Pope Francis has urged Charismatic Catholics to reach out further to all communities with their gospel hope, as he addressed 4,000 believers at a CHARIS event known as "Called, Transformed, and Sent," held in the Paul VI Hall.
During his address, Pope Francis highlighted CHARIS's role as a guiding force and commended its ability to transcend narrow perspectives. He likened CHARIS to a "window" allowing for a broader view of the diverse gifts of the Holy Spirit in various cultural and ecclesial contexts.
CHARIS is aiming to increase the reach of its "Life in the Spirit Seminars," which offer an initial encounter with Jesus. Pope Francis urged that the seminars be held in more accessible venues, rather than exclusively in large ones with prominent leaders.
The Pope said: "today I would ask you: are the Life in the Spirit Seminars being offered in a variety of ecclesial contexts, in small and remote places, and among the poor and on the peripheries? One obstacle to this might be the idea that these Seminars can only be held in large venues and with well-known leaders, whereas in reality even small parish groups and local leaders can organize them and present them to people in their area."
Pope Francis also stressed the importance of following the Holy Spirit's lead in promoting charisms and growth in faith, rather than attempting to control them.
The Pope encouraged gifts of the Holy Spirit to be "put at the service of the whole Church." Adding to his prepared text, he emphasized, "promoting, not controlling charisms," by following the Holy Spirit, describing him as the "Master who teaches us how to foster charisms."
He finally urged prayer for the ongoing tragedy in the Middle East, recalling that his previous audience with CHARIS five years ago coincided with the anniversary of the historic meeting in the Vatican Gardens between the then president of Israel, Shimon Peres, and the president of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas.
"Brothers and sisters, war can also destroy the memory of past steps towards peace...war destroys everything...please, may we work towards peace. May we never allow ourselves to be robbed of that memory! Let us now take another moment to pray."