Pope calls Secular Franciscans to closeness, compassion, tenderness...
Pope Francis addresses the Secular Franciscan Order in Rome for their General Chapter, expressing his hope that they might fight for justice, work for an integral ecology, collaborate in missionary projects, and become artisans of peace and witnesses of the Beatitudes.
By Vatican News staff writer
Addressing the General Chapter of the Secular Franciscan Order in Rome, Pope Francis chose to "recall some elements proper to your vocation and mission".
Call to holiness
He began by noting that "your vocation stems from the universal call to holiness". This holiness, he continued, "involves the conversion of the heart, attracted, conquered, and transformed by the One who is the only Holy One". He explained that it is this that makes the Franciscans "true 'penitents'". St Francis, in his Letter to all the faithful, presents "doing penance" as a path of conversion, a path of Christian life, a commitment to do the will and works of the heavenly Father.
This is what Pope Francis urged those present to "achieve throughout their mission". The Pope said they must not confuse "doing penance" with "works of penance". "These - fasting, almsgiving, mortification - are consequences of the decision to open one's heart to God", explained the Pope.
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