ADDRESS GIVEN BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HART AT THE JOINT MEETING OF BISHOPS AND
RELIGIOUS AT NORTH SYDNEY ON WEDNESDAY, 26TH
NOVEMBER 2014 AT 11.15 A.M.
Sisters and Brothers,
are about to begin the Year of Consecrated Life. It is my privilege to thank the Religious of
our country for your witness to holiness and truth, as you stand on the
parapets pointing to Jesus and to authentic, spiritual life and witness in the
cities, towns and fields of our time.
come from a Religious Order parish. I was
taught only by Religious, and your witness in prayer, in truth, in articulating
and living the faith and in encountering others, is something that shines
strongly in my own life.
hope is that we will learn from Pope Francis of the value of this Year of
Consecrated Life through taking up its essential joy. As the Pope says: “The joy of the Gospel fills the heart and
lives of all who encounter Jesus. With
Jesus Christ joy is constantly born anew.”
our parishes and communities, how can we welcome and recognise the gift of
consecrated life? My hope for religious
is that their life-giving contribution to the Church will be made known through
their following the Lord in a prophetic way, able to wake the world up,
following Jesus’ promise: “that my joy
may be in you and your joy may be complete”.
15:11) I hope that religious also show us the joy
that arises from the certainty of knowing that we are loved, from a confidence
that we are saved.
Pope asks all of us to reread our own personal story and scrutinise it in the
light of God’s loving gaze, because a vocation is always his initiative and it
is up to us freely to accept the path of discipleship.
hope also is that we will all discover that meeting the Lord gets us moving,
urges us to leave aside self-absorption. (EG 265) From prayer the first thing for a disciple is
to be with the Master, to listen to him and learn from him, cultivating the
contemplative dimension, even amid the whirlwind of more urgent and heavy duties.
today certainly need words, but most of all they need us to bear witness to the
mercy and tenderness of the Lord, which warms the heart, rekindles hope and
attracts people towards the good. (Francis, 07/07/2013)
The men and women of our time are waiting for words of consolation, the
availability of forgiveness and true joy.
We are called to bring to everyone the embrace of God. (EG 47)
we are witnesses of a communion beyond our vision and our limits, we are called
to wear God’s smile. If we can walk on
the path of attraction, spelling out the newness of God’s closeness and waking
up the world, we will tirelessly seek the good of others.
from Pope Francis
is joy, but where is it born?
we have a heart that desires something great, or a heart that has been lulled
to sleep by things?
can I be free from the culture of the temporary?
can I set an example of consistency to the young?
I anxious to make God known?
I feel the restlessness of love? Do we believe
in love for God and for others?
Mary at the foot of the cross, are we at the same time the woman of sorrow and
of watchful expectation of a mystery far greater than sorrow.
Our Lady – rejoice full of grace. Alongside
Mary joy expands, joyful in achieving her desires, sensitive in her duty,
thoughtful in her joy, she hurries towards the mountain. Behold the servant of the Lord, let what you
have said be done to me.
points and vision are our inspiration as we carry the joy and hope of
consecrated life to a world which needs it so desperately.
+ Denis J. Hart,
ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE.