Saturday, June 8, 2019

Greetings for the Catholic Charismatic Renewal International Service

At 12:10pm today local time (6:10am EDT), in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican, the Holy Father, Pope Francis received in audience the participants taking part in a gathering organized by the Catholic Charismatic Renewal International Service (CHARIS).

During the gathering, there were testimonials and moments of prayer before the Pope shared his remarks.


Greetings of the Holy Father, Pope Francis
addressed to members of the
Catholic Charismatic Renewal International Service

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

I like how some people greet each other during this Easter season. They do not say: Good morning or Good evening, they say: Jesus is risen. Let us greet each other like this: Jesus ... (Everyone answers: He is risen).

Yes, Jesus is risen!  Thank you for remembering that I like that first song that you sang.

On this Solemnity of Pentecost, a new phase of the journey begun by the Charismatic Renewal 52 years ago is beginning. Charismatic Renewal developed in the Church by the will of God and, to paraphrase Saint Paul VI, it is an opportunity for the Church (cf Address to the participants in the III International Congress of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, 19 May 1975, Pentecost).

Today, I thank the ICCRS and the Catholic Fraternity in the name of the Church, for the mission that has been carried out over these past thirty years.  You have paved the way and made it possible, with your loyalty, for CHARIS to become a reality today. Thank you!

Thank you also to the team of four that I have charged with the implementation of this new unique service; and to the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, in the person of Cardinal Farrell, who has accompanied you.

Today one thing ends and another begins: a new stage begins on this journey. A stage marked by the communion among all the members of the charismatic family, in which the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit is manifested for the good of the whole Church; in which this Presence makes everyone equal, because each and every one of us is born of the same Spirit; large and small, rich in years and newborn, engaged on a universal or rather local level, together we form the whole, which is always superior to the part.

New and unique service of communion

Let us move toward unity: this is the Spirit's way

New. As I told you at the Circus Maximus, that which is new can destabilize. At the beginning there is a feeling of insecurity about the changes that the new can bring: sometimes one prefers to remain in one's own thoughts, and detached from unity. And this is a temptation of the devil: every time someone hears: No, mine is more than that, and I prefer the old to the new, the devil is present, because he detaches us from unity. A certain fear of that which is new is human - yes, it is true - but this is not the case with spiritual people: I make all things new, says the Lord in the book of Revelation (Rev 21.5). Our God is a God of novelties. The novelties of God are always blessings, because they proceed from his loving heart. There is always a temptation to say: "We are fine as we are, things are going well, why change? Let us leave them as they are, we know how to do it. This thought does not come from the Spirit, at least not from the Holy Spirit, perhaps from the spirit of the world ... Do not fall into this error. I make all things new, says the Lord.

New and Unique. A service for all the charismatic realities that the Spirit has raised in the world. Not an organism that serves some reality and others an organization that serves other realities ... and a third ..., and so on. No: one, single and unique.

Service. Not government. Sometimes it happens that in human associations, both secular and religious, there is the temptation to always go looking for personal profits. And the ambition to be seen, to direct money ... Always like that. This is how corruption enters in. No: service, always service. Service does not mean pocket - the devil enters through the pockets -; service means giving: giving, giving of oneself.

Communion. All with one heart turned to the Father to give witness of unity in diversity. Diversity of charisms that the Spirit has aroused in the past 52 years. Stretch the strings of the tent, as Isaiah 54 says (cf Is 54:2), so that all the members of the same family may be present: a family where there is only one God the Father, one Lord Jesus Christ and one life-giving Spirit ...  a family in which one member is not more important than the other, neither by age, nor by intelligence, nor by his abilities, because they are all beloved children of the same Father. The example of the body that Saint Paul gives us is very eloquent in this sense (cf 1 Cor 12:12-26). The body needs, one member needs the other. All together.

I have seen that in the International Service of Communion there is a representative of young people. Is he present here? Congratulations! I welcome you! Young people are the future of the Church, it is true, but they are also the present: they are the present and the future of the Church. I am glad that you have given them the visibility and the responsibility that is their's, the responsibility to see the present with other eyes and to look at the future with all of you.

I also learned that CHARIS now owns the rights to publish the Malines Documents. The president gave me the Spanish version, thank you! They are good. Make them known! I have told you on several occasions that I am the accompanying document, the compass of the current of grace.

You asked me to tell you what the Pope and the Church expect from this new service, from CHARIS and from all the Charismatic Renewal. I jokingly say: what the Pope expects from spiritualists. (they laugh)  What the Pope expects from you:

  • May this movement share Baptism in the Holy Spirit with everyone in the Church. This is the grace that you have received. Share it! Don't keep it for yourself!
  • May it serve the unity of the body of Christ which is the Church, a community of believers in Jesus Christ. This is very important because the Holy Spirit is the One who creates unity in the Church, but it is also what makes diversity. The personality of the Holy Spirit is interesting: he creates the greatest diversity with the charisms, but then he makes these charisms, in harmony, find themselves in unity. Because, as Saint Basil says, the Holy Spirit is harmony, which gives harmony, in the Trinity, and also between us.
  • And to serve the poor, those most in need of every need, physical and spiritual. This does not mean that - as some may think - the Renewal has now become communist. No, it is meant to be evangelical, this is in the Gospel.

These three things: Baptism in the Holy Spirit, unity of the Body of Christ and service to the poor, are the necessary witnesses to the evangelization of the world, to which we are all called by our Baptism. Evangelization that is not proselytism but mainly witness. Testimony of love: see how they love one another, is what attracted the attention of those who met the first Christians. See how they love one another. Sometimes, in many communities, we can say: Look how badly they are behaving!, And this does not come from the Holy Spirit. See how they love one another. To evangelize is to love. Sharing God's love for every human being. Organizations can be made to evangelize, programs can be planned and studied with care, but if there is no love, if there is no community, it serves no purpose! See how they love one another. This is community: in the Second Letter of John there is a warning, a warning, in verse 9. It says: Be careful because those who go beyond the community are not of the good spirit. Perhaps someone will have this temptation: No, let's do an organization like this, in this way ...; let's create a building like that, or that other thing ...  Love first. With ideology, with only methodology, this is excess, going beyond communities, and John said: This is the spirit of the world, it is not the Spirit of God. See how they love one another.

Charismatic renewal, the Holy Spirit's current of grace, be witnesses of this love! And please pray for me.

Now, I would like to anticipate 25 minutes - then, if you want, do it yourself - but I would like to do it with you: 25 minutes ahead of the act that today in the whole Church is made, a minute of silence for peace. Why? Because today is the anniversary, the fifth anniversary of the meeting here at the Vatican of the Presidents of the State of Palestine and the State of Israel. We prayed together for peace, and all over the world today we will have a minute of silence at 13.00. Let's do it now, before the Blessing, all together, standing.

Thank you, and may a community of Renewal be silent, it's almost heroic!  (laughter)  Thank you!

Now, I will give you my blessing.

(Blessing)

Christ is risen!
Original text in Italian
Texto en espa├▒ol

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