The Institute of the Incarnate Word was the first branch of the Religious Family of the Incarnate Word to be founded by Fr. Carlos Miguel Buela in 1984. The Institute which draws its spirituality from the mystery of the Incarnation, was founded on none other than the Solemnity of the Annunciation, March 25th, 1984 in San Rafael, Argentina. A few years later Fr. Buela would also found a female branch (Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará, SSVM), and a secular Third Order.
Our founder wanted our Institute to be named “of the Incarnate Word”, in order to honor the greatest event of history, an event which cannot be surpassed by any other: the Incarnation of the Son of God.
By means of the profession of the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, we want to imitate and follow more closely the Incarnate Word in his chastity, poverty and obedience. In addition, we profess a fourth vow of Marian slavery, according to the spirit of St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort. By means of this vow, we consecrate our whole lives to the Blessed Virgin Mary. We, the religious of the Incarnate Word, want to be anchored in the mystery of the Incarnation which, as St. John Paul II has said, “is the first and fundamental mystery of Jesus Christ.” From this mystery, we want to undertake “to reestablish all things in Christ” (Eph 1:10), seeking to be as another Incarnation of the Word in order to make Him incarnate in all that is human. We are aware that, as St. Irenaeus teaches, “that which is not assumed is not redeemed”. Thus, nothing that is authentically human is foreign to us, because the life of grace that Jesus Christ came to bring to the world must be brought to everything and everyone.
The Secular Third Order or the lay order of the family of the Incarnate Word is an association of lay faithful who, living in the world, participate in the spirit of the religious family, in order to seek Christian perfection, in a more secure and efficacious way, in the wide sphere of the lay vocation and in order to carry into effect the sanctification of all men by means of the works of the apostolate.
For this purpose they want to, and commit themselves to, forming one family with the religious of the Incarnate Word, united by the same faith, the same ends, the same mission, the same charism, and the same spirit, thus constituting themselves as the “salt of the earth and the light of the world” (Mt 5, 13-14) in their proper surroundings.
The purpose that we intend is twofold, on the one hand a universal purpose, which is to seek the glory of God and the salvation of souls.
On the other hand, according to our specific purpose, we commit all our strength in order to inculturate the Gospel, namely to extend the Incarnation to all men, in the whole man, and in all the manifestations of man, according to the teachings of the Magisterium of the Church. We want to dedicate ourselves to the evangelization of the culture – to work to transform the following through the power of the Gospel:
– mankind’s criteria of judgment,
– determining values,
– points of interest,
– lines of thought,
– sources of inspiration, and
– models of life.
We cannot forget what the Second Vatican Council pointed out: “One of the gravest errors of our time is the dichotomy between the faith which many profess and the practice of their daily lives” (Gaudium et Spes, 43). This dichotomy is primarily due to the fact that the world in recent times has come to the point of separating and detaching itself from the Christian foundations of its culture leading to the de-christianization of the culture.
SPIRITUALITY OF THE INSTITUTE OF THE INCARNATE WORD
The Institute of the Incarnate Word
spirituality must be deeply marked by the four aspects of the mystery of the Incarnation: a) its origin, b) its natures c) the union of the natures, and d) its purpose.
a) As regards the origin: We must have a deep and radical devotion to the Holy Trinity, the active principle of the Incarnation, and to the Persons to whom it is attributed: to the Father insofar as He is the principle of the Son – “I came not of my own accord, but he sent me” (Jn 8:42); and to the Holy Spirit insofar as He is the personal Love from which all divine works proceed – “by the power of the Holy Spirit”. From this derives the primacy of spiritual things in all our thoughts, feelings and actions, since “God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Phil 2:13). The teaching of the Incarnate Word about this is clear: “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well” (Mt 6:33). Also deriving from this devotion is a total abandonment to the will of God following the example of the Virgin Mary – “I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38).
b) As regards the two natures, divine and human: We want to live the virtues of transcendence fervently: faith, hope and charity, in order “to be the salt… to be the light” (Mt 5:13ff) so as not to be of the world. We want to fervently live the virtues of self-denial: humility, justice, sacrifice, poverty, pain, obedience and merciful love… – in a word, to take up the cross.
