Pope asks charismatics to promote adoration, charity, communion

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Thanking members of the Catholic charismatic renewal for helping people learn to pray, Pope Francis asked them to focus on adoration as well as their usual prayers of praise.

People need to learn "an adoration in which silence is predominant, in which the Word of God prevails over our words; in short, an adoration in which at the center there is truly him, the Lord, and not ourselves," Pope Francis told leaders of the charismatic movement in Italy Jan. 20.

The second thing the pope asked of the charismatic communities is to keep their attention on evangelization but to remember that the most effective way to share the Gospel is through one's example, especially an example of charity.

Evangelization is part of "the DNA of the charismatic movement," he said. "The Holy Spirit, welcomed in the heart and in life, cannot but open us, move us, make us go out. The Spirit always urges us to communicate the Gospel, to go out, and he does so with his inexhaustible imagination."

When the apostles set out after Pentecost to preach the Gospel, "they did not have a manual for how to proceed; it was the Spirit that moved them, and they did many great things," the pope said.

"Always remember that the first proclamation is made through the witness of life," he told the group. "What use are long prayers and so many beautiful hymns, if then I do not know how to be patient with my neighbor, if I do not know how to be close to my mother who is alone?"

Charity, the pope said, "is always the verification of our proclamation. Words, gestures and songs without the substance of charity will not do."

Pope Francis also urged members of the charismatic renewal to promote communion in the church, "first and foremost with your bishops."

As one of many church movements, he said, members of the renewal "must be at the service of the entire diocesan community, the entire parish community, in accordance with the bishop's pastoral indications."

The different associations, movements, groups at a parish, the pope said, must give "witness to fraternity, mutual respect in diversity, collaboration in commitment to joint initiatives, service to the people of God and also in relation to social questions in which the dignity of people is at stake."