Father Stefan reflects on Pope Francis ‘Joy of the Gospel’ Pastoral Activity and Conversion

Pope Francis writes, “Paul VI invited us to deepen the call to renewal and to make it clear that renewal does not only involve individuals but the entire Church…Every renewal of the Church essentially consists in an increase of fidelity to her own calling…Christ summons the Church as as goes her pilgrim way..I dream of a ‘missionary option’ that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s custom, ways of doing things, times and schedule, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world rather than her self-preservation.”

Cantalamessa writes, “History is also full of charismatic ‘awakenings’ that is, of periods when the manifestations of the gifts and works of the spirit was particularly intense: the age of the martyrs, the burgeoning of monasticism, the first evangelization of Europe, the mission to the Slavic people noted of the abundance of the charisms in evidence, the Franciscan movement and the incredible growth of religious orders, each of which is rightly committed to live out the ‘charism’ of its founder…If that is so, what is new? What allows us to speak of a reawakening of the charisms in our own time? What was previously missing? The charisms has been progressively removed their proper sphere which is the community, the common good and the organization of the Church, and confined more and more to the sphere of the purely private and personal. They were no longer allowed an impact on the basic functioning of the Church. for the Church considered itself, ‘more than sufficiently assured of the continuity by the existence of a sacred hierarchy.” 

The Church rest on the Holy Spirit. The Church is meant to be a window to the Holy Spirit. When John XXIII had the inspiration for Second Vatican Council he opened a window and invited the Holy Spirit to renew the Church. It is easy for those who lead the Church to think they are in charge. It is easy to think that the Church operates like any other business. The Church is essentially different than any other human institution. The Church is the fruit of a charism, the charism of truth. 

Hans Urs von Balthsar writes, “The Marian dimension of the church precedes the Petrine.”  Before there was Peter there was Mary. Before the Church was an institution, the Church was charismatic. Blessed John Paul II said it this way on Pentecost of 1988, “The institutional and charismatic aspects are co-essential as it were to the Church’s constitution. They contribute although differently to the life, renewal and sanctification of God’s people. It is from this providential rediscovery of the Church’s charismatic dimension.” 

The Charismatic dimension is essential to the Church. The Church does not exists by its own lights and programs of men. The Church exists entirely by the Holy Spirit. That is why right after we say in the creed, “I believe in the Holy Spirit” the next line is “I believe in the Holy Catholic Church.” The Church is the first fruit of believing in the Holy Spirit. 

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One thought on “Father Stefan reflects on Pope Francis ‘Joy of the Gospel’ Pastoral Activity and Conversion”

  1. I am sooooooo appreciating your inspiring blogs! 🙂 waaaaaaay easier to read blog nuggets than attempt to read the pope’s 10, 000 pg apostolic exhortation! Thank you, Stefano! 🙂

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