Monday, March 3, 2014

Pope Francis to Spanish Bishops: Be in permanent Mission



Pope Francis on Monday met with the Spanish bishops who were in Rome this week on the ad limina visit. He spoke to them about the current situation of the Church in Spain and the western world.

“At this time when you are suffering the difficult experience of the indifference of many of the baptized and you must cope with a worldly culture, which squeezes God into the private life, and excludes him from the public sphere, one must not forget your history,” Pope Francis said. “From it, we learn that the grace of God is never extinguished, and the Holy Spirit continues to work in the present reality with generosity.”

The Holy Father told the bishops to trust the Holy Spirit to plant seeds in the hearts of those whom he has entrusted to their pastoral care.

“Therefore, dear brothers, spare no efforts in opening new paths to the gospels, that reach the hearts of all people, so that they discover what is already nestled within: Christ as a friend and brother,” said the Pope.

He asked them to put their Churches in a state of “permanent mission” to help strengthen the faith, especially of children, and to bring back into the fold those who have left.

“Faith is not a mere cultural heritage, but a present, a gift that comes from a personal encounter with Jesus, and the free and joyful acceptance of the new life it offers,” said the Pope.

The Pope also called “an evangelized family…a valuable agent of evangelization”, and encouraged the Spanish bishops ongoing efforts to develop priestly vocations.

In conclusion, Pope Francis stressed that love and service to the poor are a sign of the Kingdom of God, and the Church is a mother who “can never forget her most deprived children.”

(Vatican Radio)

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