Pope to Madagascar religious: To avoid discouragement, focus on praising God
FREE Catholic Classes
In an address to priests, religious, and seminarians of Madagascar, Pope Francis emphasized the importance of maintaining a focus on praising God in order to find strength in times of hardship.
Pope Francis in Madagascar
Antananarivo, Madagascar, (CNA) - In an address to priests, religious, and seminarians of Madagascar, Pope Francis emphasized the importance of maintaining a focus on praising God in order to find strength in times of hardship.
"In praising, we learn not to become 'inebriated,' turning means into ends or the superfluous into the important," he said. "Much of our life, our joy and our missionary fruitfulness have to do with Jesus' invitation to praise."
The pope spoke at a meeting with priests, religious, consecrated, and seminarians at College Saint Michel in Antananarivo on Sept. 8, his final day in Madagascar.
He acknowledged the suffering and sacrifices that priests and religious in the country have chosen to accept for the sake of spreading the Gospel.
"I know that many of you live in difficult conditions and lack such essential services as water, electricity, roads and means of communication, or the financial resources needed for your life and pastoral activity," he said.
"More than a few of you feel the burden of your apostolic labors and their effect on your health. Yet you have chosen to stand beside your people, to remain in their midst. I thank you for this."
The pope recalled how Christ welcomed back the 72 disciples whom he had sent out on mission by immediately praising the Father.
"This makes us see something basic about our vocation. We are men and women of praise," he said. "Consecrated persons are able to recognize and point out the presence of God wherever they find themselves. Even better, they are able to dwell in God's presence because they have learned how to savour, enjoy and share that presence."
Just as the disciples found joy in the realization that their mission was not rooted in their own merits or message, but those of Christ, the priests and religious of Madagascar can take comfort in knowing that they are not alone as they work to serve the sick, educate children, and feed the hungry, he said.
The pope warned against the temptation "to put our trust in financial security, spaces of power and human glory," reminding those present that their vocation is one of humility and service.
He pointed to the example of all those in past generations whose bold witness helped the faith take root in Madagascar. Today, the nation has more than 8.2 million Catholics, roughly a quarter of the total population.
"I think of the Vincentians, the Jesuits, the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Cluny, the Brothers of the Christian Schools, the La Salette Missionaries and so many other pioneer bishops, priests and consecrated men and women. I think too of the many lay persons who kept alive the flame of the faith in this land during the difficult days of persecution, when many missionaries and religious had to leave," he said.
The pope called on those present to remember and continually renew the "first love" of their baptism, "the first great sacrament that marked and consecrated us as God's children."
The meeting with priests and religious followed a prayer meeting with workers, held in the Mahatazana work yard. At that gathering, Pope Francis prayed that all who labor may experience physical health and strength, and may find through their work a dignified life for their families.
"Father, in your mercy, take pity on those who lack work. May unemployment - the cause of such great misery - disappear from our societies," he said.
In particular, the pope prayed that children might not need to work, and that teachers would not need a second job to ensure a decent living.
"Create among workers a spirit of authentic solidarity," he said, praying that laborers may respond to injustices with hope rather than bitterness.
He asked that God might touch the hearts of business owners, so that they might remember the dignity of their employees and ensure just wages.
Pope Francis is wrapping up a six-day trip to three sub-saharan African countries. Before arriving in Madagascar, he spent time in Mozambique. On Monday, the pope will travel to the island nation of Mauritius, where he will celebrate Mass and meet with authorities before returning to Rome.
Copyright 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Seven religious schools in Eritrea, four of them sponsored by the Catholic Church, have been seized by the country's government this month. ... continue reading
Catholic Relief Services is warning of increasing violence and displacement in the Sahel - the vast area of western and north-central ... continue reading
A wave of deadly attacks targeting African foreign nationals in South Africa has caught the attention of national and regional Church ... continue reading
Vatican City, (CNA) - Upon his return to the Vatican after a six-day trip to Africa, Pope Francis said Wednesday that he hopes the "seeds ... continue reading
Jesus calls his followers to a high standard - to forgive their enemies, to pray for those who have hurt them, and to seek reconciliation, ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- Daily Readings for Monday, September 23, 2019
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, September 24th, 2019 HD Video
- UK rabbi: secular humanists are 'ever-more combative' against ...
- St. Padre Pio: Saint of the Day for Monday, September 23, 2019
- Padre Pio overcame suffering with hope, says Italian journalist
- Spanish bishops on migrants: 'We don't love God if we don't love our ...
- Daily Reading for Monday, September 23rd, 2019 HD Video
- Prayer Requests Live for Friday, September 20th, 2019 HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, September 22nd, 2019 HD
- Prayer Requests Live for Wednesday, September 19th, 2019 HD
- Daily Reading for Saturday, September 21st, 2019 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org
Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel
Learn the Catholic way
Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all
K-12 & Adult Education Classes
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education
Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.