ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II
Dear Friends in Christ,
I am pleased to welcome you, leaders of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, together with Bishop Paul Cordes whom I appointed some years ago to accompany the Renewal and to support and encourage its Catholic identity. I warmly greet the Bishops and many priests who are a part of your gathering.
You have just completed a spiritual retreat in Assisi, the city of Saint Francis and also of Saint Clare, the eighth centenary of whose birth falls this year. These great figures of holiness in the Church made their own the words of Saint Paul: "It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me" (Gal. 2: 20). Is this not the ideal and the goal which permeates the Charismatic Renewal? Is it not the programme of life which your prayer groups and communities have set themselves under the guidance of the Holy Spirit? May the example and intercession of the great Saints of Assisi strengthen your resolve to grow continually in evangelical love and service "to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Eph. 4: 13).
At the recent "World Youth Day" in Denver I reflected with the young people present on the words of the Lord to the Prophet Isaiah: "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" (Is. 6: 8). We reflected on these words as applied to vocations to the priesthood and the religious life in the context of the new evangelization. Today it is a fact of the Church’s life that many vocations arise and blossom in the heart of the various Movements and Associations. I wish to encourage you to give close attention within the Catholic Charismatic Renewal to this particular mode of God’s love for his People. The prayerful response of your members and associates to this grace will be a further, explicit sign of the Renewal’s sharing in the life and mission of the Church, the visible body of Christ (Cf. 1Cor. 12: 27).
The Church today has great need of your prayer and commitment. Together let us praise our Heavenly Father for all that he has done in your lives, and let us implore his grace so that your apostolates will bear abundant fruit. As a token of my encouragement, I gladly impart my Apostolic Blessing.
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