dinsdag 6 juli 2010

Een christen is iemand met een goed geheugen

Uit (Zenits vertaling van) de toespraak van paus Benedictus XVI tijdens een ontmoeting met jongeren in Sulmona (Abruzzen, Italië), afgelopen zondag:
You see dear friends, in this way you have, as is often said, "an extra talent." Yes, the historical memory is truly an "extra talent" in life, because without a memory there is no future. Once it was said that history is life's teacher. The present consumerist culture tends instead to flatten man in the present, to make him lose a sense of the past, of history; but by doing so it also deprives him of the capacity to understand himself, to perceive problems, and to build the future. Hence, dear young people, I want to say to you: a Christian is one who has a good memory, who loves history and tries to know it.
Dear friends! Faith and prayer do not resolve problems, but enable one to address them with a new light and strength, in a way fitting to man, and also more serenely and effectively. If we look at the history of the Church, we will see that it is rich in figures of saints and blesseds who, precisely beginning with an intense and constant dialogue with God, illumined by faith, were always able to find new, creative solutions to respond to concrete human needs in every century: health, education, work, etc. Their daring was animated by the Holy Spirit and by a strong and generous love of brothers, especially of the weakest and most underprivileged.
Dear young people! Let yourselves be conquered totally by Christ! You too, begin to undertake with determination the path of holiness, that is, be in contact, in conformity with God - a way that is open to all - because this will also make you be more creative in seeking solutions to the problems you find, and in seeking them together! This is another distinctive sign of a Christian: he is never an individualist.
Perhaps you will say to me, but if we look at St. Peter Celestine, for example, in his choice of life, is this not perhaps individualism, a fleeing from responsibilities? This temptation certainly exists. But in the experiences approved by the Church, the solitary life of prayer and penance is always at the service of the community, open to others, it is never in opposition to the needs of the community. Hermitages and monasteries are oases and sources of spiritual life from which all can drink. The monk does not live for himself, but for others, and it is for the good of the Church and of society that he cultivates the contemplative life, so that the Church and society can always be sprinkled with new energies, by the Lord's action.
Dear young people! Love your Christian communities, do not be afraid to commit yourselves to live together the experience of faith! Love the Church very much: she has given you the faith, she has brought you to know Christ! And love your bishop, your priests very much: with all our weaknesses, priests are beautiful presences in life!
The rich young man of the Gospel, after Jesus suggested that he leave everything and follow him - as we know - left there sad, because he was too attached to his goods (cf. Matthew 19:22). In you, instead, I read joy! And this is also a sign that you are Christians: that for you Jesus Christ means a lot. Although it might be difficult to follow him, it is worth more than anything. You believe that God is the precious pearl that gives value to everything else: in the family, in study, in work, in human love ... in life itself. You have understood that God is infinite Love: the only one who satiates our heart. I would like to recall the experience of St. Augustine, a young man who sought with great difficulty, for a long time, outside of God, something that would satiate his thirst for truth and happiness. But at the end of this journey of seeking he understood that our heart is without peace while it does not find God, while it does not rest in him.

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