Author Topic: Pope urges lay Christians to make the Voice of the Gospel Resound  (Read 157 times)

Offline Xavier

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Pope Francis has often urged all Christians, right from Lay Catholics, to go out into the world and make a difference for the Glory of Christ and the coming of His Kingdom. Pope Pius XII and Pope St. Pius X have also written on Lay Catholic Apostolates and the benefits that can accrue, from thoughtful Catholic Action on the part of competent laymen and laywomen, to the Catholic Church. Thoughts on the subject? From: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2020-02/pope-message-laity-conference-spain-bishops.html

Church documents for reading:I. Pope St. Pius X, Il Fermo Proposito, ON CATHOLIC ACTION IN ITALY, TO THE BISHOPS OF ITALY:

"Venerable Brethren, Health and the Apostolic Blessing.

1. The firm purpose and desire which We resolved upon at the beginning of Our Pontificate to consecrate all the energy which the good Lord deigns to grant Us in the work of restoring all things in Christ, reawakens in Our heart a great trust in the all powerful grace of God. Without that grace We can neither plan nor undertake anything great or fruitful for the good of souls here below. At the same time, however, We feel more than ever the need of being upheld unanimously and constantly in this venture both by you, Venerable Brethren, called to participate in Our pastoral office, as well as by all the clergy and faithful committed to your care. Truly, all of us in the Church are called to form that unique Body, whose Head is Christ; "closely joined," as the Apostle Paul teaches, "and knit together through every joint of the system according to the functioning in due measure of each single part."[1] In such a way the Body increases and gradually perfects itself in the bond of charity. Now, if in this work of "building up the body of Christ"[2] it is Our primary duty to teach, to point out the correct way to follow, to propose the means to be used, to admonish and paternally exhort, it is also the duty of Our beloved children, dispersed throughout the world, to heed Our words, to carry them out first of all in their own lives, and to aid in their effective fulfillment in others, each one according to the grace of God received, according to his state in life and duties, and according to the zeal which inflames his heart ... 3. The field of Catholic Action is extremely vast. In itself it does not exclude anything, in any manner, direct or indirect, which pertains to the divine mission of the Church. Accordingly one can plainly see how necessary it is for everyone to cooperate in such an important work, not only for the sanctification of his own soul, but also for the extension and increase of the Kingdom of God in individuals, families, and society; each one working according to his energy for the good of his neighbor by the propagation of revealed truth, by the exercise of Christian virtues, by the exercise of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Such is the conduct worthy of God to which Saint Paul exhorts us, so as to please Him in all things, bringing forth fruits of all good works, and increasing in the knowledge of God. "May you walk worthily of God and please him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God."[3]" http://www.vatican.va/content/pius-x/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-x_enc_11061905_il-fermo-proposito.html

II. Pope Ven. Pius XII, Guiding Principles of the Lay Apostolate : "Six years ago, beloved sons and daughters, We said at the close of Our address to the first World Congress for the Lay Apostolate: “If there is a power in the world capable . . . of disposing souls to a sincere reconciliation and to a fraternal union among people, it is certainly the Catholic Church. You can rejoice in this with pride. It is up to you to make your contribution with all your strength.” (Discorsi e Radiomessaggi, vol. XIII, p. 301.)

Today we look with pleasure upon this select assembly which has brought together for the second World Congress 2,000 representatives, including cardinals, bishops, priests, and prominent laymen from more than 80 nations. We extend to you Our paternal and cordial welcome, and congratulate you for the important work done in a few years time toward the fulfillment of the objectives that have been set before you ... In order to preserve the proper sphere of action of both priest and layman, it is enough that all should have a sufficient spirit of faith, disinterestedness, mutual esteem, and mutual confidence. Respect for the priestly dignity has always been one of the most characteristic traits of the Christian community; on the other hand, laymen also have rights, and the priest must recognize them.

The layman is entitled to receive from the priest all those spiritual benefits which are necessary if he is to achieve the salvation of his soul and attain Christian perfection. (Canons 87 and 682.) In what concerns the Christian’s fundamental rights, he may assert his demands. (Canons 467, 1; 892, 1.) The meaning and aim of the Church’s whole life is involved here, as well as the responsibility before God of the priest and the lay man.

