Every part of the Church, and many others outside of her – believers or non-believers – have received Pope Francis` clear and hope-filled words. They are also words that motivate us to assume the responsibility we all have to build a world in accordance to the Will of God, in the strength of the Spirit and through the way of Christ. Cardinals and bishops, priests, men and women religious, novices and seminarians, families, the youth and elderly, communities and institutes have received this challenge to go out “onto the street” to take – not a utopian hope – but concrete deeds in living evangelization projects to all men and women wherever they may be. And if they are on the “outskirts” then we have to go there, with all the risks and dangers it may include. He repeats to us constantly: I prefer an injured church, because she goes out to serve, to a Church that is sick because of her self-absorption. Testimony to this can be found in the section of Schoenstatt.org where on a weekly basis texts are selected which motivate us on our own pilgrimage toward the 2014 Jubilee. Undoubtedly, because we are the Church, these words are also directed to us. How happy must our Father not be with this missionary impetus which is given to us from the very heart of the Church! (Fr. José María García)
When one is intimately united to Jesus, he enjoys the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which are — as St Paul tells us — “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal 5:22). These are the gifts that we receive if we remain united in Jesus; and therefore a person who is so united in Him does so much good for neighbour and society, is a Christian person. In fact, one is recognized as a true Christian by this attitude, as a tree is recognized by its fruit. The fruits of this profound union with Christ are wonderful: our whole person is transformed by the grace of the Spirit: soul, understanding, will, affections, and even body, because we are united body and soul. We receive a new way of being, the life of Christ becomes our own: we are able to think like Him, act like Him, see the world and the things in it with the eyes of Jesus. And so we are able to love our brothers, starting with the poorest and those who suffer the most, as He did, and love them with His heart, and so bear fruits of goodness, of charity, and of peace in the world.
Paul started preaching conversion to the pagans as well and they heard the good news and converted. The Christian group was closed in on itself, they did not understand and repeatedly said: “No, not the pagans!” So they looked for help among those with social power: in Antioch, they met the pious women from the nobility and men of high standing in an effort to act against the apostles. This is how we arrived at where the waters moved in Antioch, because a group of Christians who were very attached to Jewish law wanted to impose Jewish conditions on the new Christians before baptizing them: circumcision was one such example. Paul said no. This began an argument among them, the waters were moving. They had lively debates because there truly was a lot of movement. And how did they solve the problem? They met and each one of them gave their judgment, gave their opinion. They argued, but as brothers and not as enemies: they sought the way of prayer and dialogue. And so, those who opposed them discussed and came to an agreement: this was the work of the Holy Spirit.
Mass at Santa Marta, 8.5.2015 – Feast of Our Lady of Lujan
True love is concrete, it is visible in works, it is a constant love. It is not simply enthusiasm. Furthermore, many times it is a painful love: We think of the love of Jesus carrying the cross. Concreteness. The Beatitudes — Jesus’ ‘pastoral programme’ — are also concrete. One of the first Christian heresies was the gnostic thinking that spoke about a distant God…and the lack of concreteness. In contrast, the Father’s love was concrete, he sent his Son…made flesh to save us. The second criterion of love is that it communicates, does not remain isolated. Love gives of itself and receives, this is the communication that exists between the Father and the Son. Communication is the work of the Holy Spirit. There is no love without communication. If it is isolated, it is not love. It is a spiritual form of egoism, of remaining closed within oneself, searching for its own benefit…it is egoism. It is as simple as that. But it is not easy. Because egoism, self-interest attracts us, and it attracts us to not act, and it attracts us to not communicate. What does the Lord say about those who would remain in his love? I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you and your joy will be complete.
Mass at Santa Marta, 7.5.2015
Tribulations await us in our lives: It is part of life to go through dark moments, difficult moments. But Paul’s advice of entering the kingdom of God by going through many tribulations is not a sadomasochist attitude: it is in fact the Christian battle. And the reason, as Jesus says, is that the prince of this world comes, is nearby and seeks to separate us from the kingdom of God, the Word of God, from faith, from hope. This is why the tribulations exist. But Jesus encourages us to be courageous: “I have conquered the world.” And He is in fact above the tribulations, He helps us to carry on.
Mass at Santa Marta, 5.5.2015
Ignatius compares the world to two military camps, one with the banner of Christ and the other with the banner of Satan. There are only two camps. The choice is clear for a Christian: he follows the banner of Christ. Christ is the true King. He walks at the head and his friends follow. A soldier of Christ participates in the life of his Lord. This is also the call which awaits you: take on Christ’s concerns, be his companions. This way, you will learn, day by day you, “to feel” with Christ and with the Church.
To the Swiss Guard, 4.5.2015
A Church that always argues and has ‘agreements’ and betrayal of brothers, the Spirit is not there! The Spirit is the one who creates newness, moves a situation forwards, creates new spaces, creates the wisdom that Jesus promises: ‘He will teach you!’ He is the one who moves, but He is also the one who, at the end, creates harmonious unity among all.