Friday, February 23, 2018

Gratitude for the exercises

This morning, at the conclusion of the Spiritual Exercises which have taken place this week in Ariccia, Pope Francis thanked Father José Tolentino de Mendonça, the Vice Rector of the Catholic University of Lisbon and a Consultor with the Pontifical Council for Culture for his guidance.

Words of gratitude offered by His Holiness, Pope Francis
to Father José Tolentino de Mendonça

(Speaking to Father Tolentino)  Father, I wish to thank you, on behalf of all of us, for your accompaniment during these past days, which is prolonged today by the day of fasting and prayer for South Sudan, Congo and Syria.

Thank you Father, for having spoken about the Church, for having helped us to feel the presence of the Church, this small flock.  And also for having warned us not to shrink the flock through our  bureaucratic worldliness!  Thank you for reminding us that the Church is not a cage for the Holy Spirit, that the Spirit also flies outside, that the Spirit is at work outside the Church as well.  And with the citations you quoted and the things that you told us, you helped us to see how the Spirit is at work in non-believers, in pagans, in persons of other religious confessions: that the Spirit is universal, that it is the Spirit of god, that the Spirit is for all people.  Even today, there are the Cornelio, the centurions, the guardians of Peter's prison who live their lives conducting an interior search and those who even know how to distinguish when the Spirit is calling to them.  Thank you for this call to open ourselves up without fear, without rigidity, in order to be supple in the Spirit and not mummified in our structure, closed in on ourselves.  Thank you Father.  Please continue to pray for us.  As the Sisters' Mother Superior said, We are men!, sinners, all of us.  Thank you Father.  And may the Lord bless you.

No comments: