From Pope John Paul II at a special audience, 1979

Sunday 16 September 1979

I want very much to encourage your efforts to be faithful to Father Charles de Foucauld authentically. This vocation carries a double responsibility. You are responsible to God on behalf of the men and women you meet every day and all other people too. And you are responsible for sharing their life on behalf of Christ incarnate.

Like Brother Charles' of Jesus, you devote long moments freely given to silent prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. Be there before the Saviour in adoration, praise or intercession as ambassadors of these brothers and sisters of yours, of their longings and their needs.

This is the specific nature of your prayer and what gives weight to it. It is by you somehow, by your prayer, that people come close to God and His salvation.

Take just as seriously your life of friendship with those among whom you live. This means not only sympathetic interchanges but also a deep sharing, with the devotion, patience and hiddenness which characterise the life of Nazareth and which are proofs of love. This is the way to give your life for those you love because of the Gospel: manual workers, the sick, prisoners, the illiterate, nomads, the unloved, drug addicts, the marginalised with regard to society and to the Church.

You are about to scatter again to the four corners of the world. This is your exacting vocation: love knows no frontiers. But you stay linked with the centre of the Church, close to the tomb of the Apostle Peter, where you have pronounced your vows, united to the successor of that Apostle, the foundation of the Church's unity. Be sure that the Pope appreciates your religious life and your apostolic witness. He is with you in his thoughts, wherever you may go to carry the Gospel.