It pains me to think of the consecrated who are not fertile, who are bachelors. Be restless in your spiritual life, be restless in proclaiming the Lord with courage and in approaching others. Be restless in your love for every brother and sister,” Francis said in the opening mass he celebrated at the 184th general chapter of Augustinian leaders in the Basilica of St. Augustine. He presented St. Augustine as an example to follow in terms of spiritual “restlessness” and “pastoral fertility”.
Francis focused on the figure of Saint Monica, Augustine’s mother, saying: “How many mothers today shed tears for their sons to return to Christ. Do not lose your hope for God’s mercy.” “It is not possible that the son of so many tears should perish,” Francis added. After his conversion, St. Augustine himself turned to God and said: “my mother your faithful servant, wept for me, shedding more tears for my spiritual death than other mothers than other mothers shed for the bodily death of a son.” This woman is restless but what she was weeping for, God had already given in abundance.
In his homily, Pope Francis warned against spiritual worldliness: “Do not let yourself to be swept away by spiritual worldliness and careerism.” “Spiritual worldliness pushes us to do everything out of self love, personal interest and careerism.” He urged his audience not to “get comfortable in Christian, priestly, religious and community life,” but feel “the powerful feeling of restlessness for God and His Word,” which encourages clerics and religious to “go out to the flock” and “go out to reach others.”