ADDRESS OF JOHN PAUL II
Saturday 15 September 2001
To the Sisters of Saint-Paul de Chartres
I am pleased to receive you and offer you a warm welcome. On the occasion of your 45th General Chapter, when you are preparing to elect a new general council, you wanted to meet the Successor of Peter, showing your filial attachment to him and your keen sense of the Church. In assuring you of my spiritual closeness during your chapter, I gladly call upon the Holy Spirit to grant that you may imitate the zeal of the Apostle Paul, your holy patron, to share in the new creativity in charity that I hoped for at the beginning of the millennium. May contemplation of the face of Christ, the source of all apostolic fruitfulness, encourage your fidelity to your founding charism and make your missionary commitment more dynamic, especially among the most deprived!
While your General Chapter offers you the occasion to be spiritually renewed in order to set out anew in hope, I encourage you to root your consecration in Christ, the One consecrated to the Father whose loving, saving presence you are asked to show, demonstrating by your whole life the happiness of being consecrated totally to the sequela Christi. In the mystery of his death and Resurrection, Christ revealed to humanity the truth about God and about man, inviting each believer to join in the dynamism of the Easter mystery to bring the Gospel to the world. Careful to respond to the new challenges you will have to face with confidence and comforted by the prayer of the elderly sisters, learn to spend each day with Christ who takes us from death to life! Let him renew you, "to build with the help of his Spirit fraternal communities, to join him in washing the feet of the poor, and to contribute in your own unique way to the transfiguration of the world" (Vita consecrata, n. 110)!
As I entrust you to the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows whom the Church invites us to celebrate today, I impart a special Apostolic Blessing to you, which I extend to all the sisters of your congregation, to the lay people who work with you and to everyone who benefits from your apostolate.