MESSAGE OF JOHN PAUL II
TO THE CATHOLIC FRATERNITY OF CHARISMATIC
COVENANT COMMUNITIES AND FELLOWSHIPS
To the Catholic Fraternity
of Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowships
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" ( Rom 15:13 ). With the words of the Apostle Paul I greet you on the occasion of your Conference being held in Rome at this time. This is indeed an occasion of joyful thanksgiving as you celebrate thirty-five years of Catholic Charismatic Renewal within the Church. As I move into the twenty-fifth year of my Pontificate, I thank you for the prayers with which you have accompanied me and for your fidelity to the ministry entrusted to me. Your contribution to the life of the Church, through your faithful witness to the presence and action of the Holy Spirit has helped many people to rediscover in their own lives the beauty of the grace given to them at Baptism, the gateway to life in the Spirit (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1213). It has helped them to know the power of the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit conferred at Confirmation (cf. ibid., 1302). I join you in praising the Most Holy Trinity for the work of the Spirit who continues to draw people more fully into the life of Christ and to render their bonds with the Church more perfect (cf. Lumen Gentium, 11).
Your reflection on Family Life, Youth and Human Promotion cannot fail to open your hearts and minds to the needs of humanity as it struggles to find purpose in a world too often troubled by a "crisis of meaning" (Fides et Ratio, 81). You are fully aware of the urgency of a new evangelization, an evangelization of culture, in order that life may be marked by hope rather than by fear or scepticism. In my Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte I encouraged everyone to trust in Christ’s words to Peter to "put out into the deep" ("Duc in altum", Lk 5:4). I encourage you to make your communities living signs of hope, beacons of Christ’s Good News for the men and women of our time.
To be authentic witnesses to hope means to be authentic witnesses to the truth and vision of life entrusted to and proclaimed by the Church. Communion in faith and life, in heartfelt union with the Successors of the Apostles, is itself a powerful witness to the anchor of truth which the world so needs. The great challenge facing us in this new millennium then is to make the Church the home and the school of communion (cf. Novo Millennio Ineunte, 43). And what is a challenge for the whole Church is certainly true also for the Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowships. Fidelity to the ecclesial nature of your communities will ensure that their prayer and activity will be instruments of the profound life-giving mystery of the Church. This precisely will determine their ability to attract new members. So, with Saint Peter I encourage you to account for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence (cf. 1 Pet 3:15-16).
Entrusting the work of your Conference to the unfailing protection of Mary, Mother of the Church and Seat of Wisdom, I cordially impart to each of you and to the communities you represent my Apostolic Blessing.
From the Vatican, 7 November 2002
IOANNES PAULUS II
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