Pope: 'We should daily bear witness to God's tenderness and love'
By Deborah Castellano Lubov
We should bear witness to God's tenderness and love through daily gestures of love.
Pope Francis offered this encouragement when addressing the Secular Institutes World Conference (CMIS) on Thursday in the Vatican.
CMIS was founded in 1972 and received approval from the Holy See in 1974. According to the conference's website, its goal "is to organize collaboration among Secular Institutes so they can become, in the most effective way possible, a 'leaven in the world for the strengthening and growth of the body of Christ,' that is, the Church (Perfectae Caritatis, 11)."
An 'outgoing' Church, not separated from the world
In his address, the Pope recalled CMIS' 'secular' nature, and how the Church and the people of God are on a journey "among" and "with" peoples.
He praised their mission which places them in the midst of the people, and enables - with "God's style" of "closeness" - to "know and understand what is going on in the hearts of the men and women of today, to rejoice together and to suffer together."
Witnessing God's goodness and tenderness
"You are called to experience all the precariousness of the provisional and all the beauty of the absolute in ordinary life, on the streets where people walk, where fatigue and pain are greatest, where rights are disregarded, where war divides peoples, where dignity is denied," he said.
Pope Francis recalled that this is where, as Jesus showed us, that God continues to give us His gift of salvation.
Strength in Christ
For strength and courage, the Pope said, pray and silently contemplate Christ.
"The assiduous search for God, familiarity with Sacred Scripture and participation in the sacraments," he continued, "are the key to the fruitfulness of your work."
Do not tire
The Holy Father praised their vocation of opening up "frontier paths" and warned against losing momentum.
Only together, the Pope stated, can we walk as the people of God, "as seekers of meaning with all the men and women of this time, custodians of the joy of a mercy made flesh in our lives."
The Pope encouraged everyone to reach people with their lives and their witness, and not in the abstract.
Pope Francis concluded by entrusting their work to the Blessed Mother, giving his blessing, and asking them to pray for him.
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