VATICAN CITY, OCT. 3, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The great danger now facing religious is their being conformed to the prevailing lifestyles of modern society, John Paul II says.
The Pope explained this warning today when he received the participants in the general chapter of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, the Redemptorists, who were accompanied by their superior general, Father Joseph Tobin.
“If the temptation of conforming to lifestyles, which are culturally dominant today, were to contaminate your communities, your religious spirit and evangelizing impetus would run the risk of being weakened,” the Pope said in his address to the religious.
The Redemptorists were founded by St. Alphonsus Liguori in 1732 to proclaim the Gospel, especially through popular missions.
To live this missionary vocation, the religious should cultivate, above all, “an intense personal and community prayer life,” the Pope said.
In “these times, for various reasons, many people are far from Christ and the Church, and many are still waiting to hear the Gospel for the first time,” he added.
With their evangelizing work, the Redemptorists “will revive and confirm the hope of the Gospel in the hearts of so many people, especially those in most need, because they have been stained by sin and its evil consequences,” the Holy Father said.
The Redemptorists number 5,701 religious and novices, among whom are 4,185 priests. The general chapter opened Sept. 15 in Rome with the theme “To Give One’s Life for Abundant Redemption.”