Reflection by Pope Francis on the Consecrated life, It is the Year of ‘Consecrated life’ Soul Institute

Pope Francis spoke these words speaking to the Francisian Minors, “These exhortations are of great topical interest; they are prophecies of fraternity and of minority also for our world of today. How important it is to live a Christian and religious existence without getting lost in disputes and gossip, cultivating a serene dialogue with all, with meekness, mildness and humility, with poor means, proclaiming peace and living soberly, content with what is offered to us! This also requires a determined commitment to transparency, to the ethical and solidaristic use of goods, to a style of sobriety and spoliation. If, instead, you are attached to the goods and riches of the world, and place your security there, it will be the Lord Himself who will strip you of this spirit of worldliness in order to preserve the precious patrimony of minority and poverty to which He has called you through Saint Francis. Either you are freely poor and minor, or you will end up being stripped.

The Holy Spirit is the animator of religious life. The more room we give Him, the more He is the animator of our relations and of our mission in the Church and in the world. When consecrated persons live allowing themselves to be illumined and guided by the Spirit, they discover in this supernatural vision the secret of their fraternity, the inspiration of their service to brothers, and the strength of their prophetic presence in the Church and in the world. The light and strength of the Spirit will also help you to address the challenges that are before you, in particular the numeric drop, ageing and the diminution of new vocations. This is a challenge. Then I say to you: the People of God loves you. Cardinal Quarracino once said to me more or less these words: “There are groups or persons in our cities that are somewhat priest-eaters, and when a priests walks by they say certain things: “Crow” – they say this to them in Argentina –; they insult him, not loudly, but they say something. Never, never, never — Quarracino said to me — do they say these things to a Franciscan habit.” And why? You inherited an authoritativeness in the People of God with your minority, fraternity, meekness, humility, and poverty. Please, preserve it! Don’t lose it! The people love you; they love you.”

St Francis said, “Behold, each day He humbles Himself as when He came from the royal throne into the Virgin’s womb: each day He Himself comes to us, appearing humbly; each day He comes down from the bosom of the Father upon the altar in the hands of a priest.”

“O sublime humility! O humble sublimity! The Lord of the universe, God and Son of God, so humbles Himself that for our salvation He hides Himself under and ordinary piece of bread. Brothers, look at the humility of God and pour out your hearts before Him.”

The same Holy Spirit that created the world is the same Holy Spirit that over shadowed Mary in the Incarnation of the the Son of God. It is the same Holy Spirit that changes bread and wind into the Body and Blood of Jesus. It is the same Holy Spirit that comes upon us and makes us the Body of Christ. It is the same Holy Spirit that animates our hearts. The Holy Spirit makes our hearts like the Heart of Jesus. The Holy Spirit fills our hearts so that we can fruitfully live the vocation that is ours.

Again to quote Pope Francis, ” The Holy Spirit is the animator of religious life. The more room we give Him, the more He is the animator of our relations and of our mission in the Church and in the world. When consecrated persons live allowing themselves to be illumined and guided by the Spirit, they discover in this supernatural vision the secret of their fraternity, the inspiration of their service to brothers, and the strength of their prophetic presence in the Church and in the world. The light and strength of the Spirit will also help you to address the challenges that are before you, in particular the numeric drop, ageing and the diminution of new vocations. ”

Prayer for the day

Come Holy Spirit fill my heart so that I will faithfully and fruitfully live the life you have called me to.
Help me to give room to the Holy Spirit in my heart. Help me to be humble and little in my own eyes so that You Jesus may shine more brightly for others.

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