Pope: an "evangelisation of gestures" standing with the "littlest ones"
This is how Francis described what the Little Sisters of Jesus do. In situations that are “difficult from a human point of view, [. . .] they are not primarily concerned with caring, educating, and catechising, but with loving, being with the littlest ones, just as Jesus did, to announce the Gospel with the simple life of work, presence, friendship, unconditional welcome.”
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis met today with the participants in the 9th General Chapter of the Little Sisters of Jesus. He said the nuns, who come from 28 countries, express more an “evangelisation of gestures than of words” in situations that are “difficult from a human point of view”.
Mentioning their foundress, Little Sister Magdaleine of Jesus, who – following the Blessed Charles de Foucauld – understood how God “was not afraid to be a small, trustful child, in the arms of Mary, out of love for us”, which continues even today, the pontiff noted that today more than a thousand Sisters work around the world 80 after the community’s foundation.
“There are situations that are difficult from a human point of view, with the smallest and the poorest. They are not primarily concerned with caring, educating, and catechising - though they do these things well – but with loving, being with the littlest ones, just as Jesus did, to announce the Gospel with the simple life of work, presence, friendship, unconditional welcome. It is important, of vital importance for you to return continually to this original experience of the closeness of God, Who is gentle and humble to us to save us and fill us with His love.”
“Do not be afraid to go ahead, bringing the little Child Jesus into your hearts, in all the places where there are the smallest of our world. Stay free from bonds with works and things, free to love those you encounter wherever the Spirit leads you. Free to fly, free to dream. The difficulties of the present time make you share the sorrows of so many brothers: you too, with them, sometimes find yourself forced to close or abandon your homes to flee elsewhere; you too know the trials of age, solitude and suffering; you too experience the hardness of the journey when you must remain faithful while crossing the desert. But in all this, the love you bear in your hearts makes you free women attached to the essentials.”
The pope stressed the quality of brotherhood in the communities. Only if brotherhood is experienced within the community can hearts open to fraternity. “Your Foundress invited you to become ‘Arabs among the Arabs, nomads among nomads, workers among workers and, above all, human beings among humans’.” Thus, “the Institute has spread to many countries and you have met many of these little ones, of all races, languages and religions.
“Your hearts have no barriers. Of course, you cannot change the world by yourselves, but you can illuminate it by bringing the joy of the Gospel to the neighbourhoods, the streets, mixing with the crowds, always close to the smallest.”