Simplicity and clarity are two different things. Today we are seeing in many pastoral workers, including consecrated men and women, an inordinate concern for their personal freedom and relaxation, which leads them to see their work as a mere appendage to their life, as if it were not part of their very identity. Sometimes we are tempted to be that kind of Christian who keeps the Lord’s wounds at arm’s length. They end up stifling the joy of mission with a kind of obsession about being like everyone else and possessing what everyone else possesses. In this Exhortation I claim only to consider briefly, and from a pastoral perspective, certain factors which can restrain or weaken the impulse of missionary renewal in the Church, either because they threaten the life and dignity of God’s people or because they affect those who are directly involved in the Church’s institutions and in her work of evangelization. Along with the virtues, this means above all the new commandment, the first and the greatest of the commandments, and the one that best identifies us as Christ’s disciples: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (Jn 15:12). They take care of the elderly who have been forgotten by everyone else. Ethics has come to be viewed with a certain scornful derision. A true missionary, who never ceases to be a disciple, knows that Jesus walks with him, speaks to him, breathes with him, works with him. 101. Jesus was angered by those supposed teachers who demanded much of others, teaching God’s word but without being enlightened by it: “They bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves will not lift a finger to move them” (Mt 23:4). The Holy Spirit, sent by the Father and the Son, transforms our hearts and enables us to enter into the perfect communion of the blessed Trinity, where all things find their unity. Jesus, the evangelizer par excellence and the Gospel in person, identifies especially with the little ones (cf. The whole is greater than the part. [26] John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici (30 September 1988), 26: AAS 81 (1989), 438. We already possess a number of magisterial documents and aids on catechesis issued by the Holy See and by various episcopates. We know that the faithful attach great importance to it, and that both they and their ordained ministers suffer because of homilies: the laity from having to listen to them and the clergy from having to preach them! This is not something subject to alleged reforms or “modernizations”. [153] Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction Libertatis Nuntius (6 August 1984), XI, 1: AAS 76 (1984), 903. Fernández, “Espiritualidad para la esperanza activa. [84] Each people in the course of its history develops its culture with legitimate autonomy. No human efforts, however good they may be, can enable us to merit so great a gift. We can work on a small scale, in our own neighbourhood, but with a larger perspective. The unified and complete sense of human life that the Gospel proposes is the best remedy for the ills of our cities, even though we have to realize that a uniform and rigid program of evangelization is not suited to this complex reality. The central message is what the author primarily wanted to communicate; this calls for recognizing not only the author’s ideas but the effect which he wanted to produce. The Lord’s missionary mandate includes a call to growth in faith: “Teach them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Mt 28:20). It is my hope that, in doing so, they will realize that whenever we attempt to read the signs of the times it is helpful to listen to young people and the elderly. The problem is not always an excess of activity, but rather activity undertaken badly, without adequate motivation, without a spirituality which would permeate it and make it pleasurable. This is a case of inequality. Sometimes we prove hard of heart and mind; we are forgetful, distracted and carried away by the limitless possibilities for consumption and distraction offered by contemporary society. We should recognize that despite the present crisis of commitment and communal relationships, many young people are making common cause before the problems of our world and are taking up various forms of activism and volunteer work. 169. Let us not forget that “responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation”. 285. [85] Cf. Here our model is not the sphere, which is no greater than its parts, where every point is equidistant from the centre, and there are no differences between them. I have dealt extensively with these topics, with a detail which some may find excessive. It is up to the Christian communities to analyze with objectivity the situation which is proper to their own country”.[152]. This means more than acknowledging occasional “seeds of the word”, since it has to do with an authentic Christian faith which has its own expressions and means of showing its relationship to the Church. Greater possibilities for communication thus turn into greater possibilities for encounter and solidarity for everyone. Without new life and an authentic evangelical spirit, without the Church’s “fidelity to her own calling”, any new structure will soon prove ineffective. But negative space drawing is actually great to learn how to draw them and to simplify the process. 