THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON POPE FRANCIS
BEING A SERVANT TO THE CHURCH
In 2007, at the restoration, we adopted as one of our Core
Values, that of “Being a Servant to the Church.”
Since that time, we have grown in understanding what this
core value truly means. We have entered ever more deeply in
being a true servant to the Church. Pope Francis affirms our
Prior to 2007, CFC was parallel to the Church, like rail tracks
going in the same direction but not intersecting. We had not
really made ourselves “belong to the Church.”
We had our own life and mission apart from the Church. We
were “with Christ at the edge of the Church.”
Now we in CFC-FFL have integrated our life and mission into
the life and mission of the Church. This is especially so
Being a servant to the Church for us also means fidelity and
obedience. Pope Francis says that “to listen to Christ
but not to the Church .... is an absurd dichotomy.”
There indeed are those who do not obey the bishops, while
still claiming to follow Christ. In fact, they claim they
are listening to Christ, but in effect are saying that Christ
tells them something other than what the bishops tell them.
As a servant, we in CFC-FFL humbly place ourselves at the
service of our Church. In not being self-referential, in not
pursuing any personal agenda, in emptying ourselves, we hope
to “hear the Church” and not just what we like.
When we hear, we obey.
We recognize the gift and privilege given us by God. We rejoice
in being used to proclaim the gospel widely and massively,
especially to lapsed Catholics. It is, as Pope Francis says,
“a gift and we should transmit it as a gift, but not
as something of our own: it is a received gift that we give.”
Everything is in place. Onward to the New Evangelization!
Pope Francis: A Christian Without the
Church is 'An Absurd Dichotomy'
on the Sense of Ecclesial Belonging During Homily
CITY, January 30, 2014 (Zenit.org) - A Christian without the
Church is not understood, Pope Francis said during his homily
at Casa Santa Marta this morning.
a reflection on the importance of belonging to the Church,
the Holy Father drew on the image of David in the first reading
of the day, focussing on his relationship with God, which
he compared to a father and a son. This relationship calls
on us to reflect on our relationship with God and the Church.
Christian is not a baptized person that receives Baptism and
then goes along his own way,” he said.
first fruit of Baptism is to
make yourself belong to the Church, to the
people of God. A Christian without a Church is not understood.
And for this reason, the great Paul VI said that it is an
absurd dichotomy to love Christ
without the Church; to listen to Christ but not the Church;
to be with Christ at the edge of the Church. It can’t
be done. It is an absurd dichotomy.”
on this sense of ecclesial belonging, the Pope highlighted
three pillars, the first being humility. This humility is
exemplified in the person of David.
person who is not humble, cannot hear the Church, they will
hear what she likes, what he likes,"
the Pope continued. "And this humility is seen in David:
‘Who am I, Lord GOD, and who are the members of my house?’
- that realization that the history of salvation has not begun
with me and will not finish when I die. No, it is all a history
of salvation: I am coming, the Lord takes you, He makes you
go forward and then calls you and the history continues. The
history of the Church first began with us and will continue
after us. Humility: we are a small part of a great people,
that is going on the path of the Lord.”
second pillar the Pope highlighted was faithfulness,
which he noted is “connected
with obedience.” “Faithfulness
to the Church: faithfulness to its teachings; faithfulness
to the Creed; faithfulness to the doctrine, to guard this
doctrine. Humility and faithfulness,” he said.
Paul VI reminded us that we
receive the message of the Gospel as a gift and we should
transmit it as a gift, but not as something of our own: it
is a received gift that we give. And in this
transmission to be faithful. Because we have received and
we should give a Gospel that is not ours, it is of Jesus,
and we should - as He says - become masters of the Gospels,
masters of the doctrine received, to use it to our liking.”
his homily, Pope Francis told the faithful that the third
pillar, prayer for the Church is an important service that
unites us to the universal Church.
the Lord help us to go on this path to deepen our belonging
to the Church,” he said.