Spiritual exercises: Spotlight on Christ not the Church

2016-03-08 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) The priest leading the spiritual exercises for Pope Francis and the Roman Curia says the Church must not shine the spotlight on herself but instead on Christ. Father Ermes Ronchi’s reflections came during his meditations on Tuesday morning that were delivered at the ‘Divin Maestro’ centre in the town of Ariccia, south of Rome, where the Pope and the Roman Curia are spending their Lenten retreat.

The inspiration for Tuesday morning’s reflections by Father Ronchi came from the gospel account of where Peter professes his faith in Christ as the Son of God. Noting that this was preceded by Jesus asking the disciples who they thought He was, Father Ronchi said in this way Christ is not giving lessons or suggesting replies based on what other people say about him but instead is urging his apostles  to look inside their own hearts. Jesus wants to know if his disciples have opened their hearts to God who is living inside them. Our hearts, explained Father Ronchi, “can be the cradle or the tomb of God.”

He went on to say that Jesus also warned his apostles that following him means an appointment with a man on the Cross. Christ spills his own blood not that of anybody else and he doesn’t sacrifice other people, just himself.

Turning to the Church’s role, Father Ronchi said we are “the mediators between God and humanity.”  Like John the Baptist, we must prepare the path and then step to one side. He said “think of the beauty of a church that does not shine the spotlight on herself” but instead on Christ, and warned that we still have some progress to make on this point.  

(from Vatican Radio)