Pope Francis explains the fundamental rule of religious life

January 13, 2023 / 7:52 am

Pope Francis assured this Friday that “the fundamental rule of religious life is the following of Christ proposed by the Gospel” and the constant and daily search for the Lord.

On the morning of this Friday, January 13, Pope Francis received in audience the Canons Regular of San Agustín, to whom he spoke about the essentials for the consecrated life.

At the beginning of his speech, the Holy Father said that “although each Congregation enjoys its own autonomy, this does not prevent the Confederal Statutes from providing powers that favor a balance between said autonomy.”

He further explained that this balance also allows “adequate coordination that avoids independence and isolation”.

In this sense, he warned that “isolation is dangerous” and defended that “great care must be taken to protect oneself from the disease of self-referentiality and preserve communion between the different Congregations as a true treasure”.

For Pope Francis, “the consecrated life is like water, if it does not flow it rots, it loses meaning, it is like salt that loses flavor, it becomes useless”.

He then advised those present not to be content “with an archaeological memory, because it turns us into museum pieces, perhaps worthy of admiration but not imitation.”

“On the other hand,” the Holy Father explained, “the Deuteronomic memory helps us to live the present fully and without fear in order to open ourselves to the future with renewed hope.”

Later, Pope Francis assured that “the fundamental rule of religious life is following Christ proposed by the Gospel”.

Based on this idea, he asked those present that the Gospel be their “vademecum” to get away from “the temptation to reduce it to ideology.”

“The Gospel constantly reminds us that we must place Christ at the center of our life and our mission. This brings us back to ‘first love,’” the Pope said.

In addition, he explained that “loving Christ means loving the Church, his body. The consecrated life is born in the Church, grows with the Church and bears fruit as the Church”.

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“It is in the Church, as Saint Augustine teaches us, where we discover the total Christ”, he added.

As Canons Regular, the Pope said their main occupation “is the constant and daily search for the Lord.”

He also invited them toseek the Lord in the assiduous reading of Sacred Scripturein whose pages Christ and the Church resonate”.

“Seek the Lord in the liturgy, especially in the Eucharist, the summit of Christian life, which means and brings about the unity of the Church in the harmony of charity,” he advised.

Likewise, he encouraged them to seek the Lord “in study and in ordinary pastoral work”, as well as “in the realities of our time, knowing that nothing human can be alien to us and that, free from all worldliness, we can animate the world with the leaven of the Kingdom of God.”

“They are the different paths of a single search, which is the path of interiority, knowledge and love of the Lord, in the school of Saint Augustine,” the Pope said.

“In this way, the light of the inner Master illuminates temporal realities for us,” he concluded.

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