Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Forcades: A New Image of God and the Human Being

With all the hype surrounding the two main books of conversations with Sr. Teresa Forcades, Eulalia Tort's Converses amb Teresa Forcades (also available in Spanish as Diálogos con Teresa Forcades, both from DAU) and Esther Vivas' Conversación entre Teresa Forcades y Esther Vivas. Sin miedo (also available in Catalan as Conversa entre Teresa Forcades i Esther Vivas. Sense por , both from Icaria), we might forget about a third conversation book, this one with Italian mystic Angela Volpini, moderated and edited by Laia de Ahumada. This third book has just been published in Spanish as Una nueva imagen de Dios y del ser humano by PPC, although it has been available since January 2012 in Catalan under the title Una nova imatge de Déu i de l'ésser humà from Publicacions de l'Abadia de Montserrat.

This may be one of Sr. Teresa's more unique collaborations since Volpini's main claim to fame is her visions of Our Lady which she first experienced while tending her family's cows at age 7 on June 4, 1947. After that date, until she turned 16, the Virgin Mary would appear to her on the fourth day of each month. When she had those visions, Volpini says she also experienced levitation. She says that Our Lady left her with the following message: "You are called to be happy on this earth. You are one and unique. Be true to yourself. You are essentially good. You have the ability to love and you can choose to love." The visions led to a conflict with her bishop who questioned her for 40 hours, demanding obedience. In the end, she told him, "You don't believe me. I don't obey you." She says that before he died, the bishop came to her and told her that he saw her inner freedom. Volpini went on to marry, have a son, and found a cultural center, Nova Cana, with her husband. Other details about Angela Volpini's life, work, and visions, can be found in Italian and Spanish on her web site.

The collaboration has been going on for a number of years because one of the earliest dialogues between these two women that has been reported took place on October 25-26, 2008 at the Monasterio de Sant Pere de Les Puel-les in Barcelona. That conversation focused on the image of God and human beings from the feminine perspective. A through write-up of that event is available here in Catalan.

In October 2012, Sr. Teresa and Angela Volpini held one of their conversations, "Revelarse-Rebelarse", before a capacity crowd in the Goya Codorniu Theatre in Barcelona. The dialogue, moderated by Laia de Ahumada, is interspersed with musical performances by Sr. Teresa's friend, singer Lídia Pujol, accompanied by pianist Juan de la Rubia. Here are some videos of the occasion so you can get a taste of what this collaboration is about. If you don't speak Catalan, you can fast forward through the introduction because the dialogue itself is in Spanish.

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