One of the reasons for this appeal to the laity is certainly the shortage of priests, but even in the past a priest expected the cooperation of laymen. Let Us mention only the considerable contribution which lay Catholic men and women instructors, as well as Religious, have made to the teaching of religion and, in general, to Christian education and the formation of youth. Think, for instance, of the Catholic schools of the United States. The Church is grateful to them for this contribution, for it was a necessary complement to priestly work. There still remains the fact that the lack of priests is especially noticeable today and threatens to become even more so. We are thinking especially of parts of Latin America, whose people and countries are undergoing rapid development at the present time. The work of laymen there is all the more necessary." https://www.papalencyclicals.net/pius12/p12layap.htm

"Pope urges lay Christians to go forth and make the voice of the Gospel resound

A message sent by Pope Francis to participants in an event organized by the Spanish Conference of Bishops’ dedicated to the laity calls on Christians to embrace the missionary mandate and make the voice of the Gospel resound in a world where the Good News is suffocated by so many voices of death and despair.

By Linda Bordoni

In a message of closeness and encouragement to a conference in Spain dedicated to the role of the laity in the life of the Church, Pope Francis reminds Christians never to be afraid to walk the streets and touch the wounds of the people while bearing witness to the Gospel of life.

The conference, entitled “Pueblo de Dios En Salida” (The People of God Going Forth) highlights the involvement of the laity in all sections of society while celebrating the 10th anniversary of the approval of the Statutes of Catholic Action in Spain.

Organized by the Episcopal Commission for the Lay Apostolate of the Spanish Bishops’ Conference, the event is taking place in Madrid from 14 to 16 February. In preparation for the conference, a questionnaire was distributed to groups of young people, families, movements, catechists, teachers, etc. gathering together reflections and suggestions. 

In his message addressed to Cardinal Ricardo Blazquez Pérez, President of the Spanish Episcopal Conference, the Pope expresses his appreciation for “the long road of preparation” that has led to this event and in which participants have been able to share ideas and experiences from different realities.

Saints Cyril and Methodius

He said the fact the Congress begins on the day the Church remembers Saints Cyril and Methodius, patrons of Europe, is significant, noting that they brought the message of the Gospel to those who did not know it, “making it understandable and close to the people of their time.”

The Pope referred to the motto (and the title of the Congress) that tells us that we, the people of God, are invited to live the faith, not individually or in isolation, but in community, as a people going forth into the world as willed by the Father.

He said that as Christians we are called to always be aware that we are part of a community, that is not “just another group, or NGO, but the family of God gathered around the same Lord.”

“Remembering this leads us to deepen our faith every day,” he said, and he reminded the faithful that “the people of God are called to walk together under the impulse of the Spirit, who renews them and takes them back to Him, again and again.”

The people of God are called to shape their history

The Pope went on to explain that the people of God are called to shape their history “which is given to them, like a blank page on which to write”.

They are asked to do this, he said, “leaving behind their comforts, taking steps towards the other, always ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks for a reason for their hope (1 Pt 3:15), not with prefabricated answers, but with incarnated and contextualized ones, in order to make known the Truth that moves Christians and makes them happy” in an understandable and accessible way.

He elaborated further on this concept by pointing out that to do this, “we need that inner freedom which is capable of letting itself be touched by the reality of our time and having the courage to go out to meet it.”

The missionary mandate, he continued, is always current and calls us to forcefully make the voice of the Gospel resound in the world, “particularly in this old Europe, where the Good News is suffocated by so many voices of death and despair.”

Preach with passion and joy

Pope Francis encouraged Christians to preach the living Word of God with passion and joy, in order to be able to “break down even the highest walls that isolate and exclude.”

He said it is time for all those who work in the world of culture, politics and industry to bear witness with their way of life, bringing the novelty and joy of the Gospel wherever they are.

“I encourage you to live your own vocation immersed in the world, listening, with God and with the Church, to the heartbeat of your contemporaries,” he said.

Pope Francis concluded his message inviting those present “never to be afraid to walk the streets, to enter every corner of society, to reach the limits of the city, to touch the wounds of the people:  this is the Church of God, which rolls up her sleeves to go out to meet the other, without judging, without condemning, but reaching out to support, encourage or simply accompany.”

“May the Lord's command always resound in you: "Go and make disciples of all nations" (Mt 28:19)."
« Last Edit: February 14, 2020, 07:03:11 AM by Xavier »
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