On Sundays, I often like to check out the latest words from Pope Francis for spiritual reading. This week, our Holy Father offered some particularly inspiring words for men and women religious in his address to them in Rome on Saturday. I studied Spanish, which is similar to Italian, but still I am not capable enough to rely on my knowledge of the Romance languages and don’t have a personal interpreter so I sometimes resort to my friend “Google Translate.” Although it’s not perfect, I’m able to get the gist of what the pope is saying and find it to be a benefical for spiritual reading sometimes.
This week, I was so touched by the beauty of the pope’s words for consecrated persons that I wished to share some highlights. The full text (Italian) can be found at: http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/it/speeches/2015/may/documents/papa-francesco_20150516_religiosi-roma.html
I encourage you to check this out; I cannot do justice to it. If you know Italian, you’re ahead of me, and won’t need to rely upon a computerized translation, which can be dangerous.
Pope Francis spoke about the balance, or even tension, between “concealment” and silence and visibility in the world. We need both solitude and involvement. The pope said that we “live” in tension between this attitude of seeking the Lord and hiding in the Lord, and this call to give a sign.
We need to be concerned for and involved with people, living love. This can even be just the service of a smile.
He also spoke of the corruption that can come in if we “lose our memory” of our vocation, of our first encounter with God and of the founding charism of our community. We must not lose our zeal for intercessory prayer for our people; the Pope mentioned the example of Moses so long ago, who interceded for the sinful Israelites. (Ex 32.9-14).
The pope drew from the example of St. Therese of Lisieux, who showed love even to a Sister who was not loving to her. He stressed that we are never to speak badly of our fellow sisters. We are an image of the Church, bride and mother. The Pope said a true mother does not speak badly of her children.
These are just some of the beautiful insights the Pope offered. It touched my heart and I hope it inspires you as well.