Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Apply “discernment on the pastoral methodology in the approach to the young generations”, as well as “the world of today, marked by ancient and new wounds”, this is the recommendation addressed by Pope Francis to the Passionists, received today at the Vatican, on the occasion of the General Chapter of the Congregation, founded in 1720 by St. Paul of the Cross and now present in 61 countries.
“The strength and simplicity of your message, which is the love of God revealed on the Cross – he told them, among other things – can still speak to today’s society that has learned not to trust words alone and to be convinced only by facts. For many young people who are looking for God, the Passion of Jesus can be a source of hope and courage, showing them that everyone is loved personally and to the end. May your testimony and your apostolate continue to enrich the Church, and may you always remain close to Christ crucified and his suffering people “.
Starting from the specificity of their charism, the Pope then encouraged them to be “ministers of spiritual healing and reconciliation”, “so necessary for today’s world, marked by ancient and new wounds”, “preferring the poorest in the most abandoned. ” A traditionally expressed closeness through popular missions, spiritual direction and the sacrament of Penance: “The Church needs ministers who speak with tenderness, listen without condemning and welcome with mercy. The Church today feels a strong appeal to come out of itself and go to the peripheries, both geographic and existential. Your commitment to embracing the new frontiers of mission implies not only going to new territories to bring the Gospel, but also facing the new challenges of our time, such as migration, secularism and the digital world “. Concretely, he concluded, this means “being present in those situations where people perceive the absence of God, and trying to be close to those who, in any way or form, are suffering”.