06/01/2020, 00.00
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Pope to Ordo Virginum: help the Church help those who are rejected

Francis issued a message on the fiftieth anniversary of the promulgation of the rite of Consecration of Virgins. “The pandemic is teaching us that ‘the time has come to eliminate inequalities, to heal the injustice that is undermining the health of the entire human family!’”

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – In this Message on the fiftieth anniversary of the promulgation of the revised Rite of Consecration of Virgins, Pope Francis expresses hope that the choice made by women who choose to “be consecrated to the Lord in virginity, lived out in a concrete social and cultural setting” may help the Church “love the poor, to discern forms of material and spiritual poverty, to help those who are weak and vulnerable, those suffering from physical and mental illness, the young and the elderly, and all those in danger of being marginalized or discarded.”

“Your vocation is a sign of the inexhaustible and manifold richness of the gifts of the Spirit of the Risen Lord, who makes all things new (cf. Rev 21:5). It is likewise a sign of hope, pointing to the fidelity of the Father, who even today awakens in the hearts of some women the desire to be consecrated to the Lord in virginity, lived out in a concrete social and cultural setting, rooted in a particular Church, and expressed in a way of life that is ancient, yet modern and ever new.”

“Fifty years after the renewal of the Rite, I would say this to you: do not extinguish the prophetic nature of your vocation! You have been called, not because of your own merits, but by God’s mercy, to make your lives a reflection of the face of the Church, the Bride of Christ. The Church is a virgin because, albeit composed of sinners, she continues to preserve the faith intact, to bring forth new life and to foster the growth of a new humanity.”

“The pandemic is teaching us that ‘the time has come to eliminate inequalities, to heal the injustice that is undermining the health of the entire human family!’ (Homily at Mass for Divine Mercy Sunday, 19 April 2020). Let everything that is happening all around us disturb you: do not close your eyes to it and do not flee from it. Be present and sensitive to pain and suffering. Persevere in proclaiming the Gospel, which promises fullness of life for all.

“The Prayer of Consecration, in invoking upon you the manifold gifts of the Spirit, asks that you be enabled to live in casta libertas (Rite of Consecration of Virgins, 24). Let this ‘chaste freedom’ be your way of relating to others, so that you can be a sign of the spousal love uniting Christ to the Church, virgin and mother, sister and friend of all. By your gentleness (cf. Phil 4:5), weave a web of authentic relationships that can help to make the neighbourhoods of our cities less lonely and anonymous. Be forthright, capable of parrhesia, but avoid the temptation to chatter and gossip. Have the wisdom, the resourcefulness, and the authority of charity, in order to stand up to arrogance and to prevent abuses of power.”

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