c) As regards the union: The center of our life must be Jesus Christ, true God and true man, who unites both natures in his one, unique, divine person; for in truth we profess that “the Word became flesh” (Jn 1:14), that “He is the one mediator between God and men” (1 Tm 2:5), and that He is the only one who has the words of eternal life (cf. Jn 6,68). He is the person who is the terminus of the Incarnation. In a particular way our devotion to Jesus Christ must manifest itself in the mystery of the Incarnation, and also in his second complete humiliation in the mystery of the Passion – the supreme priestly action – which, by contrast, makes us admire the kenosis (emptying) of the Incarnation even more deeply. Intimately united to “the mystery of our religion which was manifested in the flesh” (1 Tm 3:16), and therefore united to our love, are the “three white things of the Church”: the Eucharist, that prolongs the Incarnation under the species of bread and wine by the action of the Catholic priesthood; the Most Holy Virgin Mary, who gave her assent so that from her flesh and blood, the Word would become flesh; and the Pope, incarnate presence of the Truth, the Will, and the Sanctity of Christ.
d) As regards the purpose: In Christ we want to seek the glory of God and the integral well-being of man. By introducing his first-born Son into the world, the Father manifested his glory: “we have beheld his glory” (Jn 1:14); and in everything we want to have a righteous intention: “whatever you do, do all for the glory of God” (1 Cor 10:31).
CHARISM THE INSTITUTE OF THE INCARNATE WORD
The specific charism of our Institute requires all its members to work in supreme docility to the Holy Spirit according to the pattern of the Virgin Mary, in order that Jesus Christ be the Lord of all that is genuinely human, even in the most difficult situations and under the most adverse conditions.
This charism is the grace to know how to work concretely in order to prolong Christ in families, in education, in the mass media, in the intellectuals, and in all other legitimate manifestations of human life.
It is the gift, by being essentially missionary and Marian, to make each man “like a new Incarnation of the Word.”
Therefore the mission, received from the founder and approved by the Church, is to bring to fullness the effects of the Incarnation of the Word, which “is the epitome and root of all good”, especially to the vast world of culture, i.e., the “manifestation of man as an individual, as a community, as a people, as a nation.”
We consider that some of the most important means of achieving the established purpose are to work in the key areas of the culture, namely: families, education (especially in seminaries, universities and colleges), mass media, and the thinkers or intellectuals.
Please visit IVE Missions to see our ‘charism’ in action.
To achieve this disposition of maximum, total and unrestricted docility to the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of Christ (cf. Rom 8: 9) we need the Holy Virgin Mary to be the model, the guide and the form for all our actions. We say with all the strength of soul and heart, today and always, “TOTUS TUUS, MARIA!”, as taught by the example of Blessed John Paul II, whom we consider the Father of our Religious Family. We want to manifest our love and gratitude to the Blessed Virgin by making a fourth vow – slavery to Mary according to Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort – so as to obtain her indispensable help to extend the Incarnation in all things. It is a total surrender to Mary to better serve Jesus Christ, and it has two aspects:
– Maternal slavery of love.
– “Marianizing” life.
Maternal slavery of love
This consecration to Mary is done as a “maternal slavery of love” according to Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort’s commendable method. He refers to such slavery as “willing” or “loving,” because we freely and willingly, moved only by love, offer ourselves and all our goods to Mary and through her to Jesus Christ. This offering is a fuller and more conscious renewal of the promises made in our baptism when we were clothed in Christand in our religious profession. Moreover, Mary’s dominion and maternal providence over all things, especially the souls of the faithful, becomes manifest through this loving slavery. According to Saint Bonaventure, “any faithful soul, and even the universal Church, is a slave of Mary the Queen.”
John Paul II says “surrender to Mary, in the spirit of St. Louis Grignion de Montfort, has seemed to me the best means of participating fruitfully and effectively in this reality, in order to draw from it and share with others its inexpressible riches… I think we are confronted here with the sort of paradox often to be noted in the Gospels, the words ‘holy slavery’ signifying that we could not more fully exploit our freedom… For freedom is measured by the love of which we are capable.”By this slavery of love, we offer to Christ through Mary not only our bodies, souls and goods, but also our good works (past, present and future), together with their satisfactory and meritorious value. Thus, she may dispose of everything according to her approval. We are certain that we must go to the Incarnate Word through Mary, his Mother, and that she will form “great saints.”
