VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Consecrated women are called to be prophets of hope and joy in the world and avoid putting on a superficial joy that withers the soul, Pope Francis said.
In order to live out the joy of the Gospel, “it must be a true joy, not a counterfeit joy” that brings about “the cancer of resignation,” the pope told a group from the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master.
“Please, sisters, no resignation. Only joy! The devil will say, ‘We are small, we don’t have many vocations.’ And your face will grow long – down, down, down – and you lose joy,” he said. “No, you cannot live like that; the hope of Jesus is joy.”
Founded in 1924, the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master are part of the nine institutes of consecrated life that form the Pauline Family established by Blessed James Alberione.
After receiving a warm applause from the sisters, the pope asked their pardon for his late arrival.
“I had a meeting with the bishops of Guatemala and these meetings go on and on and on and then, the sisters pay the price,” he said as the sisters laughed.
In his speech, the pope expressed his hope that the congregation’s general chapter would “bring forth abundant fruit,” particularly the fruit of communion.