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"You are above the cherubim, you who have changed the miserable condition of the world when you became like us" (St. Athanasius) Dear brothers, At the end of Advent we meet for the traditional greetings. In a few days we will have the joy of celebrating the birth of the Lord; the event of God who became man to save men; the manifestation of God's love that does not just give us something or to send any message or certain messengers, but he gives us himself; the mystery of God who takes upon himself our human condition and our sins to reveal his divine life, his immense grace and forgiveness free. And 'the appointment with God who is born in the poverty of the cave of Bethlehem to teach us the power of humility. In fact, Christmas is also the festival of light that is not accepted by the people "elected" but by the poor and simple people who waited for the salvation of the Lord. First of all, I would like to wish all of you - Collaborators, brothers and sisters, papal Representatives around the world - and all your loved ones a holy Christmas and a happy New Year. I want to thank you cordially for your daily commitment to the service of the Holy See, the Catholic Church, the particular Churches and the Successor of Peter. Since we are people, not numbers or names only, remember in a special way those who, during this year, have finished their service for reasons of age or for taking other roles, or because they have been called to the Father's House. Also to all of them and their families go my thoughts and my gratitude. I want with you raise to the Lord a keen and sincere thanks for the year that is leaving us, for the events and experiences for all the good that he wanted to fulfill generously through the service of the Holy See, humbly asking forgiveness for the failings "in thoughts, words, deeds and omissions." And based on this request for forgiveness, I wish this meeting and reflections that I will share with you become, for all of us, a support and a stimulus to a real examination of conscience to prepare our hearts for Christmas. Thinking about our meeting came to my mind the image of the Church as the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ. It is an expression that, as he explained the Pope Pius XII , "flows and almost sprouting from what is frequently exposed in the Holy Scriptures and the Holy Fathers' [1] . In this regard, St. Paul wrote, "For as the body is one and has many members, and all members of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ" ( 1 Cor 12:12) [2] . In this sense, the Second Vatican Council reminds us that "in the structure of the mystical body of Christ exists a diversity of members and offices. One is the Spirit, who for the welfare of the Church in its various gifts with munificence proportionate to his riches and the needs of the ministries (cf. 1 Cor 12.1 to 11), " [3] . Therefore, "Christ and the Church make up the" whole Christ "- Christus Totus - . The Church is one with Christ " [4] . It 'nice to think of the Roman Curia as a small model of the Church, that is, as a "body" that tries seriously and every day to be more alive, healthier, more harmonious and more united in himself and with Christ. In fact, the Roman Curia is a complex body, made ​​up of many departments, councils, offices, courts, commissions and numerous items that do not all have the same task, but are coordinated in order to function effectively, uplifting, disciplined and exemplary, despite the cultural, linguistic and national of its members [5] . However, being the Curia a dynamic body, it can not live without feeding and not caring. In fact, the Curia - like the Church - can not live without having a vital relationship, personal, authentic and balance with Christ [6] . A member of the Curia that not everyday with that food will become a bureaucrat (a formalist, a functionalist, a mere clerk): a branch that withers and slowly dies and is thrown away. Daily prayer, regular participation in the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and Reconciliation, daily contact with the Word of God and spirituality translated into charity experienced food are vital for each of us. What is clear to us that without Him we can do nothing (cf. Jn 15,5). As a result, the living relationship with God nourishes and strengthens our communion with others, that the more we closely adhere to God the more we are united among ourselves, because the Spirit of God unites and divides the evil spirit . The Curia is called to improve, to always improve and grow in communion, holiness and wisdom to fully realize its mission [7] . Yet it, like every human body is exposed to disease, malfunction, infirmity . And here I would like to mention some of these probable diseases, "diseases curial". Diseases are more frequent in our life of the Curia. Are diseases and temptations that weaken our service to the Lord. I think it will help the "catalog" of disease - the example of the Desert Fathers, who were these catalogs - we are talking about today will help us prepare for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which will be a big step for all of us to prepare for Christmas . 