"Our God is the God of history and our faith is a faith that works in history. In the questions and expectations of the men and women of today, we find important indications for our discipleship of Christ," the Pope said.
He encouraged the general chapter to listen to the sisters of the congregation and to contemporary men and women.
"Never tire of exercising continually the art of listening and sharing," he said. "In this time of great challenges, which demand of consecrated people creative fidelity, impassioned research, listening and sharing are more important than ever before, if we want our life to be fully meaningful for ourselves and for the people we meet."
Pope Francis said this practice requires "a climate of discernment, to recognize what belongs to the Spirit and what is contrary to Him."
"Before us there opens up a world of possibilities," he said. "The culture in which we are immersed presents all of them as valid, all of them as good, but if we do not want to fall victim to the culture of 'zapping' and, at times, a culture of death, we must increase our habit of discernment."
He encouraged the sisters to ask two questions at both the personal and community level: "Lord, what do you want me to do? What do you want us to do?"
The Pope warned against the dangers of a spirit of resignation, suggesting that the devil might tempt them by citing their small numbers or their few vocations and otherwise do what he can to make them have long faces.
"I encourage you also to be prophets of hope, with eyes turned to the future, where the Spirit pushes you, to continue to do great things with you," he said. "The hope that does not disappoint is not based on numbers or works, but on Him, for Whom nothing is impossible"
"With this trust and this strength I repeat to you: do not join the prophets of misfortune, who do great damage to the Church and to consecrated life; do not give in to the temptation of torpor – like the Apostles in Gethsemane – and desperation," he said.
"Awaken the world, illuminate the future! Always with a smile, with joy, with hope," the Pope concluded. "May Mary our Mother protect you with her gaze, and the Lord bless you, show you His Face, and grant you peace and mercy."