Nuns Are the Presence of God´s Tenderness, Pope Says

Message to International Union of Superiors General

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 14, 2001 (Zenit.org).- The life of nuns must be God´s caress for all people of our time, John Paul II said in a message to the International Union of Superiors General of religious congregations.

Unable to meet the participants of the group´s assembly last week because of his trip to Greece, Syria and Malta, the Holy Father met this morning with members of the UISG executive council and gave them a message for all the nuns they represent.

“In this world lacerated by so many contradictions, in your identity as ´women,´ you propose to be the living presence of the tenderness and mercy of God,” the Pope said in his message, in which he addressed the topics discussed at the recent assembly.

The Holy Father said that “only in virtue of the charity of Christ can religious communities respond effectively to the challenges of the modern world and become a living proclamation of communion for a new humanity, which will arise from the mercy and tenderness of God.”

This charity must be lived with the people “whom we approach, expressing it concretely in life,” the message adds. “In order to recognize itself again, religious life must rediscover contact with people so that the latter will know it for what it is: a gift of God given to men in the mystery of communion, which vivifies the Church.”

He added: “Sometimes it might seem that love, justice and fidelity are no longer present in today´s world. Do not be afraid; the Lord is with you, he goes before you and follows you with the fidelity of his love. Witness with your life what you believe!”

The UISG assembly concluded by confirming Sister Rita Burley in the presidency, virtually by unanimity, for another term. She is an English religious of the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

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