Catholic World News

Nourish a culture of mercy, Pope urges Benedictine leaders

September 08, 2016

Benedictine monasteries are "oases of the spirit, where clergy and the lay faithful can dip into the divine springs of mercy," Pope Francis told an international congress of Benedictine abbots and abesses on September 8.

Mercy, the Pope said, makes the faithful "more attentive to the needy," and their solidiarity bears witness to the "authenticity and credibility" of the Church's message.

In Benedictine communities, the Pontiff continued, the life of prayer nourishes the understanding of God's mercy. It also opens a "channel for nurturing communion" with the Eastern churches, he remarked. Meanwhile the Benedictine tradition of hospitality helps to provide for "the most lost and distant, those who are in a condition of grave human and spiritual poverty."

The Pope urged the Benedictine leaders not to be discouraged if their communities dwindle in size. “On the contrary”, he emphasized, “conserve the zeal of your witness, even in those countries that are most difficult today, with faithfulness to your charism and the courage to found new communities.”

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