1. The disease of being "immortal", "immune" or even "indispensable", neglecting the necessary and routine checks. A Curia which is not self-critical , that you do not update, which does not seek to improve is a sick body. An ordinary visit cemeteries could help us to see the names of so many people, some of whom probably thought they were immortal, immune and indispensable! It is the disease of the rich fool who thought of the Gospel of eternal life (cf. Lk 12.13 to 21), and also of those who become masters and feel superior to everyone and not at the service of all. It often stems from the pathology of power, the " complex of the Chosen ", the narcissism that looks passionately its image and does not see the image of God stamped on the face of others, especially the weak and needy [8] . The antidote to this epidemic is the grace to feel sinners and say with all my heart: 'We are unprofitable servants. We did what we had to do "( Lk 17:10). 2. The disease of "martalismo" (which comes from Martha), excessive busyness: that is, those who are immersed in work, neglecting, inevitably, "the better part": the sit at the feet of Jesus (cf. Lk 10, 38-42). This is why Jesus called his disciples to "take some rest '" (cf. Mk 6:31), because neglecting the necessary rest leads to stress and agitation. The rest of the time, for those who have completed their mission, it is necessary, proper and should be lived seriously: in spend some 'quality time with the family and to respect the holidays as a time to recharge the spiritual and physical; we must learn what he teaches the Ecclesiastes: "there is a time for everything" (see 3.1). 3. There is also the disease of '' impietrimento "mental and spiritual: that is, those who have a heart of stone and the" hard head "(cf. Acts 7:51); of those who, along the way, they lose the inner serenity, vivacity and boldness and hide under the cards becoming "machines practices" and not "men of God" (cf. Heb 3:12). It's dangerous to lose the human sensitivity needed to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice! It is the disease of those who lose "the feelings of Jesus" (cf. Phil 2,5) because their hearts, with the passage of time, it hardens and becomes unable to unconditionally love the Father and neighbor (cf. Mt 22,34 -40). Being a Christian, in fact, means "to have the same mind that was in Christ Jesus" ( Phil 2,5), feelings of humility and selflessness, of detachment and generosity [9] . 4. The disease of excessive planning and functionalism: when the apostle plan everything carefully and believes that making a perfect planning things actually make progress, making it a bookkeeper or accountant. You need to prepare everything well, but without falling into the temptation of wanting to lock up and drive the freedom of the Holy Spirit, which remains the largest, most generous of all human planning (cf. Jn 3,8). You fall in this disease because "it is always easier and convenient recline in their static positions and unchanged. In fact, the Church is shown faithful to the Holy Spirit to the extent that it does not claim to regulate and tame - taming the Holy Spirit! - ... He is freshness, imagination, innovation " [10] . 5. The disease of poor coordination: when the limbs lose communion with each other and the body loses its smooth functionality and its temperance, becoming an orchestra that produces noise, because its members do not cooperate and do not live the spirit of fellowship and team. When the foot tells the arm: "I do not need you," or the hand to his head: "I'm in charge", causing discomfort and scandal. 6. There is also the disease of '"spiritual Alzheimer's": ie a forgotten its own history of salvation, of personal history with the Lord, the "first love" ( Rev 2.4). It is a progressive decline of the spiritual faculties that in a longer or shorter period of time due to severe handicap to the person making it unable to carry out any activity independent, experiencing a state of absolute dependence on his views often imaginary. We see it in those who have lost the memory of their encounter with the Lord; in those who have no sense "Deuteronomic" of life; in those who are completely dependent on their present, their passions, quirks and foibles; in those who build walls around themselves and habits becoming, more and more, slaves of idols that have carved their own hands. 7. The disease of rivalry and vainglory [11] : when the appearance, the colors of the robes and insignia of honor become the primary goal of life, forgetting the words of St. Paul: "Do nothing from rivalry or conceit but each of you, with humility consider others better than yourselves. Each one should not look for its own interests, but also that of others "( Phil 2,3-4). It is the disease that causes us to be men and women fake and live a false mysticism and a false "quietism". St. Paul himself calls them "enemies of the cross of Christ" because "they boast of what they should be ashamed and do not think that the things of the earth" ( Philippians 3,18.19). 8. The disease of schizophrenia existential. And 'the disease of those who live a double life, the fruit of hypocrisy typical of the poor and the progressive spiritual vacuum that degrees or academic qualifications can not fill. A disease that often affects those who, abandoning the Sevizio pastoral limited to paperwork, thus losing touch with reality, with real people. They create their own parallel world, where they put aside everything that teach strictly to others and begin to live a hidden life and often dissolute. The conversion is quite urgent and indispensable for this very serious disease (cf. Lk 15.11 to 32). 