Pope to families: go and change the world

The final Mass
by Filippo Magni | Source: http://www.family2012.com/en

Words of a great realism are those that Benedetto XVI communicated to families at the end of the Seventh World Meeting in Milan.

«It is not easy to live your vocation, especially today». Words of a great realism are those that Benedetto XVI communicated to families at the end of the Seventh World Meeting in Milan. The Pope knows well that the family is subjected to violent and sudden changes around the world and it is also in a deep crisis, being often under attack and victim of political delegitimization.

   However, without denying problems, Pope Ratzinger opens up to hope because the families – starting from those who took part in the world meeting – preserve “love, the only force that can really transform the world”, thus the sermon of the solemn Eucharistic celebration – in front of an assembly that returns the authentic catholic dimension with the colour of the flags and of the many families - transforms itself into a vibrant call to discover the great dignity of the Christian family and its responsibility in the Church and in the society. A responsibility that Cardinal Angelo Scola recalled in his introductory speech affirming that “ when Christians are able to be good witnesses, they are example of a good life in a plural society like ours.
   Benedetto XVI invites families to preach not only by words but “irradiating” the power of lived love”. Moreover, faith plays in everyday acts: in the way we live our feelings, we engage in our work, we celebrate the feast. This is the strong message of the Seventh World Meeting of  families: everyday life is the theatre of the ordinary vocation of the Christian family: “to the extent you will live mutual love and love for all – the Pope stressed – you will be living Gospel, a real domestic Church».
   The pope dedicated very intense words to the couple: in a few lines there was a true nuptial theology.”  «God created the man and the woman, with the same dignity, but also with own and complementary characteristics. (…) Dear newlyweds, by living the marriage you do not give each other something or some activities, but the whole life. And your love is fruitful above all for yourselves because you wish and do the good for each other». Then the fecundity of the couple extends to the “generous and responsible” procreation of children and to the society, “because the family is the first and irreplaceable school of social virtues.” 
   For this reason, in an educational contest which is often characterized by shortcuts of handbooks, the Pope asks married people to take charge of their children until the end: “ In a world which is dominated by technology, transmit them the reason of life, the power of the faith, predicting them high goals and supporting their fragility.” 
   To those who are marked by experiences of failures and separation even sharing the teachings of the Church for the family, to those people and families with a broken heart, the Pope dedicates a very affectionate thought, a sort of balm for many: “The Pope and the Church are supporting you in your efforts.” Then, he encourages them “ to remain close to their communities” which the Pope asks to make adequate initiatives of shelter  and closeness”. 
   At the end of a world meeting dedicated to “family, work and celebration”, the Pope reserves a few but incisive words for one of the social emergencies of today: work-life balance. Benedetto XVI enhanced gratuity as focus value in “Caritas in Veritate”  and denounced the “utilitarian mentality” that impact also to interpersonal and family relationships, reducing them just as a poor convergence of individual interests.”

   Instead – he insisted - “God's plan and the experience show that the concept of personal utility and maximum profit cannot take to an harmonious development and to family interest,” because, among its collateral effects, it only pushes towards consumes and discomfort in family. We need to work “ to harmonize working time and family needs: job, motherhood, work and celebration.”
   For the same reason, a family, which wants to be Christian, “even in fast pace of our time”, is called “not to lose the sense of the Lord's day”, i.e. the oasis where to rest and  quench our thirst of God.” 

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