Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Pope Francis' homily for All Saints

I have not been able to follow Pope Francis' visit to Sweden to mark the anniversary of the Reformation, due to pressures of work and family events.

However, I have just read the text of his homily for the Solemnity of All Saints which, though it touches on ecumenism only lightly, nevertheless speaks of an underpinning principle of ecumenical activity, that is, of a common search for holiness rooted in the consecration of Baptism.

Like Pope Benedict XVI before him, Pope Francis can provide a lovely turn of phrase:
The Beatitudes are the image of Christ and consequently of each Christian..... 
....meekness is the attitude of those who have nothing to lose, because their only wealth is God..... 
The Beatitudes are in some sense the Christian’s identity card. They identify us as followers of Jesus..... 
To our heavenly Mother, Queen of All Saints, we entrust our intentions and the dialogue aimed at the full communion of all Christians, so that we may be blessed in our efforts and may attain holiness in unity.
I also noted his reference to the foundress (and re-foundress) of the Order of St Bridget, topical both because of Pope Francis' presence in Sweden and because of the ecumenical context of his visit. The charism of the Bridgettines is hospitality and prayer for the unity of Christians and, for me, they represent one example of how the mission to ecumenism represented in the teaching of the Second Vatican Council is lived out, not as some kind of "extra", but as an ordinary part of the life of the Church. (The charism of the spirituality of unity of the Focolare movement is another example of the living out of the ecumenical impulse in the daily life of the Church).

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