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To be witnesses with your life

· Pope Francis closed his visit to Assisi by meeting with young people and answering their questions ·

And in the Cathedral he repeats that the Church does not grow by proselytizing but by attracting

“In the name of St Francis, I say to you: I haven't gold or silver to give you, but something much more precious,  the Gospel of Jesus. Go forward with courage!... Be witnesses of the faith with your life: bring Christ into your homes, proclaim him among your friends, welcome him and serve him in the poor”. The message left by Pope Francis to the youth of Umbria was clear, and also valid for Christians everywhere. It was especially clear because it was came at the end of a day spent  returning at the origins of a Church steeped in the spirituality of St Francis

A Church grows by the attraction of the testimony of the People of God, the Pope said, growth has nothing to do with proselytizing. That is why it is necessary to come out of the self and go towards “the true peripheries of life”.

This speech was for everyone, not least the contemplative sisters which he called to live their life not so much, or at least not only, to be “ascetic and penitent” because, he said, “this is not the path of a Catholic cloistered sister, nor any Christian”. Jesus must be “at the centre of your life of your penance, of your community life, of your prayer and also of the universality of prayer”. Cloistered sisters  “are called to have great humanity, a humanity like that of Mother Church, to be human, to understand the things of life, to be people who know how to understand human problems, who know how to forgive, who know how to ask the Lord on behalf of others”.

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St. Peter’s Square

Sept. 21, 2018

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