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Pope speaks on sacraments, special charisms, and charity

November 06, 2013

At his public audience on November 6, Pope Francis spoke about the spiritual goods that the members of the Church share: the sacraments, special charisms, and charity.

The Church “makes” the sacraments, the Pope said, but it would be equally true to say that the sacraments “make” the Church. He said that the sacraments “offer us the impetus to become missionaries, and the apostolic commitment to taking the faith to all places, even the most hostile, is the most authentic fruit of a steadfast sacramental life.”

Special charisms, the Pontiff continued, are given to particular people “for the edification of the Church.” He stressed: “Therefore, they are not given for the benefit of the recipient, but for use by the people of God.” These special gifts, in various ways, benefit the Church and help the faithful to grow in charity, he said.

Finally, charity is “an integral part of communion among Christians,” the Pope continued. He went on to say that true Christian charity is more than a general feeling of benevolence; “it is a communion that makes us able to enter into the joy and the pain of others in order to sincerely make them our own.”

Offering a concrete example of this charity, the Holy Father told his audience that he had recently visited with a young child, “aged just one and a half,” who is gravely ill. He asked the 50,000 people who had gathered in St. Peter’s Square to join him in an act of charity, saying a Hail Mary for that child.


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