New Zealand particpants will be sending posts from the Synod on Marriage and the Family in Rome this month. Here is a post from Cardinal John Dew.
We had our first full day in the Synod Hall today, I can see that they are going to be long and very full days and a great deal of listening to do. The words of Pope Francis at the beginning of the day were wonderful and powerful.
He spoke about
- Apostolic courage: Courage that is needed because the Church’s attitudes can, “despite good intentions, distance people from God” and make “Christian life a museum of memories.”
- Evangelizing humility: The humility bishops need to empty themselves of “their own beliefs and prejudices to listen to their brother bishops and fill themselves with God …. A humility that doesn’t point the figure against another to judge them, but to extend a hand to help them up without ever feeling superior to them.”
- Trusting prayer: Prayer to hear the “soft voice of God that speaks in silence.”
It is very clear to see that in the midst of many questions and what appears to be some tension in the Hall that the Holy Father trusts totally in the presence and work of the Holy Spirit, and that he expects everyone else to do the same. He is very happy for people to speak about whatever they want as long as they are sure that it comes from time spent in prayer. It is wonderfully reassuring to know that he leads the Church and that all he does and says come from the fruit of his prayer. Please continue to support him in prayer and pray for the Holy Spirit to guide us all.
Cardinal John Dew is Archbishop of Wellington and President of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference.