Nostalgia is the ‘siren song of religious life’

Catholic News Agency

One of the issues for today’s religious, is that many men and women in religious life can be tempted to focus on the decline in numbers of vocations in their orders.

Francis made the comments to an online conference on religious life in Latin America.

Urging the religious to renounce the criterion of declining numbers Francis warned that failure to do so “can turn you into fearful disciples, trapped in the past and giving into nostalgia.”

“Nostalgia is fundamentally the siren song of religious life,” Francis told them.

Religious should focus on evangelization instead and “leave the rest to the Holy Spirit,” Francis said.

“I would like to remind you that joy, the highest expression of life in Christ, is the greatest witness we can offer the holy people of God whom we are called to serve and accompany on their pilgrimage toward the encounter with the Father,” he said. “Peace, joy, and a sense of humour.”

Francis also told them he is saddened by consecrated men and women who have no sense of humour, who take everything so seriously … To be with Jesus is to be joyful,” he said.

Pope Francis also warned the conference against misusing liturgy by placing an emphasis on ideology.

He delivered his cautionary advice to the online conference in a video message last Friday.

“Let us not forget that a faith that is not inculturated is not authentic.

“For this reason, I invite you to participate in the process that will provide the true sense of a culture that exists in the soul of the people,” Pope Francis says in the video.

“When this inculturation does not take place, Christian life, and even more so the consecrated life, ends up with the oddest and most ridiculous Gnostic tendencies.

“We’ve seen this, for example, in the misuse of the liturgy [where] what is important is ideology rather than the reality of the people. This is not the Gospel.”

Francis’s video message was featured at a virtual conference on religious life organized by the Confederation of Latin American and Caribbean Religious (CLAR).

The conference focus was on inculturation.

John Paul II described this concept as the process by which “the Church makes the Gospel incarnate in different cultures and at the same time introduces peoples, together with their cultures, into her own community.”

“May the Holy Virgin protect you. She knows all about the encounter, fraternity, patience, and inculturation,” he finished.


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News category: World.

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