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Pope Francis: "The strength of the Church does not reside in herself, but is instead ...
VIS ^ | 1/3/2014

Posted on 01/04/2014 4:01:34 AM PST by markomalley

This morning, Pope Francis celebrated the Mass of the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus in the Church of Jesus, to give thanks for the new Jesuit saint Pierre Favre. Concelebrating with the Holy Father were Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints; Cardinal Agostino Vallini, vicar general of His Holiness for the diocese of Rome; Bishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, S.J., secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Bishop Yves Boivineau of Annecy, France, in whose diocese Favre was born, and the vicar general Alain Fournier-Bidoz; the superior general Fr. Adolfo Nicolas, S.J., and seven young Jesuit priests.
 
Canonised by Pope Francis on 17 December, Pierre Favre, was the first companion of St. Ignatius of Loyola – for this reason he is known as “the second Jesuit” – and one of the founders of the Society of Jesus, of which he was also the first priest. The tombs of St. Ignatius and St. Pierre Favre are located in the Church of the Most Holy Name of Jesus.
 
Pope Francis dedicated his homily to the new saint, and said that he was a “restless” man of “lofty desires”: “it is necessary to search for God to find Him, and to find him in order to seek him again, and for ever. Only this restlessness brings peace to the heart of a Jesuit, a restlessness that is also apostolic, so that we never tire of proclaiming the kerygma, of evangelising with courage. And it is restlessness that prepares us to receive the gift of apostolic fruitfulness. Without restlessness, we are sterile”.
 
“And this was the restlessness of Pierre Favre”, continued the Pope, “a man of lofty desires, another Daniel. Favre was a 'modest, sensitive man with a profound inner life. He was endowed with the gift of making friends with people from every walk of life'. However, his was a restless, indecisive spirit, never satisfied. Under the guidance of St. Ignatius he learned to unite his restless but gentle – indeed exquisite – sensibility with a capacity to make decisions. He was a man of lofty desires; he took charge of his desires, he recognised them. Rather, for Favre, it was precisely when faced with difficult tasks that he demonstrated the true spirit that sets into action”.
 
“An authentic faith always implies a deep desire to change the world. And this is the question we should pose ourselves: do we too have great visions and zeal? Are we bold too? Do our dreams fly high? Are we consumed by zeal? Or are we mediocre and satisfied with our theoretical apostolic plans? Let us always remember that the strength of the Church does not reside in herself or in her organisational capacity, but is instead concealed in the deep waters of God. And these waters agitate our desires, and our desires expand our hearts. It is as St. Augustine said: pray to desire and desire to expand your heart. It was precisely in his desires that Favre was able to discern the voice of God. Without desires, one cannot go forth, and this is why we must offer our desires to the Lord. In the Constitutions it is said that we help our neighbours with the wishes presented to the Lord God”.
 
Favre, affirmed Pope Francis, “had the true and deep desire to open up in God”: he was completely centred in God, and for this reason he was able to go everywhere in Europe, in a spirit of obedience and often on foot, to enter into dialogue with everyone, with gentleness, and to proclaim the Gospel. I think of the temptation that perhaps we experience, to which many people succumb, to link the proclamation of the Gospel with inquisitionary bludgeoning and condemnation. No, the Gospel must be proclaimed with gentleness, in a fraternal spirit, with love. His familiarity with God led him to understand that inner experience and apostolic life always go together. He writes in his Memorial that the first movement of the heart must be that of desiring that which is essential and originary, or rather that priority must be reserved for seeking God, our Lord. Favre experienced the desire to let the centre of his heart be occupied by Christ. Only when centred in God is it possible to go out towards the peripheries of the world! And Favre journeyed without respite even to geographical frontiers; indeed, it was said of him that he appeared to have been born never to stay still in any one place. Favre was consumed by the intense desire to communicate the Lord. If we do not have the same desire, then we need to pause a while in prayer and, with silent fervour, ask the Lord, through the intercession of our brother Pierre, that we might again experience the fascination of the Lord who led Pierre in his 'apostolic follies'”, concluded Pope Francis.


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Full title: Pope Francis: "The strength of the Church does not reside in herself, but is instead concealed in the deep waters of God"
1 posted on 01/04/2014 4:01:34 AM PST by markomalley
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Complete text:

We heard Saint Paul tell us: “Have this mind among yourselves, which was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant” (Philippians 2:5-7). We, Jesuits, want to be conferred the name of Jesus, militate under the standard of his Cross, and this means: to have the same sentiments of Christ. It means to think like Him, love like Him, see like Him, walk like Him. It means to do what He did and with his same sentiments, with the sentiments of his Heart.

The heart of Christ is the heart of a God who, out of love, “emptied” himself. Every one of us Jesuits who follow Jesus should be willing to empty himself. We are called to this abasement: to be of the “emptied.” To be men that do not live centered on themselves because the center of the Society is Christ and his Church. And God is the Deus semper maior, the God who always surprises us. And if the God of surprises is not at the center, the Society becomes disoriented. Because of this, to be a Jesuit means to be a person of incomplete thought, of open thought: because one always thinks looking at the horizon which is the ever greater glory of God, who ceaselessly surprises us. And this is the restlessness of our void, this holy and beautiful restlessness!

