Holy Spirit Is Always Young, Says Pope

Notes How Saints Renew Church in Every Age

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 13, 2010 (Zenit.org).- In every generation saints are born and bring renewal to the Church, despite the sorrows and «negative aspects of her journey,» says Benedict XVI. 

The Pope affirmed this today when he reflected at the general audience on the mendicant orders founded in the Middle Ages by Sts. Francis and Dominic.

The Holy Father noted that the Franciscans and Dominicans met three «significant needs of the Church of that time.»

The Order of Friars Minor and the Order of Preachers «adopted a lifestyle of evangelical poverty,» he observed. But unlike other currents of the time, this lifestyle was «grounded in communion with the visible Church and a sound Christian understanding of the goodness of creation.»

Secondly, the Holy Father continued, the new orders — established in urban areas rather than in the countryside — were able to effectively minister to laypeople, «many of whom became members of their ‘Third Orders.'»

And, leaving aside the classic element of monastic stability, Franciscans and Dominicans «contributed to the overall renewal of Church life and the spiritual transformation of society,» he said.

Evangelizing culture

The members of these orders became the spiritual leaders of Medieval cities, Benedict XVI affirmed, renewing and evangelizing culture, particularly through their presence in universities.

They affirmed «the harmony of faith and reason, and creating the great synthesis of scholastic theology,» he said.

The Pope asserted that the testimony of these founders and those who joined them has many lessons for today. 

He exhorted that «their example of holiness and evangelical lifestyle inspire our own witness to the Gospel and our efforts to draw the world to Christ and his Church.»

«Dear brothers and sisters,» the Pontiff concluded, «let us indeed invoke at the beginning of this year the Holy Spirit, eternal youth of the Church: May he make each one of us feel the urgency of giving a consistent and courageous witness of the Gospel, so that saints will never be lacking, who make the Church shine as a Bride always pure and beautiful, without stain and without wrinkle, able to attract the world irresistibly to Christ, to his salvation.»

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Full text: www.zenit.org/article-28044?l=english

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