2013-05-09 18:41:11

What would the Church be without you? Pope asks Women Religious

Vatican City, 09 May 2013: A vocation is always God’s initiative. It is Christ who has called you to follow Him in the consecrated life and this means making a continual ‘exodus’ from yourselves to centre your existences on Christ and his Gospel, said Pope Francis to about 800 Superiors General of women’s religious orders on Wednesday in the Vatican. The ‘exodus from oneself means, explained the Pontiff, placing oneself on a journey of adoration and service. An exodus which takes us on a journey of adoration of the Lord and service to the Lord in our brothers and sisters.
The International Union of Superiors General has been meeting for its general assembly in Rome since May 3. The sisters met with the Pope at the conclusion of their plenary assembly which has been focused on the theme of leadership in light of Gospel values.

In his speech to them, Pope Francis spoke of their vows of obedience, poverty and chastity, saying the sisters are not spinsters, but rather spiritual mothers and icons of the Mother Church. Echoing the theme of their five day meeting, the Pope said true power is always service to others. While the world may see power in terms of possession, dominion and success, the authority of God is always synonymous with service, humility and love.
As he has done in the past, the Pope warned of the damage caused to the Church by men and women who seek to further their own careers and personal ambitions. Instead Pope Francis urged the sisters to always “feel with the Church” in faithfulness to the Magesterium, the Pastors and the Bishop of Rome as a visible sign of the unity of the Church. Citing Pope Paul VI, the Pontiff said that “It is an absurd dichotomy to think of living with Jesus but without the Church, of following Jesus outside of the Church, of loving Jesus without loving the Church.’

Pope Francis concluded posing a question as ‘What would the Church be without you? She would be missing maternity, affection, tenderness! A Mother's intuition.”
Source: VR Sedoc

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