Each Christian Must Become Christ s Follower VATICAN CITY, NOV. 5, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the message sent in Benedict XVI s name by
Message 1 of 1
, Nov 6, 2006
"Each Christian Must
Become Christ's Follower"
VATICAN CITY, NOV. 5, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Here
is a translation of the message sent in Benedict XVI's name by Cardinal Tarcisio
Bertone, Vatican secretary of state, to the 12th international conference
organized by the Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant Communities and
The five-day conference, held in Cachoeira Paulista,
Brazil, ended today.
* * *
His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI sends
cordial greetings to the members of the numerous communities born of that
"current of grace" which is the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, as they assemble
in Cachoeira Paulista, Brazil, to reflect on the theme "New Communities for a
New Evangelization." He is also pleased to greet the many bishops present who
have met to reflect on the theme "Charism and Institution: Co-essential."
As His Holiness said to the members of ecclesial movements and new
communities gathered in St. Peter's Square on the vigil of last Pentecost:
"Anyone who has come across something true, beautiful and good in his life --
the one true treasure, the pearl of great price -- hastens to share it
everywhere, in the family and at work, in the contexts of his life" (Homily at
first Vespers of the solemnity of Pentecost, 3 June 2006). Was it not such a
new, spontaneous and joy-filled witness which then became proclamation, a
missionary impulse inspired by the Holy Spirit that led many lay faithful to
undertake a more committed Christian life within their communities?
result, the Pope also said in St. Peter's Square, they can "collaborate even
more, very much more, in the Pope's universal apostolic ministry, opening the
doors to Christ. This is the best service that the Church can offer to men and
women, and specially to the poor to help the life of each individual; a just
social order and peaceful coexistence among nations find in Christ the
cornerstone on which the genuine civilization, the civilization of love, can be
To speak of the new evangelization also means to speak
about those who will carry it out, namely, individual Christians, those who have
themselves encountered Christ, for "being Christian is not the result of an
ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which
gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction" ("Deus Caritas Est," No. 1).
In order to give life to the world, that true life which is in Jesus
Christ, each Christian must become his follower, must make him Master and Lord
of his life, must enter into profound communion with him and become familiar
with his thoughts, as we find them in the sacred Scriptures. It was precisely to
reflect together on how to be disciples of Jesus in our own time that the
movements and ecclesial communities of Latin America gathered on 9-12 March
last, in Bogota, Colombia.
That meeting pointed to several urgent
priorities calling for broad cooperation: Christian formation, a powerful
proclamation before the world, a consistent missionary style, a concern for the
poor, the suffering and the outcast. A passionate commitment to facing these
challenges will surely contribute to the renewal of the Church, particularly in
Latin America. As we look forward to the fifth General Conference of the Latin
American episcopate, due to meet in Aparecida in May 2007 on the theme
"Disciples and Missionaries of Jesus Christ" so that in him the peoples may have
life, the Holy Father expresses his hope that the present meeting, through the
exchange of experiences, reflections and new proposals, will contribute
effectively to the preparation of that significant ecclesial event.
Entrusting the work of the conference to the intercession of Mary,
Mother of the Church, particularly venerated in Brazil as Our Lady Aparecida,
His Holiness sends to all present his special apostolic blessing.
personal good wishes for the success of this initiative, I remain
sincerely in Christ,
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone Secretary of State
[Translation issued by the Canção Nova Community; adapted]
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