» 09/11/2013 VATICAN Pope: we all share in the motherhood of the Church, to bring the faith to the ends of the Earth At the General audience, Francis speaks of "Mother Church ", " for me this is the most beautiful image of the Church”. " Sometimes I hear: ' I believe in God but not in the Church. I have heard that the Church says ... ' . But who , when did it say this? - ' No, the priests say ... ' . But, priests are one thing... the Church is not only the priests: we are all the Church " .
City ( AsiaNews) - "The Church is all of us and we are all the Church",
we all share in the motherhood of the Church and we are called to be "educators
in the faith , to proclaim the Gospel " so that Christ's light may reach
the ends of the Earth. Illustrating
the concept of "Mother Church " as proposed by the Second Vatican
Council, Pope Francis dedicated today 's general audience catechesis to the
Church in the Year of Faith.
"Love the Church, which is
our mother and take part in her life". This
was the central point of the catechesis that the Pope addressed to the 90
thousand people present in St Peter's Square . As
usual Francis toured among them in his white jeep for more than half an hour ,
kissing children , blessing rosaries and holy pictures , collecting flags, t-shirts
and small gifts thrown at him by the people. He
also drank a sip of mate, a traditional Argentinean drink, offered to him by
one of those present.
Church is our mother in the faith - he observed - one of the images used by the
Fathers of the Church" and "for me, the most beautiful image of the
Church, the Church is Mother."
As a mother who generates the son,
"so the Church begets us in faith". "Of
course - he continued - faith is a personal act: " I believe " , I
personally respond to God who reveals Himself and wants to enter into
friendship with me. But I receive faith from others, in a family, in a community
that teaches me to say "I believe", "we believe". A Christian is
not an island! We can not be Christians in a laboratory , we can not be
Christians alone , and with our own strength , but faith is a gift, it is
a gift of God that is given to us in the Church and through the Church . That
is the moment in which we are born as children of God, when God gives us life,
it generates us like a mother ".
"And this makes us
understand one important thing: our part of the Church is not something
external, and formal, it is not filling in a form that they give us and then
... no , no, not that! But it is' a interior
and vital act, you do not belong to the Church in the same way you belong to a
society or a party or any other organization. The bond is vital, like the one
you have with your own mother, because the Church is truly the mother of
us ask ourselves now: how do I understand the Church? Am I grateful to my parents
because they gave me life, am I grateful to the Church because it generated me
in the faith through Baptism?". Then
speaking off script, he added: "But how many Christians remember the date
of their baptism? " . "But
the date of baptism is the date of our birth into the Church, the date on which
Mother Church gave birth to us. It is beautiful ...... And now, a task to do at
home when you return home today ,
go and look for the date of your baptism. And that is good, to celebrate it, to
thank the Lord for this gift. "
"Do we love the Church as
one loves one's mother , knowing even understanding her flaws ? All mothers
have flaws, we all do . But when we speak of the defects of the mother, we
overlook them, we love them as they are . ..
And the Church has her flaws , as well. Do love her this way, like a mother ? Do
we help her to be more beautiful, more authentic, according to the Lord ? I
leave these questions with you . But do not forget your homework? Look for the date
of your baptism , to have it in your heart and celebrate it . "
And as " a mother does not
just give life, but with great care helps her children to grow ", "accompanies
them always" and "knows also how to correct, forgive, understand,
know to be close in sickness, suffering", "the Church as a good mother
does the same: she accompanies our growth by transmitting the Word of God,
which is a light that shows us the path of Christian life; administering the
can ask a few more questions: what is my relationship with the Church ? Do I feel her to be a mother who helps me grow
as a Christian ? Do I participate in the life of the Church, do I feel part of
it ? Is my relationship a formal one or a vital one?" .
Church is not something different from ourselves, but should be seen as the
totality of believers, as the" we " of Christians : I, you, we are
all part of the Church ." "
Sometimes I hear: ' I believe in God but not in the Church. I have heard that the Church
says ... ' . But who , when did
it say this? - ' No, the
priests say ... ' . But,
priests are one thing... the
Church is not only the priests: we are all the Church ". And if you say
that you believe in God and do not believe in the Church , you are saying you
do not believe in yourself, and this is a contradiction . We
are all the Church! Everyone! from that newly baptized child who was there , to
the bishops , the Pope: all of us. We
are all the Church and we are all equal in God's eyes all . " Everyone
" - he said - we are called to assist in the birth of the faith of new
Christians , we are all called to be educators in the faith , to proclaim the
I repeat that I love a Church not closed in behinds its gates, but able to go
out, to move out, even at some risk , to bring Christ to all , I think of
everyone , to me, to you, to every Christian ! I think of us all. We
all share in the motherhood of the Church , we are all the Church: everyone, so
that the light of Christ may reach the ends of the earth . "