ROME – Pope Francis gave religious men and women his recipe for keeping their vocation as fresh as it was the first day they received it.
It happened during a meeting with the Vatican head in charge of religious life Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz on 30 Jan 2017. They met in Rome to talk about the faithfulness and perseverance not only of consecrated people, but also of those who have left.
The Pope acknowledged his concern for the perseverance of those who give their lives to God and detailed in an important speech the factors that help make it grow.
“There are many factors that condition faithfulness in this change of era, and not only an era of changes, in which it is difficult to make serious and definitive commitments,” he said.
The pope mentioned several factors that make it difficult to be faithful for those who choose to give their lives to God.
The first, he said, is the social context. In particular, “the culture of the provisional” that leads many to always look for “side doors” that open to other possibilities in life, but leave existence empty of meaning.
Another problem, he continued, is when the person judges everything “according to a self-realisation that often has nothing to do with the values of the Gospel.”
The Pope lamented how the generous wishes of young people are sometimes drowned by “the quest for success at any price, easy money and easy pleasure.”
The last challenge, he said, are the religious men and women who are “anti-examples” and make their own faithfulness and that of others to consecrated life more difficult.
The Pope said that they are the ones who are led by routine, tiredness, the weight of structural management, internal divisions, the search for power, authority as authoritarianism, and authority that permits everything.
However, the pope also offered solutions to those who are going through natural crises. In addition to deepening one’s personal relationship with God, he proposed taking care of brotherhood within the Order.
The Pope’s recipe includes common prayer, meditation on the Bible, participation in the Mass, Confession, dialogue and sincere communication, fraternal correction, mercy with the brother or sister who sins, and shared responsibilities. – romereports