Thursday, April 17, 2008

Pope Touches on It All

The Pope is knocking it out of the park. He has addressed our culture with a keen eye and a great commentary on how to fight back relativism and immorality. He has challenged the Church to live lives of holiness. He has focused on difficult issues that needed to be addressed. He has raised the bar for us all.

A few more snips.
In a society that rightly values personal liberty, the Church needs to promote at every level of her teaching - in catechesis, preaching, seminary and university instruction - an apologetics aimed at affirming the truth of Christian revelation, the harmony of faith and reason, and a sound understanding of freedom, seen in positive terms as a liberation both from the limitations of sin and for an authentic and fulfilling life. In a word, the Gospel has to be preached and taught as an integral way of life, offering an attractive and true answer, intellectually and practically, to real human problems. The "dictatorship of relativism", in the end, is nothing less than a threat to genuine human freedom, which only matures in generosity and fidelity to the truth.
Formation, prayer, conversion, holiness, evangelization, and living a life close to the Church. A formula for success.
The fields are still ripe for harvesting (cf. Jn 4:35); God continues to give the growth (cf. 1 Cor 3:6). We can and must insist -- even in our own time and for our own time -- as the late Pope John Paul II did, that God is preparing a new springtime for Christianity (cf. Redemptoris Missio, 86). What is needed above all, at this time in the history of the Church in America, is a renewal of that apostolic zeal which inspires her shepherds actively to seek out the lost, to bind up those who have been wounded, and to bring strength to those who are languishing (cf. Ez 34:16). And this, as I have said, calls for new ways of thinking based on a sound diagnosis of today's challenges and a commitment to unity in the service of the Church's mission to the present generation.
We must evangelize!
Prayer itself, born in Catholic families, nurtured by programs of Christian formation, strengthened by the grace of the sacraments -- prayer is the first means by which we come to know the Lord's will for our lives. To the extent that we teach young people to pray, and to pray well, we will be cooperating with God's call. So I think learning prayer, being prayerful people, is an essential point for the living church. Programs, plans, projects are necessary and have their place; but the discernment of a vocation is above all the fruit of an intimate dialogue between the Lord and his disciples. Young people, if they know how to pray, can be trusted to know what to do with God's call.
We must pray!

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