Remember to check Pope Francis’ Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on this link at the Vatican site. Chapter Nine wraps up with final thoughts on “Listening and accompaniment.” After one of Pope Francis’ sayings, we get some important advice from his second predecessor:
297. Because “time is greater than space”,[Evangelii Gaudium (24 November 2013), 222] we need to encourage and accompany processes, without imposing our own roadmaps. For those processes have to do with persons who remain always unique and free. There are no easy recipes, even when all the signs seem positive, since “positive factors themselves need to be subjected to a careful work of discernment, so that they do not become isolated and contradict one another, becoming absolutes and at odds with one another. The same is true for the negative factors, which are not to be rejected en bloc and without distinction, because in each one there may lie hidden some value which awaits liberation and restoration to its full truth”.[Saint John Paul II, Pastores Dabo Vobis 10]
A reminder that leaders must lead by walking the same paths as those they aspire to guide. We have our own guide, and one ready to pray for us:
298. If you are to accompany others on this path, you must be the first to follow it, day in and day out. That is what Mary did, in her own youth, as she confronted her own questions and difficulties. May she renew your youthfulness by the power of her prayers and accompany you always by her maternal presence.
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