Mumbai (AsiaNews) - Benedict XVI's testimony and a conclave held in Lent "are great gifts for the universal Church, which is called to reflect on the mystery and pray for the Cardinals who are called to elect a successor to the Pope Emeritus." This is the response sent by the superior of Mumbai's cloistered Carmelite monastery, Sister Gemma, to Cardinal Bertone's appeal contained in a letter to the religious of the world for "special prayers" for the Church.
In her reply, Sister Gemma says: "We feel privileged to fulfill this request of prayer for the Church, and assure Cardinal Bertone that we will pray for the cardinals in conclave. During this period, we will intensify our prayers and works of charity, asking the Holy Spirit to guide the choice the cardinals are called to make. "
"Since we received the letter - the religious explains to AsiaNews - we have held an hour of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament every evening. On a personal level, each Carmelite is making personal sacrifices for the good of the Conclave. Via internet we have all adopted a cardinal for whom to pray. "
"This morning - she continues - we celebrated a special Mass for the election of the pope. We prayed that the cardinals gathered may be guided by the Holy Spirit to discern the signs of the times for the Church and for the world. This Conclave comes as a time of grace for the universal Church, since it is the first to be held during Lent since 1829. And Lent is the springtime of the Church. "
These days, she adds - "we are witnessing, in an unprecedented way, the strength of the last blessing of Pope Benedict XVI that the presence and power of the Spirit may envelop them. The Pope Emeritus' words were beautiful and full of faith: the Church is awakening souls, and we can see it in these particular times. "
"The international community - concludes Sister Gemma - is full of expectations. When our beloved Pope Emeritus announced he would give up his ministry, he spoke with great wisdom of health and the human inability. This wisdom has become a force for the church, and has embraced the whole world. God has created something new. "