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Pope Francis blesses a religious sister during an audience at the Vatican with the Claretian Institute of the Theology of Consecrated Life on Monday (CNS/Vatican Media)

Pope Francis has asked religious not to succumb to pessimism over a lack of vocations and to pray with him to “deliver us from the presumption of self-sufficiency and the spirit of worldly criticism”. Source: CNA.

Addressing representatives of the Claretianum Institute of the Theology of the Consecrated Life on the occasion of its 50th anniversary at the Vatican on Monday, the pontiff asked the religious to pray with him to God: “You who feed us with tenderness, deliver us from self-referentiality, from the diabolical deception of polarisations, from ‘isms.’”

Pope Francis warned that consecrated life today should not be discouraged by a “lack of vocations or by aging”.

“Those who allow themselves to be caught up in pessimism set aside their faith,” he continued.

“It is the Lord of history who sustains us and invites us to faithfulness and fruitfulness. He cares for his ‘remnant,’ looks with mercy and benevolence upon his work, and continues to send his Holy Spirit.”

The Pope, departing from his prepared speech, according to Vatican News, praised the Claretians for having “humanised so, so much of consecrated life” and for their desire to implement what their founder “valued so much”.

Pope Francis said religious life would find hope through the Word of God and the history and creativity of its founders.

“Religious life is understood only by what the Spirit does in each of the people called. There are those who focus too much on the external — the structures, the activities — and lose sight of the superabundance of grace in people and communities.”


Pope Francis calls on religious not to be discouraged by ‘lack of vocations or by aging’ (By AC Wimmer, CNA)