Lateran Canons Regular.Photo: Vatican Media

Four Stars that Make Religious’ Apostolate Luminous According to the Pope

From the speech to the Lateran Canons Regular.

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Valentina di Giorgio

(ZENIT News / Vatican City, 06.19.2023).- On Wednesday morning, June 19, the Holy Father received in audience the Canons Regular of the Lateran. After reviewing their history, the Pope recalled that their tradition is inspired in the primitive Christian community, and he pointed out  to them “ four charismatic constants of their history,” which he called the “four stars” that make their apostolate luminous and relevant.

  1. “Prayer, because  it’s the soul’s oxygen. If you don’t pray, you’ll be your own god. All egoism stems from lack of prayer. I ask you, please, make an examination of conscience each one say how many hours a day you pray — each one.
  2. “Community,”  what I’ve mentioned: be brothers, and I give you advice: never gossip about each other, never! Gossip is a plague. I’ll tell you that I am giving you a writing on criticism, written by the Secretary of the Propaganda Fide Congregation. Read it thoroughly. Criticism is a plague, it destroys communities — no criticism.

  3. And then, ‘The common use of goods,: always a wise thing . . .  The devil enters through pockets! Think about what Jesus said: ‘You cannot serve two masters, either you serve God  — and here I would expect Him to say; or you serve the devil –, instead, He doesn’t say the devil but money,’ as if it’s worse than the devil. This is curious. The devil always enters, always, through pockets.
  4. And the fourth: ‘the spirit of service to the Church’ — not to live for oneself but to serve. [These] are the four stars. 

In answering the question about how to renew religious life, Pope Francis said: ”let yourselves by guided by your four stars.”

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