"The Church is conceived like a body of which Christ is the Head, and it forms a united whole with Him. However, what the Apostle is seeking to communicate is the idea of unity in the multiplicity of charisms, which are gifts of the Holy Spirit. Thanks to these charisms the Church is a rich and living non-uniform organism, fruit of the one Spirit Who leads everyone to profound unity, absorbing diversities without eradicating them and creating a harmonious whole". - Pope Benedict XVI

VATICAN CITY, 24 JAN 2010 (VIS) - At midday today Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his private study to pray the Angelus with faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square.

Before the Marian prayer, the Pope quoted an excerpt of the First Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians, from today's liturgy, in which the Apostle compares the Church to the human body. "The Church", the Holy Father explained, "is conceived like a body of which Christ is the Head, and it forms a united whole with Him.

"However", he added, "what the Apostle is seeking to communicate is the idea of unity in the multiplicity of charisms, which are gifts of the Holy Spirit. Thanks to these charisms the Church is a rich and living non-uniform organism, fruit of the one Spirit Who leads everyone to profound unity, absorbing diversities without eradicating them and creating a harmonious whole".

The Church "prolongs the presence of the risen Lord over history, especially through the Sacraments, the Word of God, the charisms and pastoral ministry in the community. Therefore, it is precisely in Christ and in the Spirit that the Church is one and holy; in other words, an intimate communion which transcends human capacities and supports them".

In this context the Holy Father turned his attention to the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity which comes to an end tomorrow, Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. To mark the occasion the Pope will preside at the celebration of Vespers in the Roman basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls, with representatives of other Churches and Christian communities present in Rome. "We will", said Pope Benedict, "invoke from God the gift of the full unity of all Christ's disciples" because "the communion of Christians ... makes the announcement of the Gospel more credible and effective".

Finally the Holy Father spoke of St. Francis of Sales, patron of journalists, whose feast falls today. And to that saint, who taught that "the call to sanctity is addressed to everyone, and that each has his or her place in the Church", he entrusted his own recent Message for the World Day of Social Communications.

ANG/CHARISMS UNITY/...                                                VIS 100125 (370)

Share this post

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to Twitter