On June 1, 2014, Pope Francis spoke at the 37th National Convocation of the Rinnovamento nello Spirito (Italian Renewal in the Spirit) in Rome. His words were addressed to the world-wide Catholic Charismatic Renewal. Below is an excerpt from his message that day. To read the full speech click on the following link.
This is your path: evangelization, spiritual ecumenism, caring for the poor and needy, and welcoming the marginalized. And all of it is based on worship! The foundation of the renewal is worshiping God!
They asked me to tell you what the Pope expects of you.
- The first thing is conversion to the love of Jesus which changes our lives and makes each Christian a witness to God’s love. The Church expects this witness of Christian life from us, and the Holy Spirit helps us to live the Gospel fully and consistently for our own growth in holiness.
- I expect you to share with everyone in the Church the grace of baptism in the Holy Spirit (a phrase we find in the Acts of the Apostles).
- I expect you to evangelize with the word of God, which proclaims that Jesus lives and that he loves all men and women.
- To give a witness of spiritual ecumenism to all our brothers and sisters of other Churches and Christian communities who believe in Jesus as Lord and Saviour.
- To remain united in the love that the Lord Jesus asks us to have for all people, and in prayer to the Holy Spirit for the attainment of this unity which is necessary for evangelization in the name of Jesus. Remember that “the charismatic renewal is de facto ecumenical in nature … The Catholic renewal rejoices in what the Holy Spirit is accomplishing in the other Churches” (1 Malines 5,3).
- Be close to the poor and to those in need, so as to touch in their flesh the wounded flesh of Jesus. Please, draw near to them!
- Seek unity in the renewal, because unity comes from the Holy Spirit and is born of the unity of the Trinity. Who is the source of division? The devil! Division comes from the devil. Flee from all infighting, please! Let there be none of this among you!
I wish to thank ICCRS and Catholic Fraternity, the two groups of pontifical right of the Pontifical Council for the Laity which are at the service of the worldwide renewal and are entrusted with preparing the world meeting of priests and Bishops in June of next year. I know that they have decided to work together and to share office space as a sign of unity and to make better use of their resources. This makes me very happy. I would also like to thank them because they are already working on preparations for the great jubilee of 2017.
Brothers and sisters, remember: Worship the Lord your God. This is fundamental! Worship God. Seek holiness in the new life of the Holy Spirit. Be dispensers of the grace of God. Avoid the danger of excessive organization.
Go out into the streets and evangelize. Proclaim the Gospel. Remember that the Church was born “on the move”, that Pentecost morning. Draw close to the poor and touch in their flesh the wounded flesh of Jesus. Let yourselves be guided by the Holy Spirit, in freedom; and please, don’t put the Holy Spirit in a cage! Be free!
Seek unity in the renewal, the unity which comes from the Trinity!
And I am waiting for all of you, charismatics the world over, to celebrate with the Pope your great jubilee on the feast of Pentecost 2017 in Saint Peter’s Square! Thank you!
~ Pope Francis, 1 June 2014