A nun stirs a pot at a soup kitchen in Lima, Peru A nun stirs a pot at a soup kitchen in Lima, Peru 

Pope to CHARIS: May we bring an end to the pandemic of poverty

Pope Francis sends a video message to CHARIS (Catholic Charismatic Renewal International Service) on the eve of Pentecost, and warns that life after the pandemic will not be the same so we must take advantage of this opportunity to improve the lives of the most vulnerable.

By Vatican News

In his video message to CHARIS, Pope Francis noted that the Holy Spirit, promised to us by Jesus, “comes to renew, to convert, to heal each one of us”.

CHARIS was created by the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life in 2018 to foster unity and communication between the different Catholic charismatic realities.

No one saves themselves

The Holy Spirit “comes to heal our wounds”, continued the Pope, including the wounds we inflict on each other. “He comes to transform us" into courageous "missionary disciples" in order to preach the Gospel of Jesus, he said.

Today we need the Holy Spirit “more than ever”, continued the Pope. We live in a suffering world, he explained, one that is “severely wounded”. This suffering is felt especially by the poorest of our society. “Now that all our human security has vanished”, the world needs Jesus, made present through our witness, said the Pope.

The Pope continued by saying that in order to bear witness we “need the power of the Holy Spirit” to open minds and hearts to the lessons we have learned through this pandemic. That lesson, he said, is that we are one people, and alone we cannot save ourselves.

A more Christian, equitable society

Pope Francis warned, however, that when we come out of this pandemic we will not be able to pick things up where we left them, as we left them, because “everything will be different”.

“All this suffering will be of no use if we don't build a more just, fair, more Christian society, together” said the Pope.

If we do not work to put an end to the pandemic of poverty in the world, in each of our countries, in each of our cities, “this time will have been in vain”, he said.

None of us can emerge from the great trials facing humanity – one of which is the current pandemic – the same as we were before. “We come out of them either better or worse”, said the Pope. He then asked: “Do you want to come out of it better or worse?”.

Pope Francis said it is for this reason that we open ourselves to the Holy Spirit today – “so that He may change our hearts and help us to come out of this better”.

Helped by the Holy Spirit

Being better means experiencing what Jesus meant when He says: "I was hungry and you gave me to eat”. This task is entrusted to everyone, even CHARIS, which represents all the charismatics who are invited to be faithful to the call of the Holy Spirit, said the Pope.

Pope Francis concluded by recalling the prophetic words Pope St. John XXIII used to announce the Second Vatican Council, which the Charismatic Renewal treasures: “Renew your wonders in our time as though through a new Pentecost".

Finally, the Pope reiterated his wish to receive the power of the Holy Spirit on the vigil of Pentecost. “May we emerge from this moment of pain, sadness and trial that is the pandemic; to come out better than before.”

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30 May 2020, 22:30