(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis told consecrated men and women to never forget the beauty of their call to religious life, reminding them that the marrow of consecrated life is prayer.
“And go forth! Each of us has a place, a work in the Church,” the Pope told religious men and women in St Peter’s Square, after celebrating Mass in the basilica for the end of the Year of Consecrated Life.
“Today the Lord continues to call you with that love with which you were called,” he said. “Do not forget, do not forget that beauty, that wonder of the first call.”
Listen to Ann Schneible's report:
Pope Francis stressed the importance of prayer for consecrated persons in continuing forward. “The marrow of the consecrated life is prayer: pray! And thus to grow old, but you will grow old like a good wine!”
He expressed special appreciation for elderly religious who have maintained a rich spiritual life.
“I really enjoy finding those religious women or men, old but with shining eyes, because they have the fire of the spiritual life still burning,” he said.
Finally, the Pope urged religious men and women to pray for new vocations “so that our work of consecration may go ahead.”
The Year for Consecrated Life, which was celebrated throughout the world, began on the First Sunday of Advent in November 2014 and came to a close on the World Day of Consecrated Life on 2 February 2016.
Below find Vatican Radio’s translation of Pope Francis’ remarks at the end of Mass:
Dear consecrated brothers and sisters, thank you so much! You have participated in the Eucharist out in the cool air! But the heart is on fire!
Thank you for having finished this Year of Consecrated Life in this way, all together. And go forth! Each of us has a place, a work in the Church. Please, don’t forget your first vocation, your initial call. Remember! Today the Lord continues to call you with that love with which you were called. Do not forget, do not forget that beauty, that wonder of the first call. And then continue to work. How beautiful it is to continue! There is always something to do. The most important thing is to pray. The marrow of the consecrated life is prayer: pray! And thus to grow old, but you will grow old like a good wine!
I have one thing to tell you. I really enjoy meeting with those religious women or men, old but with shining eyes, because they have the fire of the spiritual life still burning. It hasn’t gone out, that light hasn’t gone out! Go forward today, every day, and continue to work and to look to tomorrow with hope, always asking the Lord to send us new vocations, so that our work of consecration may go ahead. Memory: Don’t forget the initial call! The work of every day, and then the hope to go ahead and seed well, because those who come after us may receive the heritage we will leave for them.
Now let us pray to Mary. Hail Mary…
Have a good evening and pray for me!