holy Spirit (Rom 14:17)”[6]. That is to say, we try by all means, that ‘no one be disturbed or grieved in the house of God’ and we strive to bear with patience the weaknesses, both corporal and spiritual, of our brothers; seeking the good of others, before our own; finally, putting into practice a sincere fraternal love. For we are convinced that without charity, there can be no authentic joy. And “a fraternity without joy is a fraternity that is extinguished”[7].

“Joy is the gigantic secret of the Christian”[8] and this is also our open secret. In a special way, the Paschal Mystery of our Lord is an inexhaustible source of spirituality. His Passion, his Death, his descent into hell and his Resurrection illumines our lives [9]. 9] For this reason, joy is an essential element of Christian spirituality, and it is also an essential element of our spirituality. 10] And this makes it our constant request that God give us the grace “to be specialists in the wisdom of the cross, in the love of the cross and in the joy of the cross”. 11] Being aware that the suffering of the cross is the necessary and inescapable condition of the glory of the Resurrection. Jesus did not deceive us, He told us clearly: You will be sad, but your sadness will be turned into joy [12] and He assured us: I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and no one will be able to take away your joy [13]. For true joy, the serene and profound joy that is maintained in spite of difficulties and even “in sufferings”[14], is precisely that which is born of the cross[15]: “the cross of the humility of reason in the face of mystery; the cross of the will in the faithful fulfillment of the whole moral law, natural and revealed; the cross of one’s duty, at times arduous and unrewarding; the cross of patience in sickness and in the difficulties of every day; the cross of untiring commitment to respond to one’s vocation; and the cross of the struggle against the passions and the lurks of evil”[16].

Now, if “only he who rejoices in love truly rejoices: ‘Where charity rejoices, there is festivity'”[17]. Then, for a member of the Institute, there is no greater reason to rejoice than the Resurrection of the Lord, because his triumph is our triumph, his victory is our victory”[18]. Hence, it is something very characteristic of ours to celebrate “the great solemnities, especially the Octave of Easter, Sundays, the days of the Apostles and of Our Lady”[19]. In addition, in our communities we have weekly “another small feast, which is recreation”[20] and we must say that, in our humble experience, our witness of community joy has aroused and still arouses an enormous attraction towards religious life, in fact, it is a source of new vocations and is a support for our perseverance [21].

For this reason, even if we have to sow in tears, since our joy is “spiritual and supernatural”[22], we know that we must “rejoice always and in everything”[23] and preserve and cultivate the joy of evangelization [24]. Because, in the final analysis, we are “followers of the Risen Christ”[25]. 25] And because, in truth, “in life ‘there is only one sadness, that of not being saints'[26]”[27].


[1] Constitutions, 231.

[2] Ibidem, 95.

[3] Directory of Spirituality, 210; op. cit. St. Teresa of the Andes, Letters, 101.

[4] Lk 2:10

[5] Directory of Spirituality, 210.

[6] Constitutions, 93.

[7] Directory of Fraternal Life, 40.

[8] Directory of Spirituality, 204, the phrase is from G. K. Chesterton.

[9] Cf. Constitutions, 42.

[10] Cf. Ibidem, 203.

[11] Ibidem.

[12] Jn 16:20.

[13] Jn 16:22.

[14] Directory of Spirituality, 207.

[15] Cf. Directory of Spirituality, 145.

[16] Ibidem, 142.

[17] Cf. St. John Chrysostom, in Josef Pieper, A Theory of the Feast, Madrid 1974, 33.

[18] Ibidem, 212.

[19] Ibidem.

[20] Ibidem, 213.

[21] Cf. Directory of Fraternal Life, 41.

[22] Ibidem, 204.

[23] Ibidem, 205.

[24] Directory of Missions Ad Gentes, 144; op. cit. cf. Evangelii Nuntiandi, 80.

[25] Directory of Spirituality, 208.

[26] Leo Bloy, The Poor Woman, II, 27.

[27] Gaudete et Exultate, 34.