On the morning of this Thursday, July 14, Pope Francis assured that the joy that comes from God “cannot be hidden, it shines! And it’s contagious.”
These were the words that the Holy Father addressed to the participants in the General Chapters of the Order of the Mother of God, of the Basilian Order of Saint Josaphat and of the Congregation of the Missiongathered this Thursday in the Vatican.
In his speech, Pope Francis explained that the General Chapter “it is the moment of community discernment: with the help of the Holy Spirit we try to see if and to what extent we have been faithful to the charism, in what the Spirit impels us to go forward and in what, instead, asks us to change”.
“This is one of the most beautiful and strongly ‘ecclesial’ experiences that we are given: listening together to the Spirit, presenting him with concrete situations, questions, problems…”, the Holy Father continued.
He then highlighted the evangelizing charism and the importance of each Order guiding its activity according to the testimony and proclamation of the Gospel: “The vocation of the Church is to evangelize, the joy of the Church is to evangelize”, he expressed.
“But one thing is certain: the charisms, as Saint Paul teaches, are all for the edification of the Church, and since the Church is not an end in itself, but rather its purpose is to evangelize, it follows that every charism, without exception, can and must cooperate in evangelization. And this must be kept in mind when discerning, ”he assured.
In addition, he explained to those present that “as religious, you are called to evangelize not only on a personal level, like all baptized, but also communallywith fraternal life”.
For Pope Francis, this “it requires a daily attitude of conversion, it requires willingness to question, vigilance over rigidity, as well as an excessive and ‘comfortable’ tolerance. Above all, it requires humility and simplicity of heart, which we must never stop asking God for, because they come from Him”.
He also stressed that it is in relationships “where our hearts are sifted and where, with the commitment of each one, a beautiful testimony of brothers can take shape.”
“Not a kitsch, not a façade concord, not a homogeneity flattened by the personality of the superior or some leader. No. A free fraternity, with a taste for diversity and in search of an increasingly evangelical harmony”.
Later, the Pontiff exemplified this idea and assured that it is “like an orchestra with many instruments, where the essential thing is not the skill of the soloists, but rather the ability of each of them to listen to all the others in order to create the best possible harmony.
He also invited those present to ask themselves if they are happy in their vocation, “a real joy, not formal, not that joy with the smile that says nothing, the artificial smile, ‘brother, brother’ and then the dagger from behind. It happens, it happens, we know it, ”she lamented.
“The informal joy, not the artificial smile. The joy of belonging to Christ and being together, with our limitations and our sins. The joy of being forgiven by God and of sharing this forgiveness with our brothers and sisters. This joy cannot be hidden, it shines! and it’s contagious”, he then defended.
Finally, stressed the importance of “humility and simplicity of heart and joy. This is the path of an evangelizing fraternity. Impossible for men, but not for God.”