Adoring, walking, and accompanying. These were the three words of advice given by Pope Francis to the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary today at the Vatican. The congregation is in Rome for their General Chapter, which is reflecting on the theme: “Witnesses and Messengers of the Joy of the Gospel.”
Although the Holy Father had an address prepared, he chose instead to speak to them directly in his native Spanish.
Recalling the members of the congregation he had met, the Pope said he wished to give them three words of advice based on his experience with the Claretians: to adore, to walk and to accompany.
The sense of adoration, the Pope noted first, has been lost in today’s world, including in prayer.
“In this stage, make an effort to grow in this way of prayer: adoration. Adore, adore God. There is a lack [of adoration] in the Church at this moment, due to the lack of education. That sense of adoration that we see in the first commandment of the Bible, to adore the only God. “Remember Israel: you have no other gods besides the One. To adore: ‘You shall only adore Him'”, he said.
Walking with God
Recalling how God “was so close to his people that He walked together with them”, Pope Francis called on the Claretians to do the same.
“To walk means to open frontiers, to go out, to open doors, to look for paths. To walk [means] to not be seated; to not be installed, in the bad sense of the word,” he said.
“It is true that things need to organized, that there are jobs that require one to be still, but to also walk, to look with one’s soul, heart and mind. ”
The Holy Father went on to say that the members of the congregation are called to walk as God walked, accompanying them on their path. Christ, he said, also accompanied his people, including taking upon Himself their sins.
Following with his last point, the Jesuit Pontiff exhorted them to accompany their people, following the example of Christ.
“I think it is so beautiful when Jesus made Himself the “fool” with those escaping Jerusalem to Emmaus: He went beside them and accompanied them, accompanying was an entire process, until that cold heart was warmed up. That heart was burning and then they realized [it was Christ].”
Concluding his address, Pope Francis said that to accompany people means also to accompany so many desires that the Lord sows in one’s heart and “to let them grow well.”
Following his brief address and imparting his final blessing, the Pope took a moment to joke around with them.
“Do you see how good I was, that I didn’t remind you that your founder was a Jesuit?” he said.
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On ZENIT’s website:
For the full text of the Pope’s address to the Claretians, go to: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-francis-address-to-the-missionary-sons-of-the-immaculate-heart-of-mary