May 11, 2023 / 11:01 a.m.
In his audience today with the participants in the General Assembly of Charity Internationalwhich takes place from May 11 to 16, Pope Francis pointed out that “we must not forget that the origin of all our charitable and social activity is Christ.”
After recalling that the Eucharist “is food and drink that sustains us on the way, alleviates fatigue, lifts us up from falls”, the Holy Father stressed that “there is no better way to show God that we have understood the meaning of the Eucharist than giving to others what we have received”.
Then, he invited to understand “the most authentic meaning of the Tradition”. That is, “when, in response to the love of Christ, we make ourselves a gift for others.”
Return to the source: the love of God
“It is important to return to the source, God’s love for us, because the identity of Charity International It depends directly on the mission it has received,” he said.
The Holy Father thanked Caritas for its work in promoting association and fraternal cooperation as pillars of the organization’s Catholic identity.
Lack of charity empties the most heroic generosity
Later, he stressed that “the lack of charity empties any action of content”, just as Saint Paul taught. “Also the most extraordinary actions, the most heroic generosity, even the gesture of distributing all the goods to give them to the hungry, without charity is useless.”
Pope Francis stressed in his speech that faith in God the Father, friendship with Christ and the guidance of the Holy Spirit are fundamental. Hence, without these elements, “it would then be easy to lose sight of the end of the diakonia to which we are called: bring the joy of the Gospel, unity, justice and peace”.
If this goal is lost sight of, the Pope indicated, one falls into “pragmatic activism” and “particularisms that tear the ecclesial body apart.”
charity is patient
“Charity is patient.” For this reason, he explained, “it is the result of a slow work of the spirit, in which one learns self-control, becoming aware of one’s own limits.” And it also leads the person to “relational maturity.”
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This is also, he pointed out, “getting out of self-referentiality, stopping considering what we want as the center around which everything must revolve, at the cost of bending others to our desires.”
Therefore, “it not only requires us to contain the tyranny of egocentrism, but also requires a dynamic and creative attitude that allows the qualities and charismas of others to emerge.”
The Christian does not feed envy
In this sense, he insisted that “living charity means being magnanimous, benevolent, recognizing for example that, in order to work together in a constructive way, it is first necessary to ‘give space’ to the other”.
“The Christian who lives immersed in the love of God does not feed envy, because in love there is no place to feel upset for the good of another,” he added.
The Holy Father described that charity “does not boast or boast” and “does not enjoy putting itself above others.”
Therefore, “it is not just a question of implementing projects and strategies that are victorious, that pursue effectiveness, but knowing oneself within a constant and continuous process of missionary conversion.”
Finally, the Pontiff called to live in unity, while asking them to value “diversity as a wealth”. “Compete in esteeming each other, letting conflicts lead to debate, to growth, and not to division,” he said.
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