Fr. Lombardi: Five steps to happiness

Vatican spokesman and Vatican Radio Director General Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi has offered the following reflection on Pope Benedict XVI's address to the Roman Curia
by VIS | Source: VIS

"Again this year in his address to his collaborators of the Roman Curia before Christmas, the Pope was able to tell us something nice and very encouraging. He did so against the backdrop of this time of crisis that he believes - rightly - not only of an economic nature, but more profoundly, of a moral, cultural, spiritual nature. And he reflected on one of the experiences that has struck him most in this past year: World Youth Day in Madrid.

Pope Benedict identifies "a new, rejuvenated way of being Christians," and there he outlines five steps, five ways to understand what and how to announce the Gospel in a world that seems "tired" and "bored" of being Christian.

First, "a new experience of catholicity, the universality of the Church:" that we are all brothers and sisters is not just an idea, but an experience. Then, "being there for others is beautiful." Time and life find meaning when they are given freely, not when they are kept for one’s self. Thus the adoration , the act of faith before the Risen Christ present in the Eucharist: God is really present among us, for us and with us.

And again, God's forgiveness for all of us in the sacrament of Penance, is there to continually contrast our selfishness, to lighten our burden and reopen ourselves to love. Finally, the assurance of being wanted, accepted, welcomed, loved by God.

Together, giving of ourselves, believing, asking forgiveness, trusting in love. Walking along these five steps, life opens up to the joy. If not, the doubt over whether it is good to exist or not finds no answer and becomes insurmountable, and life is prey to sadness. "From doubts about God inevitably follow the very same doubts about being human" - says the Pope. But God became man precisely to help us overcome these doubts. Thus: "It 'good to exist as human beings, even in tough times.


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