THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON POPE FRANCIS
November 6, 2013
Pope Francis talks about the sacraments, the charisms and
charity. We often hear and do know about sacraments and charity.
But the Catholics today, unlike the early Christians, know
little about charisms. Pope Francis is talking about the spiritual
gifts of 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, plus other gifts in other
scriptural citations (1 Cor 12:28; Rom 12:6-8; Eph 4:11; 1
Pt 4:9-11). These are intended to build up the body in order
to do the work of evangelization. The charisms are essential
to the work of the New Evangelization.
Pope Francis is charismatic, not just that he is gifted with
the Spirit, but he understands and supports charismatic renewal.
He understands the spirituality of Pentecost. It is a spirituality
of holiness and of mission. This is our spirituality.
I am excited to see what further develops from the ministry
of Pope Francis. I am convinced that the spirituality of Pentecost
is what is needed, what needs to be restored, what was the
normal way of the early Church, what is the basic way if we
are to do rapid and massive evangelization, and bring renewal
and revival to our Catholic Church.
God prepared us over 32 years. God intends for us to do really
rapid and massive evangelization, now especially through LCSC.
Now God has sent His Church a pope who will lead us onward
to the New Evangelization. Let us prepare.
THE CHARISMS ARE A WAY OF GROWING IN FAITH
Vatican City, 6 November 2013 (VIS) – The communion
of holy persons who grow through participation in spiritual
goods, and above all the Sacraments, the charisms and charity,
was the theme of Pope Francis' catechesis during today's general
the Sacraments, each one of us is “incorporated in Christ
and united with the entire community of believers. Therefore,
if one the one hand there is the Church who 'makes' the Sacraments,
on the other there are the Sacraments which 'make' the Church,
edifying her, generating new sons, and joining them to the
holy people of God”. Furthermore, “the Sacraments
offer us the impetus to become missionaries, and the apostolic
commitment to taking the faith to all places, even the most
hostile, is the most authentic fruit of a steadfast sacramental
life, inasmuch as it constitutes participation in God's salvific
plan, which aims at bringing salvation to all”.
second aspect of communion in holy things is the communion
of charisms. “The Holy Spirit dispenses a multitude
of gifts and spiritual graces to the faithful … for
the edification of the Church”, explained the Pope.
“Therefore, they are not given for the benefit of the
recipient, but for use by the people of God. … The charisms
are particular graces, given to some for the good of many
others”, and “they are born in the conscience
and experience of certain persons, called to put their gifts
at the service of the community. In particular, these spiritual
gifts are of benefit to the sanctity of the Church and her
is the third aspect of this communion with spiritual goods.
“The charisms are important in the life of the Christian
community, but they are always means of growing in charity,
which St. Paul places above the charisms. Without love”,
Pope Francis emphasised, “even the most extraordinary
gifts are in vain, while the smallest of our gestures of love
brings good to all. … This brotherly solidarity is not
a rhetorical figure, a figure of speech, but rather an integral
part of communion between Christians. If we live this solidarity,
we are a sign to the world, a 'sacrament' of God's love”.
is not that easy charity that we offer between ourselves,
but instead something deeper: it is a communion that makes
us able to enter into the joy and the pain of others in order
to sincerely make them our own. And often we are too arid,
indifferent and detached, and instead of transmitting brotherliness,
we transmit ill-humour, coldness and selfishness. And with
ill-humour, coldness and selfishness, one cannot help the
Church to grow; the Church grows only with the love that comes
from the Holy Spirit”.
I would now like to ask of you an act of charity”, said
the Holy Father to the tens of thousands of faithful gathered
in St. Peter's Square, and added jokingly, “Don't worry!
It's not a collection! Before coming to the Square, I went
to see a seriously ill child aged just one and a half. Her
mother and father pray and implore the Lord to cure their
daughter. She is called Noemi and she smiled, poor girl. Let
us carry out an act of love; we do not know her but she is
a baptized child, she is one of us, a Christian. Let us ask
the Lord to help her in this moment and to give her health:
first in silence, and then let us pray the Hail Mary”.
Silence fell over the square for a moment, after which the
Pope said, “And now let us pray together to the Virgin
for the health of Noemi. … Thank you for this act of
charity”, he concluded, after more than fifty thousand
people recited the Hail Mary in unison.