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'Be Men of Hope,' Pope Tells Augustinian Recollects

Says That Even If We Are Little and Unworthy, Our Security and Joy Is in God

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Be men of hope. Trust in God’s mercy.
The Pope gave this encouragement in his address to participants of the 55th General Chapter of the Order of Augustinian Recollects in the Clementine Hall of the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace Thursday morning.
With its origins in late 16th Century Spain, the Augustinian Recollect Order is now a global order, with some 1,500 religious in its chapters worldwide.
In the Pope’s address, he acknowledged that, as their motto taken from a prayer of St. Augustine, that all our hope is found in the Lord’s mercy, and in exhorting Him to tell us what He commands of us.
“This invocation leads us to be men of hope, namely, with horizons, capable of putting all our trust in God’s mercy, conscious that we are incapable of addressing, with our strength alone, the challenges that the Lord presents to us.”
Francis acknowledged that although “we are little and unworthy,” our “security and joy is in God.”
He Never Disappoints
“He never disappoints and He it is who leads us by mysterious paths with a Father’s love,” Francis said.
In this General Chapter, the Jesuit Pope noted, “you have wished to review and place before God the life of the Order, with its yearnings and challenges, so that it is He who gives you light and hope.
“To seek renewal and impetus,” he continued, “it is necessary to turn to God and to ask Him: “Give us what you command. “
Francis reminded them how Jesus commanded us to love one another.
Present in Our Lives
“It is what we implore Him to give us: His love so that we are capable of loving. God gives us this love in many ways; God is always giving us this love and He makes himself present in our life,” he said.
Francis urged them to think to their past and the many gifts they have received, and noted that reviewing the past’s real point is really “about discovering the Lord’s presence in each event, in every step of life.”
“The past helps us to return again to the charism, and to relish it in all its freshness and integrity. It also gives us the possibility to underscore the difficulties that have arisen and how they have been surmounted, to be able to address the present challenges, looking to the future. This path beside Jesus will become a prayer of thanksgiving and interior purification.”
The memory, grateful for His love in our past, Francis said, “spurs us to live the present with passion and in an ever more courageous way.”
“To let oneself be commanded by God means that He is the Master of our life and there is no other,” Pope Francis said. “And we know well that, if God does not have the place that corresponds to Him, others will do so for Him. And when the Lord is at the center of our life everything is possible; failure or any other evil does not count, because it is He who is at the center, and it is He who directs us.”
God, the Pontiff explained, asks us at this moment in a special way to be His “creators of communion.”
“We are called to create, with our presence in the midst of the world, a society capable of recognizing the dignity of every person and of sharing the gift that each one is to the other.”
“So many people are waiting for us to go out to encounter them and to look at them with that tenderness that we have experienced and received from our relation with God. This is the power we bear; not the one of our own ideals and projects, but the strength of His mercy, which transforms and gives life.”
Pope Francis concluded, inviting them to maintain “Saint Augustine’s dream with a renewed spirit,” namely “to live as brothers, “with one heart and one soul” (Rule 1,2), which reflects the ideal of the first Christians and is a living prophecy of communion in this world of ours, so that there is no division, no conflicts or exclusion, but concord reigns and dialogue is promoted.”
Francis prayed for Mary to protect them and their order, imparted his blessing, and reminded them to pray for him.
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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': or

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