THE PRECIOUS BLOOD FAMILY OF THE MEETS POPE FRANCIS
On June 30, in preparation for the Feast of the Blood of Christ, the Societies of Apostolic Life, the Women's Religious Congregations, and the respective lay associations gathered in the Audience Hall Paul VI, Vatican City, to meet Pope Francis.
Theologian and artist, Fr Marko Rupnick, SJ, presented an inspiring reflection and catechesis on the Spirituality of the Blood of Christ. Some Missioners of the Precious Blood gave testimony of life in the context of persecution. Some of the laity wirnessed to living its values in a difficult social context. Fr. William Nordenbrock, Moderator General of the Congregation of the Missionaries, CPPS, and Sr. Nadia Coppa, Superior General of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, spoke about the way in which the charism is embodied in the world today.
The different talks were interspersed with songs and dance by the CPPS youth choir and the members of the "Holy Dance" who, through the lyrics of the songs and dance movements,were able to express the strong attraction of the power of the Blood of Jesus for our world today in modern lingo.
We want to share with you the message that Pope Francis gave us during the audience.
The Holy Father
Dear brothers and sisters,
on the eve of July, in which Christian piety is directed especially to the Blood of Christ, I am pleased to meet Societies of Apostolic Life and the male and female religious institutes, with respective lay groups, which are inspired by the spirituality of the Blood of Jesus.I greet you all with affection and I thank Father Terence Shepherd and Sister Nicla Spezzati for the words with which they introduced this meeting, sponsored by the Sanguis Christi.
From the beginning of Christianity, the mystery of love of the Blood of Christ has fascinated many people. Even your Holy Founders and Founders have cultivated this devotion, placing it at the base of your Constitutions, because they understood in the light of faith that the Blood of Christ is a source of salvation for the world. God chose the sign of blood because no other sign is so eloquent to express the greatest love of life given to others. This donation is repeated in every Eucharistic celebration, in which it is present, along with the Body of Christ, His precious Blood, the Blood of the new and eternal covenant, poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins (cf. Mt 26,27).
The meditation of Christ's sacrifice leads us to do works of mercy, giving our lives for God and neighbor without saving. The meditation of the mystery of Christ's blood shed on the cross for our redemption, moves us, in particular, to those who may be cared for in their moral and physical suffering, and are left to languish on the margins of a consumer society and indifference. It is in this perspective that is evident in all its importance your service to the Church and to society. For my part, I suggest three things that can help you in your business and in your testimony: the courage of the truth; attention to everyone, especially the furthest; the ability to fascinate and communicate.
Courage Under Fire. It is important to be courageous people, courageous build communities that are not afraid to stand up to affirm the values of the Gospel and the truth about the world and mankind. It is talking clearly and not turn her face away in the face of attacks on the value of human life from conception to its natural end, opposite to the dignity of the human person, in the face of social ills, in the face of various forms of poverty. The testimony of the disciples of Jesus is called to touch the life of the parishes and neighborhoods, but not to remain indifferent to impact, transforming the hearts and lives of people.
The second aspect is the attention to everyone, especially those far away. In your mission you are called to reach out to all, make yourself understood by all, that is, to be "popular" using a language through which everyone can understand the message of the Gospel. The recipients of the love and goodness of Jesus are all: the neighbors, but especially away. Therefore, we need to identify the most suitable forms to be able to bring a variety of people in homes, social and road environments. To do this, you are presented with the example of Jesus and the disciples who walked the roads of Palestine announcing the Kingdom of God with so many signs of healing that confirmed the Word. Strive to be the image of a Church that walks the street, among the people, even risking firsthand,
The third aspect that I suggest for your witness is the ability to fascinate and communicate. It is aimed especially to preaching, to catechesis, to in-depth tours of God's Word. It is arousing more and more involvement to offer and to enjoy the content of the Christian faith, asking for a new life in Christ. The Gospel and the Holy Spirit arouse words and gestures that make burning hearts and help them to open up to God and neighbor. For this ministry of the Word, you can draw inspiration from the attitude with which Jesus conversed with people to reveal its mystery to all, to appeal to the common people with high and demanding teachings. The strength of this attitude hiding "in Jesus' gaze toward the people, beyond his weaknesses and falls: "Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Lk 12:32) "(ibid., N. Evangelii gaudium, 141). Imitating the style in which Jesus preached, helps us to pull over others by making them perceive the tenderness of God. I believe that we live in a time when you need to carry on the revolution of tenderness.
Here are three features that can be useful for your journey of faith and your apostolate. But do not forget that the true strength of the Christian witness comes from the Gospel itself. And it is here that emerges the centrality of the Blood of Christ and its spirituality. It is relying above all to the "superabundance of love" expressed in the Blood of the Lord, that have highlighted the Church Fathers and the great saints and mystics of Christian history, from St. Bonaventure at Saint Catherine of Siena, up to a Saint particularly dear to you: St. Gaspar del Bufalo. This Roman priest, founder of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, strove to keep alive the fervor of faith in the Christian people along the regions of Central Italy. With the example of his love for God, his humility,
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ that we find the sure principle of our existence: He is our fundamental and definitive hope. In the journey of your communities, priority goes to prayer, listening to the Word of God, contemplation, and docile obedience to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Grow among you communion and collaboration, are essential conditions for the apostolic mandate received from the Lord can bear abundant spiritual fruits for the benefit of the entire people of God.
I accompany these wishes with my prayerful remembrance for you and your mission and, while I ask you to pray for me, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing.