Pope: Evangelizing Culture a Priority
Urges Bishops of Guatemala to Preach With "Vigor"
VATICAN CITY, MARCH 6, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Give "fresh vigor" to the work of evangelization, and make
it a priority, Benedict XVI urged the bishops of Guatemala.
Upon receiving the members of the episcopal conference in audience at the conclusion of their five-yearly
visit to Rome, The Pope invited the prelates "to continue with renewed energy the Church's evangelizing
mission in the context of modern cultural movements and globalization."
The Holy Father encouraged them to give "fresh vigor to preaching and catechesis, and proclaiming Jesus
Christ, the Son of God, as the foundation and 'raison d'etre' for all believers."
The Pontiff pointed out the impact on evangelization of the 2nd American Missionary Congress held in
Guatemala in 2003, and the 5th General Conference of the Episcopate of Latin America and the Caribbean
that took place in Brazil last year.
"The evangelization of cultures," he added, "is a priority task to ensure that the word of God remains
accessible to everyone and, absorbed into the mind and heart, becomes the light that illuminates those cultures and the water that purifies them with the message of the Gospel which brings salvation for all humankind."
Speaking of the grave economic and social situation affecting the nation, Benedict XVI said, "Your pastors'
hearts filled with concern for the increase in violence and poverty that affects large numbers of the population and causes extensive emigration to other countries, with grave repercussions on personal and family life. "This situation is an invitation for you to renew your efforts to show everyone the merciful face of the Lord, of whom the Church is called to be the image, accompanying and serving with generosity and dedication, especially those who suffer and are most in need." The Holy Father referred to the Guatemalan people's "profound religious sentiment, rich in forms of popular expression which must mature into solid Christian communities." And he reminded the bishops that "firmness in the faith and participation in the sacraments strengthens your faithful against the risk posed by sects or by supposedly charismatic groups, which create disorientation and can even endanger ecclesial communion."
"The tradition of your cultures sees in the family the basic nucleus of existence and of transmission of faith
and values," said the Pope. However, given the "serious pastoral and human challenges" which the institution
of the family is facing, "the Church remains dedicated [...] to the solid formation of people who are preparing
for marriage, constantly infusing faith and hope into homes and praying that, with the necessary help, they
Pope: Evangelizing Culture a Priority 1
Thoughts in Solitude - Thomas Merton
“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.” † † †"Your way of acting should be different from the world's way"...Rule of St. Benedict.
-Thoughts in Solitude
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