In his address of the Holy Father to his brother bishops of Latin America, Pope Francis addresses the matter many of us in ministry often find in ourselves. It would be an Ignatian discipline to go back to the original calling. There, we relive the initial call. We refresh and renew our heart. We recognize that fear is not part of grace:
It is not part of the mission to yield to discouragement, once our initial enthusiasm has faded and the time comes when touching the flesh of Christ becomes very hard. In situations like this, Jesus does not feed our fears. We know very well that to him alone can we go, for he alone has the words of eternal life (cf. Jn 6:68). So we need to understand and appreciate more deeply the fact that he has chosen us.
Concretely, what does it mean to set out on mission with Jesus today, here in Latin America? The word “concretely” is not a mere figure of speech: it goes to the very heart of the matter. The Gospel is always concrete, and never an exercise in fruitless speculation. We are well aware of the recurring temptation to get lost in the cavils of the doctors of the law, to wonder how far we can go without losing control over our own bailiwick or our petty portion of power.
Sometimes discouragement surfaces when we get tied up in details like these, and lose touch with the heart of the matter–joining with the Lord to apply his Gospel message in love with and for others.