Tuesday, August 1, 2006

More about W.A.Y.

"A Path to Embodied Faith"

The Women's Apostolate to Youth (W.A.Y.) is a lay Association of Christ's Faithful composed of Roman Catholic lay-women in the Diocese of Arlington. Our mission is to promote the spiritual well being of children and youth and to provide spiritual formation and moral support for women who are called to work in a variety of ministries dedicated to this end.

Just as the natural maternal function requires a safe haven for developing life in a woman's own body, so the spiritual formation of the young requires a sheltered space in which the transforming action of grace may proceed unimpeded. W.A.Y. affirms, through its apostolate of spiritual maternity, the strong desire women have to provide a wholesome and sustaining formation in the Faith for children and youth. Because we recognize that ultimately it is the character and conviction of the loved and respected adult that exercises the most convincing and lasting influence on the young, we therefore encourage, first of all in ourselves and then in our charges, a thorough knowledge of the riches of Catholic teaching, a vital prayer life and sacramental practice, and a generous spirit of service.

W.A.Y.'s particular concern to nurture an embodied faith in the young begins with the message of the Angelus-- that most exquisite summary of the central Christian doctrine of the Incarnation. From Mary's consent and the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit comes Jesus, who is Salvation in the flesh, our way to the Father. His perfect embodiment of the Father's love for us provides the primary spiritual principle for the formation of our members and of the young people we serve. Thus we seek consistently to present the truths of Catholic teaching as they have actually been embodied in the lives of the saints, those icons of grace and moral courage who serve as God's gift of encouragement to us at every stage of our development. Just as the compassionate love of God was clothed in the flesh of Jesus of Nazareth and continues to touch us bodily in the Eucharist, so do we understand ourselves to be called to "put a body on" the love of Christ for children and youth, who demand and justly deserve convincing--and living-- examples of the Faith.