ADDRESS OF JOHN PAUL II
TO A DELEGATION OF MEMBERS OF THE
IN THE HOLY SPIRIT MOVEMENT
Thursday, 14 March 2002
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
1. With great joy I welcome you, representatives of the Group of
Renewal in the Holy Spirit, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary
of your presence in Italy. I greet the coordinator of the National
Service Committee and those who assist him.
I think back with pleasure to the meetings I have had with you in past
years: from the first, on the Solemnity of Christ the King in 1980,
to our meeting in 1998, during the prayer vigil of the Meeting with
Ecclesial Movements and New Communities on the eve of Pentecost. Nor
can I forget the contribution of the "Renewal in the Spirit" during
the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, in particular helping young
people and families, who from the beginning of my Pontificate I have
constantly selected as priority targets for pastoral involvement.
I would also like to thank your directors for wishing to give to the
Renewal a definite emphasis on collaboration with the hierarchy and
with the leaders of other movements, associations and communities.
2. Yes! The Renewal in the Spirit can be considered a special gift of
the Holy Spirit to the Church in our time. Born in the Church and
for the Church, your movement is one in which, following the light
of the Gospel, the members experience the living encounter with
Jesus, fidelity to God in personal and community prayer, confident
listening to his Word and a vital rediscovery of the Sacraments, not
to mention courage in trials and hope in hardship.
Love for the Church and submission to her Magisterium, in a process of
maturing in the Church supported by a solid permanent formation are
relevant signs of your intention to avoid the risk of favouring,
unwittingly, a purely emotional experience of the divine, an
excessive pursuit of the "extraordinary" and a private withdrawal
that may shrink from apostolic outreach.
3. On this special occasion I desire ideally to bless three projects,
which you have launched, that send out groups and communities of the
Renewal in the Spirit "from the Upper Room" with generous missionary
I am referring first of all to your support of the implantatio
Ecclesiae in Moldavia, in close collaboration with the "Regina Pacis"
Foundation of the Archdiocese of Lecce, establishing a missionary
community associated with the Diocese of Chisinau. I greet with
affection the pastors of those Ecclesial Communities, Archbishop
Cosmo Francesco Ruppi and Bishop Anton Cosa, and the other bishops
taking part in this meeting.
Another important project is your work of spiritual guidance in Marian
shrines, privileged places of the Spirit, that gives you the
opportunity to offer pilgrims ways of deepening their faith and
Then there is the "Burning Bush" project which is an invitation to
ongoing adoration, day and night. You have wished to promote this
appropriate initiative to help the faithful "return to the Upper
Room", so that united in the contemplation of the Eucharistic
mystery, they may intercede by means of the Spirit for the full
unity of Christians and for the conversion of sinners.
These are three different areas of apostolic activity in which your
experience can provide a very providential witness. May the Lord
guide your labours and make your resolutions bear abundant fruit for
yourselves and for the Church.
4. In the final analysis, all your evangelizing activities tend to
foster in the People of God constant growth in holiness. Indeed,
holiness is the priority in every age, and therefore also in our own
time. The Church and the world need saints, and we ourselves become
holier the more we allow the Holy Spirit to configure us to Christ.
This is the secret of the regenerating experience of the "outpouring
of the Spirit", a typical experience that defines the process of
growth proposed for the members of your groups and communities. With
all my heart I hope that Renewal in the Spirit may be a true
"gymnasium" in the Church for prayer, asceticism, virtue and
In a special way continue to love and spread love for the prayer of
praise, the form of prayer that recognizes more immediately that God
is God; praises him for his own sake, gives him glory for who he is,
long before thinking of what he does (cf. Catechism of the Catholic
Church, n. 2639).
In our time that is so hungry for hope, make the Holy Spirit known and
loved. Help bring to life that "culture of Pentecost", that alone
can make fruitful the civilization of love and friendly coexistence
among peoples. With fervent insistence, never tire of praying "Come
Holy Spirit! Come! Come!".
May the Blessed Mother of Christ and of the Church, the Virgin at
prayer in the Upper Room, always be with you! May the Blessing I
cordially impart to you, and to all the members of Renewal of the
Holy Spirit, also go with you!