SPEECH OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
TO THE PARTICIPANTS IN THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE LEADERS OF
CHARISMATIC CATHOLIC RENEWAL
(CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC RENEWAL INTERNATIONAL SERVICE - CHARIS)
Paul VI Hall
Saturday, 8 June 2019
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
I like how some people greet each other at this Easter time. They do not say: "Good morning" or "Good evening", they say: "Jesus is risen". We greet each other like this: "Jesus ..." [everyone answers: "He is risen"].
Yes, Jesus is alive! Thank you because you remember that I like this initial song that you sang.
On this solemnity of Pentecost a new stage begins in the journey begun by the Charismatic Renewal 52 years ago. Charismatic Renewal which developed in the Church by the will of God and which, to paraphrase Saint Paul VI, "is an opportunity for the Church" (cf. Address to the participants in the III International Congress of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, 19 May 1975, Pentecost).
Today, on behalf of the Church, I thank ICCRS and the Catholic Fraternity for the mission accomplished in these thirty years. You have paved the way and made it possible, with your loyalty, that CHARIS is a reality today. Thank you!
Thanks also to the team of four that I have charged with the implementation of this new unique service; and to the Department for the Laity, the Family and Life, in the person of Cardinal Farrell, who accompanied you.
Today something ends and another begins: a new stage begins on this journey. A stage marked by the communion among all the members of the charismatic family, in which the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit is manifested for the good of the whole Church; in which this Presence makes everyone equal, because all and each are born of the same Spirit; large and small, rich in years and newborn, engaged on a universal or rather local level, they form the whole, which is always superior to the part.
New and unique communion service
Let's go towards unity: this is the path of the Spirit.
New. As I told you at the Circus Maximus, the new can destabilize. At the beginning there is a feeling of insecurity about the changes that the new can bring: sometimes one prefers to remain in one's own, and detaches from the unity. And this is a temptation of the devil: every time someone hears: "No, mine is more than that", and "I prefer the old to the new", there is the devil, because he detaches me from unity. A certain fear of the new is human - yes, it is true - but it is not the case of spiritual people: "I make all things new", says the Lord in the book of Revelation (21.5). Our God is the God of novelties. The novelties of God are always of blessing, because they proceed from his loving heart. The temptation to say is always present: "We are fine as we are, things are going well, why change? Let us leave them as they are, that we know how to do it ". This thought does not come from the Spirit, at least not from the Holy Spirit, perhaps from the spirit of the world ... Do not fall into this error. "I make all things new," says the Lord.
New and Unique. A service for all the charismatic realities that the Spirit has raised in the world. Not an organism that serves some reality and another organism that serves other realities and a third ..., and so on. No: single.
Service. Not government. Sometimes it happens that in human associations, both secular and religious, there is the temptation to always go looking for personal profits. And the ambition to be seen, to direct money ... Always like that. Thus corruption enters. No: service, always service. Service does not mean "pocket" - the devil enters from the pockets -; service means giving: giving, giving oneself.
Communion. All with one heart turned to the Father to give witness of unity in diversity. Diversity of charisms that the Spirit has aroused in these 52 years. "Stretch the strings of the tent", as Isaiah 54 says (see verse 2), so that all the members of the same family may be there. A family where there is only one God the Father, one Lord Jesus Christ and one life-giving Spirit. A family in which one member is not more important than the other, neither by age, nor by intelligence, nor by his abilities, because they are all loved children of the same Father. The example of the body that St. Paul gives us is very eloquent in this sense (see 1 Cor 12: 12-26). The body needs, one member needs the other. All together.
I have seen that in the International Service of Communion there is a representative of the young people. Is he present here? Congratulations! I welcome it! Young people are the future of the Church, it is true, but they are the present: I am present and future in the Church. I am glad that you have given them the visibility and the responsibility that is their responsibility, to see the present with other eyes and look at the future with you.