9. The disease of chatter, the grumbling and gossip. Of this disease I have spoken many times, but never enough. It 'a serious disease, which begins simply, maybe just for a chat, and takes hold of the person making it "sower of discord" (as Satan), and in many cases "cold blooded murderer" of the fame of their colleagues and confreres. It is the disease of people cowardly, that not having the courage to speak directly talk behind their backs. St. Paul admonishes us: "Do everything without complaining and without hesitation, to be blameless and pure" ( Phil 2,14-15). Brethren, let us look from terrorism and chatter! 10. The disease deify leaders. And 'the disease of those who are courting superiors, hoping to get their benevolence. They are victims of careerism and opportunism, they honor the people and not God (cf. Mt 23.8 to 12). They are people who live the service thinking only what they need to get and not what they have to give. People petty, miserable and inspired only by their fatal selfishness (cf. Gal 5.16 to 25). This disease may also affect the superiors when courting some of their employees to get their submission, loyalty and psychological dependence, but the end result is a real complicity. 11. The disease of indifference towards others. When everyone thinks only of himself and loses the sincerity and warmth of human relations. When the most experienced does not put his knowledge to the service of the less experienced colleagues. When you become aware of something and you keep to yourself instead of sharing it with others positively. When, out of jealousy or guile, it feels joy at seeing others fall rather than lift it and encourage it. 12. The disease face funeral, ie persons gruff and grim, they consider that to be serious need to paint the face of melancholy, severity and treat others - especially those deemed inferior - with stiffness, hardness and arrogance. In reality, the severity theatrical and pessimism sterile [12] are often symptoms of fear and insecurity about himself. The apostle must strive to be a person polite, calm, enthusiastic and cheerful that conveys joy wherever he is. A heart full of God is a happy heart that radiates with joy and infects all who are around him: you can see it right away! Therefore we do not lose that spirit joyful, full of humor , and even self-deprecating, that makes us lovely people, even in difficult situations [13] . As well there is a good healthy dose of humor! We will do very well often recite the prayer of St. Thomas More [14] : I pray every day, it does me good. 13. The disease accumulating when the apostle seeks to fill an existential void in his heart accumulating material goods, not out of necessity, but just to feel safe. In fact, nothing of material we can take with us, because "the shroud has no pockets" and all our earthly treasures - even if they are gifts - they will never fill that void, indeed will make it ever more demanding and more profound. To these people the Lord repeats: "You say, I am rich, I have acquired wealth, I do not need anything. But do not you know you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked ... Be zealous therefore, and be converted "( Apoc 3,17.19). The accumulation and weighs only slows down the path inexorably! And I think of an anecdote: a time, the Spanish Jesuits described the Society of Jesus as the "light cavalry of the Church." I remember the removal of a young Jesuit, while loading a truck his many belongings: luggage, books, objects and gifts, he was told, with a wise smile, an old Jesuit who was to observe: "This would the 'light cavalry of the Church'? ". Our removals are a sign of this disease. 14. The disease of closed circles, where membership in the group becomes stronger than that of the body and, in some situations, to Christ himself. Although this disease always begins with good intentions but with the passage of time enslaves members becoming a cancer that threatens the harmony of the body and cause so much harm - scandals - especially to our brethren. The self-destruction or the " friendly fire "of fellow soldiers is the most insidious danger [15] . It is the evil that strikes from within [16] ; and, as Christ says, "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation" ( Lk 11:17). 15. And the last: the disease of worldly profit, of exhibitionism [17] , when the apostle turns his service in power, and his power into a commodity for profit or more worldly powers. is the disease of people trying insatiably multiply powers and for this purpose are capable of slander, defame and discredit others, even in newspapers and magazines. Of course to perform and prove more capable than others. Although this disease is very painful to the body, because it leads people to justify the use of any means to achieve this end, often in the name of justice and transparency! And here I am reminded of the memory of a priest who called journalists to tell them - and invent - the things private and confidential information of his brothers and parishioners. For he had only see each other on the front pages, because he felt so powerful and compelling, causing so much harm to others and to the Church. Poor thing! Brothers, these diseases and such temptations are of course a danger to every Christian and every curia, community, congregation, parish, church movement, and can affect both individually and Community. It should be clarified that only the Holy Spirit - the soul of the Mystical Body of Christ, as the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed: "I believe ... in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and life-giving "- to heal every disease. It is the Holy Spirit that sustains every sincere effort of purification and any goodwill conversion. He is to make us understand that every member participates in the sanctification of the body and its weakening. He