At his weekly General Audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis continued his series of catechetical reflections on the Creed, focusing again this week on the Communion of Saints. The Pope also remarked that the Church cannot grow through detachment, but through love. In his continuing catechesis on the Creed, Pope Francis turned this attention again this week to the “the communion of saints” which he said was a communion not only of persons, but also of spiritual goods.
Through our sharing in those goods, the Pope continued, we grow in communion with Christ and with the Church. He then focused on what he called “these three spiritual treasures: the sacraments, charisms and charity. In the sacraments, the Pope explained “we encounter Christ in all his saving power, we are confirmed in the joy of faith, and sent forth to share with others the joy of salvation.” In off the cuff remarks in Italian, the Holy Father also underlined how important it is to take communion, and the importance of baptizing children early because he said “this is the presence of Jesus Christ in us, who helps us.”
The Holy Father continuing on this theme went on to stress how vital it is we go to confession. He also added, we should not be afraid of the priest scolding us because it is Jesus we meet in the sacrament of reconciliation and he forgives us. Focusing on the second spiritual treasure, charisms, Pope Francis said that through the variety of charisms, the spiritual gifts and graces bestowed by the Holy Spirit, we help to build up the Church in unity, holiness and service.
Then moving on to the third spiritual treasure, charity, the Pope said that those who do not have this virtue, do not serve the Church. On the subject of Charity, the Holy Father speaking in Italian, asked the faithful in St Peter’s Square to pray as an act of goodness, for a little girl aged one and a half who he met before the Audience. The Pope told them she was very sick. Let us pray, he said for this beautiful little girl. In his concluding his remarks, Pope Francis said “we are here for one another”. The Church cannot grow if people are detached, cold and bad humoured. The Church, he added can only grow through love. Following his catechesis, the Holy Father greeted English speaking pilgrims who had come from as far away as the United States and Australia.
Below is the translation of Pope Francis' Remarks:
Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our continuing catechesis on the Creed, we now reflect on “the communion of saints” as a communion not only of persons but also of spiritual goods. Through our sharing in those goods, we grow in communion with Christ and with the members of his body, the Church. Today let us consider three of these spiritual treasures: the sacraments, charisms and charity. In the sacraments, we encounter Christ in all his saving power, are confirmed in the joy of faith, and sent forth to share with others the joy of salvation. Through the variety of charisms, the spiritual gifts and graces bestowed by the Holy Spirit, we help to build up the Church in unity, holiness and service. In charity, all these spiritual gifts find their fulfillment; everything is ordered to our growth in God’s love. Let us ask the Lord to increase our communion in these spiritual goods, so that we can live ever more fully our Christian vocation in union with him and as joyful signs of his saving love, present and at work in our midst.
I greet all the English-speaking pilgrims present at today’s Audience, including those from England and Wales, Ireland, Denmark, Australia, Japan and the United States. In a special way I greet the priests from England celebrating the anniversaries of their ordination. I also thank the choirs present for their praise of God in song. Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke God’s blessings of joy and peace!