The Church is always in need of renewal, as it is comprised of fallen human beings who strive to follow the example of Jesus Christ.
This is not only a personal renewal, but also an “ecclesial” renewal, guided by the Holy Spirit.
Pope Francis wrote about this in his Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium.
“Pope Paul VI invited us to deepen the call to renewal and to make it clear that renewal does not only concern individuals but the entire Church…The Second Vatican Council presented ecclesial conversion as openness to a constant self-renewal born of fidelity to Jesus Christ: ‘Every renewal of the Church essentially consists in an increase of fidelity to her own calling… Christ summons the Church as she goes her pilgrim way… to that continual reformation of which she always has need, in so far as she is a human institution here on earth.” (Evangelii Gaudium, 26)
This renewal does not mean the Church needs to abandon its past or moral teachings, but to dig deeper into it and soak herself in the rich soil of the Gospel.
Pope Francis sees this renewal as being more “mission-oriented,” making “ordinary pastoral activity on every level more inclusive and open” (Evangelii Gaudium, 27)
This type of renewal seeks to encompass the whole world with the Gospel, fulfilling Jesus’ command to preach the Gospel to all nations.
May we do our part by seeking personal renewal in our hearts, always seeking to live by what is true, good and beautiful, united to God’s holy commandments.
Philip Kosloski is the Digital Content Manager for the Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network (USA) and is also a spirituality writer for Aleteia.org and has been featured on such places as The Huffington Post, Crisis Magazine, The Catholic Herald, Catholic Exchange, National Catholic Register and EWTN Radio.