VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Men and women religious need to live out their mission serving people by having their gaze fixed on God, not on worldly things, Pope Francis said.
Keeping Jesus as one’s “first and only love” helps consecrated men and women be able, “as is our duty, to truly and mercifully love everyone we meet on our journey because we will have learned from him what love is and how to love,” the pope said in a written letter.
The letter was sent to men and women religious in Brazil who were celebrating the Week of Consecrated Life Aug. 16-22. Vatican News published excerpts from the letter Aug. 17.
In order to give oneself to others and serve them with joy, the pope wrote, it is necessary to “keep one’s gaze fixed on Jesus,” otherwise one risks seeing things with “worldly” eyes.
The best antidote, he wrote, is to make prayer a priority because “whoever keeps their gaze fixed on Jesus learns to live for serving” others.
To be authentic in one’s religious life is to live out a vocation that is built on a real, lived experience of knowing one is loved by God, he said in the letter.
Members of religious orders must be joyful, he said, and this comes by giving oneself to others.
It is important “to be vigilant in avoiding the temptation to have a worldly view, which hampers seeing God’s grace as the protagonist of life and which leads us to going to seek any sort of substitute,” he wrote.
In a time to build, CatholicPhilly.com connects people and communities
As society emerges from the loss and separation of the pandemic, CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you join in our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103