“Marianizing” life is the fruit and natural consequence of the consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary. To “marianize” life, first it is necessary to do everything through Mary. This “through Mary” indicates the way: the fusion of intentions. There is nothing that the Mother of God keeps for herself, but in everything she teaches and tells us – as to the servants at Cana – do whatever he tells you (Jn 2:5).
Secondly, we must do everything with Mary. She is our companion and model – the masterpiece of God – who should guide “all our intentions, actions and operations.”The Apostle Paul said, be imitators of me, as I am of Christ (1 Cor 11:1); with greater reason we can say the same of the Virgin Mary – in whom the Almighty, whose name is Holy, has done great things.“While in the most holy Virgin the Church has already reached that perfection whereby she is without spot or wrinkle, the followers of Christ… turn their eyes to Mary who shines forth to the whole community of the elect as the model of virtues.”
Thirdly, it is necessary to act in Mary – in intimate union with her – which means the abiding unity that should exist between the consecrated soul and the Mother of God. He who loves abides in the beloved, and thus so is ardent love, tending toward a mutual union, becoming more profound and more solid with each positive act. In this way one imitates the Incarnate Word who came into the world and dwelt in Mary’s womb for nine months; and Jesus’ last command and gift becomes effective: Behold your mother! And from that hour that disciple took her into his own home (Jn 19:27).
Finally, it is necessary to do everything for Mary. The Blessed Virgin – who always submitted to Christ according to the Father’s eternal design – must be the end that guides all our actions, the object that attracts the heart of each consecrated person and the motive at the beginning of any work. Mary is the “proximate end, our mysterious intermediary and the easiest way of reaching Him.”
Every faithful slave of Jesus in Mary must therefore, invoke her, salute her, think of her, talk about her, honor her, glorify her, entrust himself to her, rejoice and suffer with her, work, pray and rest with her. In brief, one must seek to live always, through Jesus and Mary, with Jesus and Mary, in Jesus and Mary, and for Jesus and Mary.
(Constitutions of the Institute of the Incarnate Word, nnº 82-89). TD 70. 72. Cf. Gal 3:27. SAINT BONAVENTURE, Speculum Beata Mariae Virginis, 3, 5. Quoted by ANDRÉ FROSSARD, Be Not Afraid!, New York, 1984. TD 121-125. TD 47. SAINT IGNATIUS LOYOLA, Spiritual Exercises, 46.Cf. Lk 1:49. LG 65. TD 265.
Fr. Carlos Miguel Buela
OUR FOUNDER – Fr. Carlos Miguel Buela
, founder of the Religious Family of the Incarnate Word
, was born in the city of Buenos Aires on April 4, 1941. He was ordained a priest on October 7, 1971, in the crypt of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes of Santos Lugares (Bs As) and the following day celebrated his first Mass in the Chapel of the Virgin of Luján. He was a teacher at “St. Charles Borromeo” Minor Seminary of the Archdiocese of Rosario; professor of Dogmatic Theology in the Instituto Superior de Cultura Católica
(Rosario); professor in the Institute “Our Lady of Guadalupe” (Rosario); professor in the School of Catechesis for the San Martín Diocese (Buenos Aires); professor in the Diocesan School of Formation for Catholic Leaders for the San Martín Diocese (Buenos Aires); professor of Dogmatic Theology in the Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad Católica Argentina
(UCA); professor of Sacred Scripture and Dogmatic Theology in the “Courses of Catholic Culture” at the same university; professor of Sacred Scripture and Dogmatic Theology in San Isidro Seminary; spiritual director and teacher in San Rafael’s Diocesan Seminary (Mendoza) and in the Religious Seminary María, Madre del Verbo Encarnado
. In addition, he has given invaluable service in the parishes of Nuestra Señora de la Merced
and Nuestra Señora del Rosario
(San Martín Diocese—Buenos Aires).
He has written various books among which the following stand out: Catechism for Youth; Youth in the Third Millennium ; Servidoras; Sacerdotes para Siempre; Nuestra Misa; Pan de Vida Eterna y Cáliz de Eterna Salvación; María de Luján; Fátima: y el sol bailó; and Juan Pablo Magno. He has also published numerous articles in various journals.
THE SHIELD THE INSTITUTE OF THE INCARNATE WORD