Community is the first and most believable gospel that we can preach. We are asked to humanise our community. May the monastery not be a Purgatory but a family. There are and there will be problems but like in a family, with love, search for a solution with love; do not destroy this to resolve that; do not enter competitions.
Build community life, because in the life of a community it is this way, like a family, and it is the very Holy Spirit who is in the middle of the community. Let things go, do not brag, be patient with everything, smile from the heart. Joy is confirmed in the experience of community, that theological space where each one is responsible for their fidelity to the Gospel and for the growth of all.
When a community is fed by the same Body and Blood of Jesus, it gathers around the Son of God, to share the journey of faith, guided by the Word.
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It becomes one with him, together in communion, experiencing the gift of love and festive celebration in freedom and joy, full of courage. We are called to undertake an exodus out of our own selves, setting out on a path of adoration and service. Have the courage to go against the tide of this culture of efficiency, this culture of waste. Encountering and welcoming everyone, solidarity and fraternity: these are what make our society truly human. Be servants of communion and of the culture of encounter!
I would like you to be almost obsessed about this. St Thomas said: bonum est diffusivum sui. Good spreads. And joy also spreads.
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And joy, true joy, is contagious; it is infectious Many times Pope Francis has pointed out the path of attraction , of contagion, the path for the growth of the Church, the path of the new evangelization. Wake up the world! Be witnesses of a different way of acting, of living! It is possible to live differently in this world. Entrusting to us the task of waking up the world , the Pope urges us to approach the stories of the men and women of today in the light of two pastoral categories that have their roots in the newness of the Gospel: closeness and encounter , two ways through which God himself is revealed in history culminating in the Incarnation.
This is the problem. As living icons of the motherhood and of the closeness of the Church, we go out to those who are waiting for the Word of consolation and we bend down with motherly love and fatherly spirit towards the poor and the weak.
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The crisis of meaning of the modern person and the economic and moral crisis of western society and its institutions are not temporary phenomena of the times in which we live but they outline an historical moment of outstanding importance. We are called now, as the Church, to go outside in order to arrive at the margins, geographic, urban and existential — the margins of the mystery of sin, pain, injustice and misery —, to the hidden places of the soul where each person experiences the joys and sufferings of life.
During his pastoral visit to Assisi, Pope Francis was asked what the Church must strip away. Strip away the seeming assurance structures give, which, though certainly necessary and important, should never obscure the one true strength it carries within: God. He is our strength! The Church is free.
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She is sustained by the Holy Spirit. God has revealed himself as history, not as a compendium of abstract truths. Besides the challenge of the beatitude of the poor, the Pope invites us to visit the frontiers of thought and culture, to promote dialogue, even at the intellectual level, to give reasons for hope on the basis of ethical and spiritual criteria, questioning ourselves about what is good.
Authentic culture, constantly called to serve humanity in all its conditions, opens unexplored paths, opens doors to allow hope to breathe, strengthens the meaning of life and watches over the common good. Here, faith and reason unite, the religious dimension and the various aspects of human culture — art, science, labour, literature The places where knowledge is developed and communicated are also the places where a culture of closeness, of encounter and dialogue can be created that lowers defences, opens doors and builds bridges.
As a global network in which we are all connected, where no local tradition can aspire to a monopoly of the truth, where technologies affect everyone, the world throws down a continuous challenge to the Gospel and to those who shape their lives in accordance with the Gospel. In this historical process, through choices and ways of living, Pope Francis is building up a living hermeneutic of the dialogue between God and the world. We are invited to promote a generative, not simply administrative, dynamic to embrace the spiritual events present in our communities and in the world, movements and grace that the Spirit works in each individual person, viewed as a person.
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We are invited to commit ourselves to dismantling lifeless models, to describing the human person as marked by Christ, who is never revealed absolutely in speech or actions. Pope Francis invites us to a wisdom that should be demonstrated by flexible consistency, the ability of consecrated people to respond in accord with the Gospel, to act and to choose in accord with the Gospel, without losing ourselves among the different spheres of life, language or relationships, maintaining an awareness of responsibility, of the networks that bind us together, of the finitude of our limits, of the infinite number of ways in which life is expressed.
Let us welcome the encouragement that the Pope offers us to see ourselves and the world with the eyes of Christ and to remain concerned about it.
Wherever there are consecrated people, seminarians, men and women religious, young people, there is joy, there is always joy! It is the joy of freshness, the joy of following Jesus; the joy that the Holy Spirit gives us, not the joy of the world. There is joy! Look into the depths of your heart, look into your own inner depths and ask yourself: do you have a heart that desires something great, or a heart that has been lulled to sleep by things? Has your heart preserved the restlessness of seeking or have you let it be suffocated by things that end by hardening it?
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God awaits you, he seeks you; how do you respond to him? Are you aware of the situation of your soul? Or have you nodded off? We are victims of this culture of the temporary. This is a primary responsibility of all adults, of formators: to set an example of consistency to the youngest. Do we want consistent young people? Are we consistent? We may ask ourselves: am I anxious for God, anxious to proclaim him, to make him known?
Or do I allow that spiritual worldliness to attract me which impels people to do everything for love of themselves? We consecrated people think of our personal interests, of the functionality of our works, of our careers. Well, we can think of so many things Do we feel the restlessness of love? Do we believe in love for God and for others? Or are we unconcerned by this?
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Not in an abstract manner, not only in words, but the real brother we come across, the sister who is beside us! This is a beautiful, beautiful way to holiness! Do not speak badly of others. Tell the superior, tell the Bishop, who can rectify them. Do not tell a person who cannot help. This is important: brotherhood! But tell me, would you speak badly of your mother, your father, your siblings?
So why do you do so in the consecrated life, in the seminary, in your priestly life?
Only this: think, think This brotherly love. At the foot of the Cross, Mary is at the same time the woman of sorrow and of watchful expectation of a mystery far greater than sorrow, which is about to be fulfilled. It seemed that everything had come to an end; every hope could be said to have been extinguished. She too, at that moment, remembering the promises of the Annunciation could have said: they did not come true, I was deceived. But she did not say this. Or do we want it today? For her the tomorrow of God is the dawn of Easter morning, the dawn of the first day of the week.
It would do us good to think, in contemplation, of the embrace of mother and son. The single lamp lit at the tomb of Jesus is the hope of the mother, which in that moment is the hope of all humanity.