By Linda Bordoni
Pope Francis on Sunday, the last day of his apostolic journey that has taken him to Chile and to Peru, told nuns from different orders of contemplative life in Peru that cloistered life can play “a fundamental role in the life of the Church”.
To the some 500 cloistered Sisters gathered in Lima’s Shrine of the Lord of Miracles, the Pope said cloistered life can attain a universal and missionary outreach.
Universal outreach of contemplative life
“You pray and intercede for our many brothers and sisters who are prisoners, migrants, refugees and victims of persecution. Your prayers of intercession embrace the many families experiencing difficulties, the unemployed, the poor, the sick, and those struggling with addiction, to mention just a few of the more urgent situations”.
He told them they are “like those who brought the paralytic to the Lord for healing” and that through their prayer, night and day, they bring before God the lives of so many of our brothers and sisters who for various reasons cannot come to him to experience his healing mercy, even as he patiently waits for them.
Prayer heals the wounds of many
“By your prayers, you can heal the wounds of many” he said.
For this very reason, the Pope said, “we can state that cloistered life neither closes nor shrinks our hearts” and he urged them to continue to be intercessors for those in need but also to help them also by concrete service.
Unity in the Church
Pope Francis also invited the Sisters to pray for unity in the Church and to strive to grow in the fraternal life “so that every monastery can be a beacon of light in the midst of disunity and division”.
“Dear Sisters, he concluded, the Church needs you. Be beacons through your lives of fidelity” and pray for “the Church, for priests and bishops, for consecrated men and women, for families, for those who suffer, for those who harm others, for those who exploit their brothers and sisters. And do not forget, please, to pray for me”.