Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Evangelical Counsels

To the participants in the plenary assembly of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG) Pope Francis spoke on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 about the Evangelical Counsels.

He insisted that each of the communities must learn to engage in this “exodus” primarily through the evangelical counsels which are the foundation of their existence. Usually the evangelical counsels are listed with obedience last. On this occasion, the Pope put obedience first:
“Obedience as listening to the will of God in the interior motion of the Holy Spirit, authenticated by the Church, accepting that obedience passes also through human mediations. Remember that the authority-obedience relation is placed in the wider context of the mystery of the Church and constitutes a particular accomplishment of her mediating function.”

“Poverty as an indication to the whole Church that we are not the ones who build the Kingdom of God; it is not human means that make it grow, but primarily the power, the grace of the Lord, who works through our weakness…. Poverty that teaches…to be on guard against material idols that obfuscate the authentic meaning of life…. Theoretical poverty is of no use to us.”

“And then chastity as a precious charism, which widens the freedom of the gift to God and to others, with the tenderness, the mercy, the closeness of Christ…. But, please, a ‘fecund’ chastity, a chastity that generates spiritual children in the Church. The consecrated woman is mother, she must be a mother and not a ‘spinster’!... Be mothers, as the figure of Mother Mary and of the Mother Church. Mary cannot be understood without her maternity; the Church cannot be understood without her maternity; and you are icons of Mary and the Church.”