However, because we are sinners, we can ask ourselves if our heart has kept the restlessness of the search or if, instead, it has atrophied; if our heart is always in tension: a heart that does not settle down, a heart that does not shut itself in on itself, but which beats the rhythm of a journey to undertake together with all the faithful people of God. It is necessary to seek God to find Him, and to find him in order to seek Him again and forever. Only this restlessness gives peace to the heart of a Jesuit, a restlessness that is also apostolic, which must not make us grow tired of proclaiming the Kerygma, of evangelizing with courage. It is the restlessness that prepares us to receive the gift of apostolic fruitfulness. Without restlessness we are sterile.

This is the restlessness that Peter Favre [Faber] had, man of great desires, another Daniel. Favre was a “modest, sensible man of profound interior life and gifted with the gift of close relations of friendship with persons of all sorts” (Benedict XVI, Address to Jesuits, April 22, 2006). However, he was also a restless, uncertain and never satisfied spirit. Under the guidance of Saint Ignatius he learned to unite his restless but also gentle -- I would say exquisite --, sensibility with the capacity to take decisions. He was a man of great desires; he took charge of his desires, he acknowledged them. In fact for Favre, it was precisely when difficult things were proposed that his true spirit was manifested which moved him to action (cf. Memoriale, 301). Authentic faith always implies a profound desire to change the world. Here is the question we should ask ourselves: do we also have great visions and dash? Are we also daring? Does our dream fly high? Does zeal devour us (cf. Psalm 69:10)? Or are we mediocre and content with our laboratory apostolic programs? Let us remember always: the strength of the Church does not lie in herself and in her organizational capacity, but is hidden in the profound waters of God. And these waters agitate our desires and desires enlarge the heart. It is what Saint Augustine says: pray to desire and desire to enlarge the heart. In fact it was in his desires that Favre could discern God’s voice. Without desires one goes nowhere and it is because of this that we must offer our desires to the Lord. Stated in the Constitutions is that “one’s neighbor his helped with desires presented to God our Lord” (Constitutions, 638).

Favre had the real and profound desire to “be dilated in God”: he was completely centered on God, and because of this he could go, in the spirit of obedience, often also on foot, everywhere in Europe to speak to all with gentleness, and to proclaim the Gospel. The thought comes to me of the temptation, which perhaps we might have and that so many have, of connecting the proclamation of the Gospel with inquisitorial blows of condemnation. No, the Gospel is proclaimed with gentleness, with fraternity, with love. Favre’s familiarity with God led him to understand that interior experience and apostolic life always go together. In his Memoriale he wrote that the first movement of the heart must be that of “desiring what is essential and original, that is, that the first place be left to the perfect solicitude of finding God our Lord” (Memoriale, 63). Favre demonstrates the desire “to let Christ occupy the center of the heart” (Memoriale, 68). Only if one is centered on God is it possible to go to the fringes of the world! And Favre traveled ceaselessly also on the geographic frontiers, so much so that it was said of him: “It seems that he was born not to stay put in any place” (MI, Epistolae I, 362). Favre was devoured by the intense desire to communicate the Lord. If we do not have his same desire, then we need to pause in prayer and, with silent fervor, ask the Lord, through the intercession of our brother Peter, that he fascinate us again: that fascination of the Lord that led Peter to all his apostolic “lunacies.”

We are men in tension; we are also contradictory and inconsistent men, sinners, all. But men who want to walk under the gaze of Jesus. We are little, we are sinners, but we want to militate under the standard of the Cross of the Society conferred with the name of Jesus. We who are egoistic want, however, to live an agitated life of great desires. We renew now our oblation to the Eternal Lord of the universe so that with the help of his glorious Mother we may want, desire and live the sentiments of Christ who emptied himself. As Saint Peter Favre wrote, “We never seek in this life a name that is not connected with that of Jesus” (Memoriale, 205). And we pray to Our Lady to be messengers with her Son.


2 posted on 01/04/2014 4:06:50 AM PST by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good -- Leo XIII)
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To: markomalley
"the strength of the Church does not reside in herself or in her organisational capacity"

LOL. If it did we'd be in the ash bin of history.

3 posted on 01/04/2014 4:17:31 AM PST by GonzoII ("If the new crime be, to believe in God, let us all be criminals" -Sheen)
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To: GonzoII; markomalley
LOL. If it did we'd be in the ash bin of history.

Just like the Roman Empire and the Thousand Year Reich, etc., etc. Human endeavors always crash and burn.

4 posted on 01/04/2014 4:26:17 AM PST by Tax-chick (The superpowers ascribed to "feminists" make me wish I was one.)
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To: markomalley; NYer; Salvation; SeekAndFind

Mark, Thank you for posting the entire text.


5 posted on 01/04/2014 8:37:25 AM PST by GreyFriar (Spearhead - 3rd Armored Division 75-78 & 83-87)
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