Ideology and spirituality, danger! Warning from Pope Francis

A center of spirituality must help to “walk in the footsteps of Jesus”, writes Pope Francis in a handwritten letterdated January 30, 2022, addressed to Inès Maria Ordoñez de Lanus, founder of the Santa María Spirituality Centerin Argentina.

The founder requested a word from the pope for the 50th anniversary of the center which publishes the photo of the letter on its online portal. The pope also evokes the “temptations”, which can reach a center of spirituality, in particular ideologies, and he evokes an ideology tinged with Marxism of the 70s.

A continuous dialogue with the Holy Spirit

The foundress had asked the pope, who is familiar with her, to write her something about the center on the occasion of this anniversary.

The pope recommends a spirituality in the Holy Spirit: “The way to a center of Spirituality should be none other than the way of the Gospel, writes the pope. Simple, clear, daily, walking in the footsteps of Jesus… and also accepting to follow the path of “understanding” the Gospel (…). Following Jesus, lights and shadows, light and darkness, joy and pain combine… And to “walk well” in this “simultaneity”, a continuous dialogue with the Holy Spirit, light and love, creator of differences and love, at the same time, creator of harmony. “He is harmony. The Holy Spirit is the “soul” of a center of spirituality. »

Yes to the “style of Jesus”, no to ideologies

The pope underlines the characteristics of the “style” of Jesus: “And another thing that comes to mind is “the style”. The closer the “Jesus style” is, the more authentic it will be. And the style of Jesus was a simple, concrete style, with the rhythm and the “music” with which his people expressed themselves. Concrete and faithful to the roots received: that of revelation and that of culture. And, in this sense, we can speak of the “originality” of Jesus. He did not accept or play along with the ideologies of his time: Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes and Zealots. It clearly stands out and opts for its originality. »

The pope evokes the “temptations”, including the Marxist ideology which he explicitly quotes: “And a Center of spirituality must opt ​​for the originality of the gospel. He will surely be “tempted” by one or the other ideology. On his way to maturity, he must overcome these temptations and always “put himself back” in the originality of the Gospel. Remember, for example, the harm caused by the Marxist-tinged ideologization of certain Latin American centers in the 1970s.

Discern, on the way

The pope then turns to a theme close to his heart, “discernment”: “From this centre, from this nucleus, everything must be born and everything must be organized. The path of following Jesus; harmony is the work of the Spirit to which we must be open; a necessary “method” is the ability to discern along the way. And that ability is what will set the pace and ensure the right path. »

“Inès, this is what came to me from the heart, concludes the pope. Your sense of humor amuses me when I think of your 75th birthday… “Don’t forget your mother and your grandmother”, said Paul to Timothée. Having in front of you the figure of your mother (whom I remember very well) you can promise yourself a “mature youth” of more years. I ask you, please, to pray for me. I do it for you. May Jesus bless you and may the Blessed Virgin watch over you. Affectionately. »

Ideology and spirituality, danger! Warning from Pope Francis – ZENIT – English