VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Religious orders must harness the only power the matters: the power to communicate concretely the love and mercy of God, Pope Francis told members of the Augustinian Recollects.

“We can respond to the needs of each person with the same love with which God has loved us,” Pope Francis said Oct. 20 during a meeting with members of the general chapter of the men’s order.

“Many people are hoping that we will go out to meet them and that we would look at them with the same tenderness that we experienced and received from our dealings with God,” the pope said. “This is the power we have, not the power of our own ideas and projects, but the strength of his mercy, which transforms and gives life.”

The stronger the community life of the order, the pope said, the greater strength its members will have in teaching the world the importance of a communion that values each individual and finds them a place in the group.

“In a special way at this time, we are asked to be ‘creators of communion,'” the pope said. “With our presence in the midst of the world, we are called to create a society capable of recognizing the dignity of each person and of sharing the gift that each one is for the other.”

Religious communities, he said, are called to be a “living prophecy of communion in this world of ours so that there would no division or conflicts or exclusion, but harmony would reign and dialogue would be promoted.”