· At the General Audience Pope Francis emphasizes the importance of witness in a Church that evangelizes ·
He asks the whole Church to pray for Catholics in China
The Pope's new appeal to the common responsibility of all believers is to overcome the spirit of division, the inability to understand each other, rivalry, envy and selfishness that makes our time similar to that of ancient Babel. It is necessary, therefore, to start with a “new language” said Francis Pope this morning, Wednesday 22 May, during the General Audience in St Peter's Square; a language that is capable of taking words of reconciliation, forgiveness, peace, unity, and love to all parts of the world. It is the language of the Holy Spirit which, on the day of Pentecost, “releases ever new energy for mission, new ways in which to proclaim the message of salvation” and a new courage to evangelize.
The Holy Father went on to say that “a Church which evangelizes must always start with prayer, with asking, like the Apostles in the Upper Room, for the flame of the Holy Spirit. Only a faithful and intense relationship with God makes it possible to get out of our own closedness and proclaim the Gospel with parrhesia. Without prayer our actions are empty, and our proclamation has no soul, it is not inspired by the Spirit”. He cited his predecessor Benedict XVI to reiterate that “today the Church “feels the wind of the Holy Spirit who helps us, who shows us the right road; and so, we are on our way, it seems to me, with new enthusiasm, and we thank the Lord”.
He asked in the end to renew “every day our trust in the Holy Spirit’s action, let us allow him to lead us, may we be men and women of prayer who witness to the Gospel, becoming in our world instruments of unity and of God’s communion”.
Greeting the different groups of gathered faithful, the Pope again turned his thoughts to the victims of the terrible tornado that struck Oklahoma, and he asked for prayers for the victims, especially children and and parents "who have lost a child in a tragic way”.
The Holy Father also asked that “Mary, faithful Virgin sustain the Chinese Catholics, make their challenging tasks ever more precious in the eyes of the Lord, and give growth to the affection and the participation of the Church in China in the journey of the universal Church”.
St. Peter’s Square
Aug. 22, 2019
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