Rorate Caeli

I chose you

We must overcome the temptation to restrict ourselves to what we already have, or think we have, safely in our possession: it would be sure death in terms of the Church’s presence in the world; the Church, for that matter, can only be missionary, in the outward movement of the Spirit. From its origins, the Christian people has clearly recognized the importance of communicating the Good News of Jesus to those who did not yet know him. In recent years the anthropological, cultural, social and religious framework of humanity has changed; today the Church is called to face new challenges and is ready to dialogue with different cultures and religions, in the search for ways of building, along with all people of good will, the peaceful coexistence of peoples. The field of the mission ad gentes appears much broader today, and no longer to be defined on the basis of geographic considerations alone; in effect, not only non-Christian peoples and those who are far distant await us, but so do social and cultural milieux, and above all human hearts, which are the real goal of the missionary activity of the People of God.

This is the mandate whose faithful fulfilment “must follow the road Christ himself walked, a way of poverty and obedience, of service and of self-sacrifice even unto death, a death from which he emerged victorious by his resurrection” (Ad Gentes, 5). Yes! We are called to serve the humanity of our own time, trusting in Jesus alone, letting ourselves be enlightened by his word: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide” (Jn 15:16). How much time we have lost, how must work has been set back, on account of our lack of attention to this point! Everything is to be defined starting with Christ, as far as the origins and effectiveness of mission is concerned: we receive mission always from Christ, who has made known to us what he has heard from his Father, and we are appointed to mission through the Spirit, in the Church. Like the Church herself, which is the work of Christ and his Spirit, it is a question of renewing the face of the earth starting from God, God always and alone.
Benedict XVI
Oporto, May 14, 2010

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

You know what I dislike the most about how the Vatican II popes talk? I am always left with the impression that the Church was nothing but a big loser before Vatican II until they came along to set Her straight.

Delphina

Anonymous said...

That sure didn't sound like anything I had ever heard before about the mission of the Catholic Church. These Popes are making it up as they go along! The rest of us should just be trying to teach our neighbor all things whatsoever Christ taught. Those who believe and are baptized will be saved. Those who believe not will be condemned. That's Charity, Catholic style!

M. A. said...

Yes, Delphina, and until the mildness and sweetness and gentleness of Vatican II came along, mean, horrid, hard-hearted, abusive saints and martyrs pounded the daylights out of our "separated brethren" to make sure they understood that ours was the only true Faith.

Those were the bad ol' days. ;-)

shadrach said...

What sour grapes! We all have a mission to convert others. That's all His Holiness is saying. And he's right. We are to help convert the world. And the extraordinary form of the Roman rite as well as being a fundamental means of our salvation will, by its beauty and profound witness to the Truth, convert the world. One of the biggest obstacles to the conversion of others is our hard-heartedness. Harden not your hearts. Pray for our Holy Father.

Anonymous said...

shadrach, Thanks for the nice de-coding job. Did the Holy Father happen to say WHY we should convert others when apparently he believes that they can be saved without believing in Christ and His Church?

John McFarland said...

Shadrach,

The Pope says:

"From its origins, the Christian people has clearly recognized the importance of communicating the Good News of Jesus to those who did not yet know him. In recent years the anthropological, cultural, social and religious framework of humanity has changed; today the Church is called to face new challenges and is ready to dialogue with different cultures and religions, in the search for ways of building, along with all people of good will, the peaceful coexistence of peoples."

Can you find anything in the gospels that so much as mentions the peaceful coexistence of peoples, much less characterizes it as the purpose of evangelization?

Pope Benedict is quite consistent, and consistent with his admired predecessor Pope John Paul the Great. The purpose of God's action in the world is to make the world a better place through dialogues of mutual purification. The greater glory of God is the greater glory of man, here on earth.

Salvation? Note the white vestments at the NO funeral Mass. We're celebrating the welcoming of Uncle Joe into heaven, three divorces, fifty years of unblemished non-attendance at Mass, and all. Damnation? Since Vatican II, it looks to be tougher to get into Hell than it was to get into Heaven before Vatican II.

Jordanes said...

Can you find anything in the gospels that so much as mentions the peaceful coexistence of peoples, much less characterizes it as the purpose of evangelization?

Isa. 2:2-5 And in the last days the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be prepared on the top of mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go, and say: Come and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob, and he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall come forth from Sion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge the Gentiles, and rebuke many people: and they shall turn their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into sickles: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they be exercised any more to war. O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord.

Matt. 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God.

Matt. 5:22-26 You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not kill. And whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment. But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council. And whosoever shall say, Thou Fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. If therefore thou offer thy gift at the altar, and there thou remember that thy brother hath any thing against thee; Leave there thy offering before the altar, and go first to be reconciled to thy brother: and then coming thou shalt offer thy gift. Be at agreement with thy adversary betimes, whilst thou art in the way with him: lest perhaps the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Amen I say to thee, thou shalt not go out from thence till thou repay the last farthing.

Matt. 5:38-48 You have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you not to resist evil: but if one strike thee on thy right cheek, turn to him also the other: And if a man will contend with thee in judgment, and take away thy coat, let go thy cloak also unto him. And whosoever will force thee one mile, go with him other two, Give to him that asketh of thee and from him that would borrow of thee turn not away. You have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thy enemy. But I say to you, Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you: That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven, who maketh his sun to rise upon the good, and bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust. For if you love them that love you, what reward shall you have? do not even the publicans this? And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more? do not also the heathens this? Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.

Matt. 26:52 Then Jesus saith to him: Put up again thy sword into its place: for all that take the sword shall perish with the sword.

Romans 12:17-21 To no man rendering evil for evil. Providing good things, not only in the sight of God, but also in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as is in you, have peace with all men. Revenge not yourselves, my dearly beloved; but give place unto wrath, for it is written: Revenge is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord. But if thy enemy be hungry, give him to eat; if he thirst, give him to drink. For, doing this, thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head. Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil by good.

I Thess. 5:15 See that none render evil for evil to any man; but ever follow that which is good towards each other, and towards all men.

Anonymous said...

If faithful Catholics who desire and try to understand the Holy Father's words, and in their best possible meaning are hard pressed to make Catholic sense of them, how will apathetic, non- Catholics ever benefit by them? Clarity is the voice of the Teaching Church.

Anonymous said...

Catholics have the obligation to spread the Good News in their respective spheres of influence. The Good News is "inside the Church, there IS salvation!" We must recognize that a Catholic enjoys the privilege of possessing the whole truth. It must be offered and received in its integrity. Mt 28;20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. John 17:9 I pray not for the world, but for them whom thou hast given me. 1 John 5:19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world is seated in wickedness. Gal. 6:10 Let us work good to all men, but especially to those who are of the household of the faith.