Pope Francis says that priestly life requires three key ingredients: contemplation, service, and fraternity. Speaking to participants in the general chapter of the Schoenstatt Fathers, the Holy Father offered this three-pronged recommendation, stressing that these aptitudes can be of great help in priestly life.
In his remarks, the Pontiff encouraged the priests to keep alive their foundational charism and the ability to communicate it to the young, “so as to continue to inspire and support your lives and your mission.”
“You are aware that a charism is not a museum piece, that remains intact in a display cabinet, to be contemplated alone,” he said. “Fidelity, keeping the charism pure, does not in any way mean closing it in a sealed bottle, like distilled water, so that it is not contaminated by the outside world. … Fr. Kentenich expressed this very well when he said that it was necessary to keep an ear to God’s heart and a hand on the pulse of the time.”
At the end of the meeting, the Jesuit Pontiff asked if he could ‘humbly’ recommend three things.
In the first place, he told them to support and take care of families. Families, he said, “need to be supported, to live holily their covenant of love and life, especially those going through moments of crisis or difficulty.”
“In the second place, and thinking of the forthcoming Jubilee of Mercy,” the Pope said, dedicate much time to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. “Please, be great forgivers. It does me good to recall a friar of Buenos Aires who is a great forgiver. He is almost my age and sometimes he is gripped by scruples for having forgiven too much. And one day I asked him: ‘And what do you do when you are gripped by scruples?’ He replied, ‘I go to the chapel, I look at the Tabernacle, and I say: Lord, forgive me, today I forgave too much, but let it be clear that you gave me the bad example.’ May you be witnesses of mercy and the tenderness of God in your communities.”
“And, in the third place,” the Holy Father said, “I ask you to pray for me, because I need it. I entrust you affectionately to the care of our Thrice Admirable Mother, and may God bless you. Thank you.”
On Oct. 18, 1914, Fr. Jose Kentenich founded the Apostolic Schoenstatt Movement as a path of spiritual renewal within the Catholic Church. The name for the movement was drawn from the Marian shrine near Koblenz, Germany, where the image of Our Lady is housed. It also is where the head offices of the movement’s communities are located. Schoenstatt is now present in 42 countries. In the service of the Apostolic Movement, the Secular Institute of Schoenstatt Fathers was instituted by Fr. Jose Kentenich in July of 1965. It is celebrating its 50-year anniversary.
On ZENIT’s Web page:
Full Text: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-address-to-schoenstatt-fathers-general-chapter