is the promoter of harmony [18] : " Ipse harmonia east , "says St. Basil. St. Augustine says: "As long as one adheres to the body part, his recovery is not hopeless; what hand was severed, can neither cure nor heal itself " [19] . Healing is also the result of the awareness of the disease and the personal and communal decision to heal enduring patiently and persistently care [20] . Therefore, we are called - in this time of Christmas and all the time of our service and of our existence - to live "according to the truth in love, [trying] to grow up in every way into him who is the head, Christ , from whom the whole body, joined and connected together by every supporting ligament, with the proper functioning of each part, maketh increase and builds itself up in love "( Eph 4,15-16). Dear brothers! I once read that the priests are like airplanes: make news only when they fall, but there are so many flying. Many criticize and just pray for them. That's a very nice but also very true, because outlines the importance and sensitivity of our priestly service and how bad could cause one priest who "falls" to the whole body of the Church. Therefore, not to fall in these days when we prepare for Confession, ask the Virgin Mary, Mother of God and Mother of the Church, to heal the wounds of sin that each of us carries in his heart and to support the Church and the Curia so that they are healthy and healing, holy and sanctifying, to the glory of her Son and for our salvation and that of the whole world. We ask you to make us love the Church as Christ has loved her, her Son and our Lord, and to have the courage to recognize sinners and in need of his mercy and not to be afraid to leave our hand between her maternal hands. Best wishes for a holy Christmas to all of you, your families and your employees. And, please, do not forget to pray for me! Thank you! [1] He says that the Church, being mysticum Corpus Christi , "also requires a multitude of members, who are so connected to each other by helping each other. And as in our mortal body, when one member suffers, the others suffer its pain and come to his aid, so in the Church the individual members do not live every man for himself, but also hold out help to others, offering one another collaboration, both for mortgage comfort and for the continued development of the whole body ... a body constituted not by any jumble of limbs, but must be supplied to organs, ie the members who do not have all the same task, but are properly coordinated; so the Church, especially for this to be called the body because it is a straight line and consistent provision of union members among their different "(Enc. Mystical Body , Part One: AAS 35 [1943], 200). [2] See Rm 12,5: "Even so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and, each for its part, we are members one of another." [3] Cost. Dogmatic Constitution. Lumen Gentium , 7. [4] Catechism of the Catholic Church , n. 795. Remember that "the comparison of the Church with the body illuminates the intimate bond between the Church and Christ. It is not only gathered around Him; is unified in Him, in His body. Three aspects of the Church as the Body of Christ should be highlighted in a special way: the unity of all the members to each other by virtue of their union with Christ; Christ the Head of the body; the Church, the Bride of Christ "( ibid . n. 789). [5] See Apost. ap. Evangelii gaudium , 130-131 . [6] Jesus repeatedly has made ​​known to the union that the faithful must have with him: "As the branch can not bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches "( Jn 15: 4-5). [7] See Const. ap. Pastor bounus , art. 1 ; CIC , can. 360 . [8] See Apost. ap. Evangelii gaudium , 197-201 . [9] Benedict XVI, Catechesis at the General, 1 June 2005. [10] Homily at Mass , Istanbul, Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, November 29, 2014. [11] Cf. Apost. ap. Evangelii gaudium , 95-96 . [12] See ibid , 84-86. [13] See ibid , 2. [14] "Lord, give me a good digestion and also something to digest. Give me the body's health and good humor necessary to maintain it. Lord, grant me a simple soul who knows how to make good use of all that is good and not be frightened at the sight of evil, but always finds a way to Replace battery things right. Give me a soul who does not know the boredom, the grumbling, the sighs, the moans, and not allow me worries excessively about that thing too bulky which is called "I". Give me, Lord, the sense of good humor. Grant me the grace to understand a joke to discover in life a bit 'of joy and join it to other. Amen. " [15] Cf. Apost. ap. Evangelii gaudium , 88 . [16] Blessed Paul VI, referring to the situation of the Church, claimed to have the feeling that "from some fissure the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God" ( Homily on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul , June 29, 1972) ; see. Apost. ap. Evangelii Gaudium , 98-101 . [17] Cf. Apost. ap. Evangelii Gaudium, 93-97 ("No to the spiritual worldliness'). [18] "The Holy Spirit is the soul of the Church. He gives life , gives rise to the different charisms that enrich the People of God and, above all, creates the unity among the believers of many is one body, the Body of Christ ... The Holy Spirit makes the Church's unity: unity in faith, unity in charity, unity in the inner cohesion "( Homily at the Mass , Istanbul, Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, November 29, 2014). [19] Serm ., CXXXVII, 1: PL , XXXVIII, 754. [20] Cf. Apost. ap. Evangelii gaudium , 25-33 ("Pastoral conversion").