"The Church – the Pope continued – gives us a life of faith through Baptism: it is through Baptism that she begets us as children of God, giving us the life of God, like a mother does". Then the Pontiff referred to his experience as Bishop of Rome: "If you go to the Baptistery of St. John Lateran – the itinerary suggested by the Pope -, there you will see an inscription in Latin reading roughly: ‘Here a people of divine descent is born, begotten by the Holy Spirit who makes this water fruitful; in this water, the Mother Church gives birth to her children’". "This tells us something important", the Pope remarked. "Our belonging to the Church is not an external and formal fact, but internal and vital". "We do not belong to the Church in the same way that we belong to a society, a political party or any other organisation", the Pope warned. "It is a vital bond, like the one that unites us with our mothers, because, as St. Augustine said, "the Church is truly the mother of Christians". "Let us ask ourselves – the Pope said – how do I see the Church? Am I grateful to my parents who have given me life? Am I grateful to the Church who begot me in the faith through Baptism? Do we love the Church as we love our mothers, also understanding her defects? Do we help her to be more beautiful, more authentic, more conformed to the Lord?". ” “” “

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