Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Pope on the Brazil visit

The Pope had some recent reflections on his visit to Brazil. Some excerpts below:
Today, in the age of globalization, this Catholic identity is still present as the most adequate response, provided that it is animated by a serious spiritual formation and by the principles of the social doctrine of the Church.

Brazil is a great Country that holds deeply rooted Christian values, but also faces enormous social and economic problems. To contribute to their solution, the Church must mobilize all the spiritual and moral strength of her communities, seeking appropriate common policies with the other healthy energies of the Country.

Among the positive elements, I must certainly mention the creativity and the fecundity of that Church, in which new Movements and Institutes of consecrated life are continuously born. Not less praiseworthy is the generous dedication of so many lay faithful, who are very active in the various initiatives promoted by the Church.
He lays out a clear plan for the bishops:
I encouraged my confreres to go forward and strengthen the commitment to the new evangelization, exhorting them to develop a capillary and methodical way to spread the Word of God so that the innate and widespread religiosity of the populations can take root and become a mature faith, a personal and communal adherence to the God of Jesus Christ.

I encouraged them to recover everywhere the style of the first Christian community described in the Acts of the Apostles: assiduous in catechesis, the sacramental life and charitable works. I know the dedication of these faithful servants of the Gospel who want to present it fully without confusion, watching over the deposit of the faith with discernment; it is also their constant duty to promote social development, principally through the formation of the laity, called to assume responsibility in the field of politics and economics.
Then he addresses the youth:
Another important moment of the Journey was without doubt the meeting with the young people, hope not only of the future, but a vital force for the Church and society of today. The vigil they held in São Paulo, Brazil, was a festival of hope, illuminated by the words of Christ addressed to the "rich young man" who had asked: "Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?" (Mt 19: 16).

Jesus first of all indicated to him to "keep the commandments" as the way of life, and then invited him to leave all to follow him. The Church still does the same today: first of all, it reproposes the commandments, true path of education of freedom for personal and social good; and above all, it proposes the "first commandment" of love, because without love even the commandments cannot give full meaning to life and procure true happiness.

Only the one who meets the love of God in Jesus and sets himself upon this way to practice it among men, becomes his disciple and missionary. I have invited the youth to be apostles of their contemporaries; and for this reason, to always care for their human and spiritual formation; to have a high esteem of marriage and of the way that leads to it, in chastity and responsibility; to be open also to the call to consecrated life for the Kingdom of God. In summary, I encouraged them to put to good use the "wealth" of their youth, to be the young face of the Church.

He is good. Very good.

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