BY SCO Admin | May 8 2013 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

5-POPE-OUR-LADY-STATUE

Religious sisters are ‘spiritual mothers,’ not spinsters

Religious sisters are ‘spiritual mothers and icons of the Mother Church’ Pope Francis said today.

The Holy Father, this morning, met 800 women who head religious communities in 76 countries around the world and said to them that a vocation to religious life ‘must always be seen as a call from God to serve the poor, the sick, the lonely and those who find themselves on the margins of society.’

The sisters met with Pope Francis at the conclusion of the plenary assembly of the International Union of Superior Generals, which has focused on the theme of leadership in light of Gospel values.

In his address this morning, the Holy Father spoke of the sisters’ vows of obedience, poverty and chastity, saying they are not spinsters, but rather ‘spiritual mothers and icons of the Mother Church.’

The Pope said that, just as Our Lady could not be understood without acknowledging her role as being Jesus’ mother, the Church cannot be understood without recognising its role as being the mother of all believers.

“And you are an icon of Mary and the Church,” he said.

Echoing the theme of the five-day meeting, the Pope said true power is always service to others. While the world may see power in terms of possession, dominion and success, ‘the authority of God is always synonymous with service, humility and love,’ he said.

The Holy Father said every vocation—not just the priesthood— begins with a call from God and is a call to continually centre one’s life and actions on Christ, ‘adoring the Lord and serving others without holding anything back for oneself.’

For members of religious orders, the whole process of growing in love and dedication to Christ and in service of others is aided by poverty, chastity and obedience, Pope Francis said.

The Holy Father went on to warn of the damage caused to the Church by men and women who seek to further their own careers and personal ambitions. Instead, Pope Francis urged the sisters to always ‘feel with the Church’ in faithfulness to the Magesterium, the Pastors and the Bishop of Rome as a visible sign of the unity of the Church.

—martin@sconews.co.uk

Pic: Pope Francis offers flowers to a statue of Our Lady of Lujan during his weekly audience in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican today.

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