Vatican City, 3 March 2014 (VIS) – The Italian Federation of Spiritual Exercises (FIES) celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of its foundation and to commemorate the occasion the Pope received in audience two hundred of its members.
The theme chosen by the FIES for the assembly is “Enamoured by spiritual beauty to spread the fragrance of Christ”, a theme which, according to Pope Francis, “expresses the conviction that proposing the spiritual exercises means an invitation to an experience of God, of His love and beauty. He who lives the Exercises in an authentic way experiences the attraction and the appeal of God, and returns renewed, transformed in ordinary life, in ministry, in daily relationships, bringing with him the fragrance of Christ”.
“Men and women need to meet God, to know him 'not by hearsay'. “Your service is entirely orientated towards this, and you accomplish this by providing space and time for listening intensely to the Word in silence and prayer. Special places for this spiritual experience are offered by the Houses of Spirituality which, for this reason, are supported by appropriate staff. I encourage the Pastors of the various communities to ensure that there is no lack of Houses for Spiritual Exercises, where well trained workers and prepared preachers, endowed with doctrinal and spiritual qualities, are true masters of the spirit”.
“However, we must never forget that the true agent of spiritual life is the Holy Spirit, Who supports our initiatives for good and our prayers. … A good course of Spiritual Exercises contributes to renewing, in those who participate, an unconditional adhesion to Christ and a help in understanding that prayer is the irreplaceable means of union with Christ crucified”, concluded the Holy Father.