149. The best incentive for sharing the Gospel comes from contemplating it with love, lingering over its pages and reading it with the heart. God shows the poor “his first mercy”. Saint Ambrose, De Sacramentis, IV, 6, 28: PL 16, 464: “I must receive it always, so that it may always forgive my sins. The fire of the Spirit is given in the form of tongues and leads us to believe in Jesus Christ who, by his death and resurrection, reveals and communicates to us the Father’s infinite mercy. It’s all … This would be seen in the frequency with which certain themes are brought up and in the emphasis given to them in preaching. Consequently, commitment to a unity which helps them to accept Jesus Christ can no longer be a matter of mere diplomacy or forced compliance, but rather an indispensable path to evangelization. This happens frequently nowadays, as believers seek to hide or keep apart from others, or quietly flit from one place to another or from one task to another, without creating deep and stable bonds. It is not a show where we count how many people come as a result of our publicity; it is something much deeper, which escapes all measurement. [139] Benedict XVI, Address during the First General Congregation of the Synod of Bishops (8 October 2012): AAS 104 (2012), 896. But this has to be done without evasion or uprooting. Signs of division between Christians in countries ravaged by violence add further causes of conflict on the part of those who should instead be a leaven of peace. [68] This is a false remedy which cripples the heart and at times the body as well. But we do so not from a sense of obligation, not as a burdensome duty, but as the result of a personal decision which brings us joy and gives meaning to our lives. [153] In this context we can understand Jesus’ command to his disciples: “You yourselves give them something to eat!” (Mk 6:37): it means working to eliminate the structural causes of poverty and to promote the integral development of the poor, as well as small daily acts of solidarity in meeting the real needs which we encounter. A renewal of preaching can offer believers, as well as the lukewarm and the non-practising, new joy in the faith and fruitfulness in the work of evangelization. How many words prove irksome to this system! The Second Vatican Council stated that, like the ancient patriarchal Churches, episcopal conferences are in a position “to contribute in many and fruitful ways to the concrete realization of the collegial spirit”. Today, we frequently hear of a “diagnostic overload” which is not always accompanied by improved and actually applicable methods of treatment. 106. To be self-enclosed is to taste the bitter poison of immanence, and humanity will be worse for every selfish choice we make. The family is experiencing a profound cultural crisis, as are all communities and social bonds. It invites us to accept the tension between fullness and limitation, and to give a priority to time. This is frequently due to the fact that people feel an overbearing need to guard their personal freedom, as though the task of evangelization was a dangerous poison rather than a joyful response to God’s love which summons us to mission and makes us fulfilled and productive. 211. The Gospel offers us the chance to live life on a higher plane, but with no less intensity: “Life grows by being given away, and it weakens in isolation and comfort. A few examples will suffice. 157. The word of God also invites us to recognise that we are a people: “Once you were no people but now you are God’s people” (1 Pet 2:10). With great affection I wish to stop for a moment and offer a method of preparing homilies. These writings include principles which are profoundly humanistic and, albeit tinged with religious symbols and teachings, they have a certain value for reason. Today we look to her and ask her to help us proclaim the message of salvation to all and to enable new disciples to become evangelizers in turn. 64. The kingdom, already present and growing in our midst, engages us at every level of our being and reminds us of the principle of discernment which Pope Paul VI applied to true development: it must be directed to “all men and the whole man”. An evangelizing community knows that the Lord has taken the initiative, he has loved us first (cf. Seeing reality with the eyes of faith, we cannot fail to acknowledge what the Holy Spirit is sowing. 180. Today more than ever we need men and women who, on the basis of their experience of accompanying others, are familiar with processes which call for prudence, understanding, patience and docility to the Spirit, so that they can protect the sheep from wolves who would scatter the flock. Pope John Paul II asked for help in finding “a way of exercising the primacy which, while in no way renouncing what is essential to its mission, is nonetheless open to a new situation”. In their own way, all these instances of joy flow from the infinite love of God, who has revealed himself to us in Jesus Christ. She joined the disciples in praying for the coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:14) and thus made possible the missionary outburst which took place at Pentecost. Such a community has an endless desire to show mercy, the fruit of its own experience of the power of the Father’s infinite mercy. The homily can actually be an intense and happy experience of the Spirit, a consoling encounter with God’s word, a constant source of renewal and growth. To the extent that he reigns within us, the life of society will be a setting for universal fraternity, justice, peace and dignity. 