Pope Francis with Claretians - General Chapter of Claretian .11 September 2015


Pope Francis’ Address to the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

“Jesus wasn’t afraid of sinners, he sought them.”

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Here is a translation of the Holy Father’s off-the-cuff address to participants of the General Chapter of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Claretians) today at the Vatican.

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Good morning and thank you very much. I prepared an address in Spanish, which Monsignor Ganswein is going to give you later. However, I prefer to say what comes to mind. As it is in Spanish … I had a bad thought when the General spoke, he said, when he read Evangelii gaudium, “I had great joy.” And I thought of the bookstore in Buenos Aires that … [laughs] that published all my books.

Claretians are found everywhere. I must acknowledge that in the field of Theology — the former General, theologian of religious life, Canon Law — really you are among the best canonists here in Rome –, silent, holy work, a man who spent all his life in the Congregation of Religious and in the archiveS, and he gave us an example there of life and of missionizing.

It occurred to me to say three words to you thinking of those that I know. Moreover, God blessed me in my having friendship with some of you. I would say three words that might be useful to you: to adore, to walk and to support.

To adore. We, in the world of efficiency, have lost the meaning of Adoration, including in prayer. It’s true, we pray, we praise the Lord, we ask, we thank … However, Adoration, that being before the one God, of that which alone has no price, which is not negotiated, which is not changed … And everything that is outside of Him is a cardboard imitation, is an idol. To adore. In this stage, make an effort to grow in this way of prayer. Adoration. Adore, adore God. It is a lack in the Church at this moment, because of lack of pedagogy — that sense of adoration that we see in the Bible’s First Commandment, to adore the one God. “Remember, Israel, have no other God other beside the One. To adore, “Him alone will you adore.”

That “wasting time” without asking, without thanking, also without speaking, only adoring with the soul prostrated. I don’t know why I feel like saying this to you but I feel I must say it to you; it comes from within me.

To walk. God cannot adore Himself, but God willed to walk, He did not want to stay still. He walked from the first moment with His people. That lovely story of Moses, do you remember? “Think, what people had a God so close that walked next to it?” To walk. And to open is to open frontiers, to go out, to open doors, to seek ways. To walk, not to stay seated, not to be installed in the bad sense of the word. It’s true that things must be organized, that there are works that call for one to stay still, but with the soul, the heart, the head, to walk, to seek. To go to the frontiers, to the frontiers of all sorts, including those of thought. Your intellectuals must go to the frontiers, to open ways. To seek, that is, not to stay still. Because the one who is still, who does not move is corrupted. Instead, the water of the river that runs is not corrupted. To walk as God walked, who made himself a companion of the way. And the Bible can help us see how the Lord accompanied his People, including taking their sins upon himself and forgiving and worse. To accompany, that is, to walk, to walk with that desire to arrive one day at contemplating Him and not as, unfortunately, usually happens — it happens everywhere, but – people who rather come to ensure their life, or go to an institute or stay still, not lacking anything, no … Walk, walk.

The third, to accompany, that is, not to walk alone, because it’s somewhat boring, but to accompany the people, because God walked accompanying.  And I so like what Jesus did, when he made himself the “fool” with those who were running away from Jerusalem to Emmaus: he went beside them and accompanied them; he accompanied a whole process, until those cold hearts were warmed again and their heart sburned, and they realized. To accompany the moments of joy, to accompany the happiness of married couples, of families. To accompany the harsh moments, the moments of cross, the moments of sin. Jesus wasn’t afraid of sinners, he sought them. You will be criticized: “This one is too advanced, this one is imprudent …”To accompany. To accompany the people; to accompany the many desires that the Lord sows in the heart, to let them grow well.

So, I thought of saying this to you. To adore, to walk and to accompany. Then, if it’s useful to you, forward! I leave it in your hands. And as Mary is the Mother who looks after you, I invite you to pray together a Hail Mary.

May God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit bless you.

Did you see how good I was: I didn’t make you remember that your Founder was a Jesuit?

[Original: Spanish}
[Translation by ZENIT]

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