Set Your Minds on the Higher Gifts 
 by Pope John Paul II

 

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           The Church considers with gratitude the flourishing of living communities, where faith is transmitted and experienced.  In this flourishing, it recognizes the work of the Holy Spirit, who never fails to give the Church those necessary graces to tackle new situations which are sometimes difficult.

Many of you will recall the big meeting which was held in Rome on 30 May 1998 on the eve of Pentecost. On that occasion I said, “In our world, which is often dominated by a secularized culture which foments and claims models of life without God, the faith of many is put to a hard test, and is often suffocated and dies. Therefore, there is an urgent need to strongly announce as well as have a solid and deep Christian formation. How much need there is today for mature Christian figure-heads, who are aware of their own baptismal identity, of their own vocation and mission in the Church and in the world. How much need there is for living Christian communities! And then, there are the movements and new ecclesial communities: they are the answer, aroused by the Holy Spirit, to this dramatic challenge at the end of the millennium.” Charismatic communities are called today to make this step. What I said at that time (30 May 1998) in St. Peter’s Square, I repeat to all of you, “The Church expects from you “mature” fruit in communion and commitment.”

Within your communities, in different circumstances, a journey has begun for each one of you. This leads to an awareness and greater and greater love for Christ. Do not interrupt the journey undertaken! Trust: Christ will complete the work which He Himself began. Set your mind on the higher gifts!” (1 Co. 12:31). Always seek Christ: seek Him when. meditating the Word of God, seek Him in the sacraments, seek Him in prayer, seek Him in witnessing by our brothers and sisters. Be grateful to the priests who accompany as pastors your communities: through their ministry it is the Church who guides you and assists you as mother and teacher. Accept with joy the occasions which are offered to you to study further in depth your Christian formation. Serve Christ in the people who are close to you, serve Him in the poor, serve Him in need and in the needs of the Church. Let yourselves be truly guided by the Spirit! Love the Church: one, holy, catholic and apostolic!

I am especially pleased to know that representatives from other Churches and ecclesial Communities are participating in your meetings and I wish to warmly greet them. By joining in the common praise, you have accepted my invitation formulated in the Bull of Indiction of the Great Jubilee: “Let’s all hurry, from the different Churches and ecclesial Communities scattered throughout the world, towards the feast which is being prepared.

“We are carrying with us what already joins us and our eyes only look up at Christ. This allows us to grow in unity, which is the fruit of the Spirit.” Whilst together with you I pray to the Virgin Mary, so that each one may receive the gift of the Spirit to bear witness to Christ there where he lives.

Condensed from the Pope’s message as printed in the ICCRS Newsletter, Vatican City, on the occasion of the Rimini, Italy, gathering of April 28—May 1, 2000. Used with permission.

 

Read other articles in the September 2000 edition of The San Francisco Charismatics or return to the Main Menu of sfSpirit.com by clicking on the blue.