“Let us pray that the Spirit help us recognize the gift of different charisms within the Christian community, and to discover the richness of different ritual traditions in the heart of the Catholic Church”. In the video presenting his prayer intention for the month of January Pope Francis stresses that “there is no need to fear the diversity of charisms in the Church. Rather”, he says, “living this diversity should make us rejoice!”.
The video includes clips of liturgical celebrations being held in different rites in different parts of the world. The Holy Father notes that “diversity and unity were already very much present in the first Christian communities”, adding that “to move forward on the journey of faith, we also need ecumenical dialogue with our brothers and sisters of other confessions and Christian communities. This is not something confusing or disturbing, but is a gift God gives to the Christian community so it might grow as one body, the Body of Christ”, he affirms.
Turning to the Eastern Churches and their particular traditions and liturgical rites, the Pope explains that “they maintain the unity of the faith. They strengthen it, not divide it”.
“If we are guided by the Holy Spirit”, he continues, “abundance, variety, diversity, never cause conflict. The Holy Spirit reminds us first and foremost that we are children loved by God — everyone equal in God’s love, and everyone different”.
The video ends with a clip of a cross formed by a mosaic of people: thousands of unique individuals joining together to create a single, coherent image.
Commenting on this month’s prayer intention, Fr Frédéric Fornos, sj , International Director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, notes that “God loves diversity, it is a sign of the Holy Spirit’s presence. This is how he leads us to the fullness of truth, to the full breadth, height and depth of his love”.
Available online at www.thepopevideo.org and translated into more than 23 languages, the video for the prayer intention for January was created and produced by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, and distributed by La Machi Agency, in collaboration with the Dicastery for Communication.