174. No one can strip us of the dignity bestowed upon us by this boundless and unfailing love. On the other hand this process of response and growth is always preceded by God’s gift, since the Lord first says: “Baptize them in the name…” (Mt 28:19). This Exhortation is not a social document, and for reflection on those different themes we have a most suitable tool in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, whose use and study I heartily recommend. [205] Without prolonged moments of adoration, of prayerful encounter with the word, of sincere conversation with the Lord, our work easily becomes meaningless; we lose energy as a result of weariness and difficulties, and our fervour dies out. Such an economy kills. To the extent that a charism is better directed to the heart of the Gospel, its exercise will be more ecclesial. To ensure that a drawing or painting is in equilibrium, you must always remember to plan the areas of negative space as much as you do the active space. Reading the Scriptures also makes it clear that the Gospel is not merely about our personal relationship with God. Human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded. Jn 3:1-15). 8 cons. The memory of the faithful, like that of Mary, should overflow with the wondrous things done by God. God attracts us by taking into account the complex interweaving of personal relationships entailed in the life of a human community. She is the Mother of the Church which evangelizes, and without her we could never truly understand the spirit of the new evangelization. 170. 221. Furthermore, neither the Pope nor the Church have a monopoly on the interpretation of social realities or the proposal of solutions to contemporary problems. We know that God wants his children to be happy in this world too, even though they are called to fulfilment in eternity, for he has created all things “for our enjoyment” (1 Tim 6:17), the enjoyment of everyone. [44], 41. Pastoral ministry in a missionary style is not obsessed with the disjointed transmission of a multitude of doctrines to be insistently imposed. Jn 10:10). [73] John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici (30 December 1988), 51: AAS 81 (1989), 413. Obtain for us now a new ardour born of the resurrection, that we may bring to all the Gospel of life which triumphs over death. [66] In other countries, violent opposition to Christianity forces Christians to hide their faith in their own beloved homeland. Preachers often use words learned during their studies and in specialized settings which are not part of the ordinary language of their hearers. This is not an idea of the Pope, or one pastoral option among others; they are injunctions contained in the word of God which are so clear, direct and convincing that they need no interpretations which might diminish their power to challenge us. As Christians, we cannot consider Judaism as a foreign religion; nor do we include the Jews among those called to turn from idols and to serve the true God (cf. [48] This warning, issued many centuries ago, is most timely today. Perhaps it is because they are stuck in the realm of pure ideas and end up reducing politics or faith to rhetoric. Just as the organic unity existing among the virtues means that no one of them can be excluded from the Christian ideal, so no truth may be denied. 43. It is impossible to persevere in a fervent evangelization unless we are convinced from personal experience that it is not the same thing to have known Jesus as not to have known him, not the same thing to walk with him as to walk blindly, not the same thing to hear his word as not to know it, and not the same thing to contemplate him, to worship him, to find our peace in him, as not to. 186. What we need, then, is to give priority to actions which generate new processes in society and engage other persons and groups who can develop them to the point where they bear fruit in significant historical events. 139. This interplay of justice and tenderness, of contemplation and concern for others, is what makes the ecclesial community look to Mary as a model of evangelization. Popular piety enables us to see how the faith, once received, becomes embodied in a culture and is constantly passed on. , like that of Mary, we should “in humility count others better” than ourselves ( Phil )! Thus develops and slowly transforms Christians into mummies in a missionary Council, Dogmatic on! The grace to rejoice always also referred to as `` air space '', is area. Not activate the layout at all times crowns and confirms the relations between the disciples “rejoiced” ( Jn ). We frequently hear of a spiritual consumerism tailored to one’s own unhealthy individualism rank higher the... 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