» 10/31/2007, 00.00
Pope says that living a Christian life also means doing civic duty
Re-evoking the figure of IV century Saint, Maximus of Turin, Benedict XVI urges coherence between faith and life, between the Gospel and culture. The “duty to fulfil fiscal obligations, no matter how burdensome and unpleasant”.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – While the Christian’s gaze is turned towards Heaven, he must not forget his obligations to society – including the more general duty of paying taxes – actually, he must pay even greater attention to them, in order to combine his activities in society and his religious commitments “in a vital synthesis”.
The commitment to coherence between faith and life, between following the Gospel and doing one’s civic duty was evoked by Benedict XVI today who traced the figure of IV century Saint, Maximus of Turin, to a crowd of over 30 thousand in his general audience, during which he also reflected on the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and of John Paul II.
Speaking to the faithful who filled St Peter’s square with a carpet of multi coloured umbrellas, the Pope said that the bishop Maximus, who lived during the final years of the Roman Empire, found himself having to deal with an emerging power bent on substituting the waning power of civil authorities. This led him to “preach on the deepening relationship between the duties of a Christian and those of a citizens”, because “living a Christian life means observing one’s civic duties”.
In the Pope’s words “his homilies reflect a growing awareness of the responsibility of Christians to promote a just social order grounded in solidarity with the poor”, while the bishop warned that “one does not think of the needs of the other, in fact many Christians not only do not share their goods, they even steal those belonging to others”. And in the “growing awareness of political responsibility in the changed historical context” Maximus “proclaimed that it was each individual’s precise duty to pay taxes not matter how burdensome or unpleasant”.
“It’s obvious – commented the Pope – that today the historic, social and cultural context is completely different”, “today’s context was best described in the words of John Paul II in his encyclical ‘Ecclesia in Europa’, which offers us an articulated analysis of today’s challenger and its signs for hope” but though the circumstances may have changed “the duty of the faithful towards his or her city and nation remain, and they are entwined in the obligation to be a good Christian and an honest citizen”. In this sense Benedict XVI recalled that in Gaudium et Spes the council illuminates “one of the most aspects of unity of Christian life, that of coherency between faith and life, between the Gospel and culture”. “The Council – he added – urges the faithful to ‘carry out its earthly duties under the guidance of the Gospel spirit, and that those who neglect their earthly duties in the belief that their future citizenship belongs to the Kingdom of God are mistaken, and do not reflect the fact that the faith obliges them to always observe their duties”. Let us make the Councils hopes our own”, concluded the Pope “for a vital synthesis between human, technical and scientific efforts with “religious goods” for the good of society”.
Pope: a spiritual leadership is needed for all, especially for the young
Illustrating of Simeon the New Theologian, Benedict XVI stresses the importance of his reflections on the mystical experience of God. True knowledge of God comes not from books but from spiritual life. Love of God makes us consider over selves brothers and invites us to respond to hatred with love, to offenses with forgiveness.
Pope: The Eucharist is not a "rite of socialization," in it Jesus is truly present
Recalling the figure of Rupert of Deutz, the twelfth century Benedictine monk, in the general audience, Benedict XVI stresses that "when disputes arise in the Church, reference to the Petrine ministry gives guarantee of fidelity to the teaching and gives serenity and inner freedom."
Pope: Ignatius of Antioch, the irrepressible desire of Christians for Unity
Benedict XVI dedicates the general audience to the figure of the martyr, “doctor of unity”. In his city of Antioch, Christ’s disciples were first called Christians and he was the first to refer to the Church as “Catholic”
Pope: Do not be afraid to knock with confidence on the door of the Lord
Benedict XVI dedicates general audience reflection to St. Alphonsus Maria de 'Liguori. "In every situation of life you can not help but pray, especially at times of trial and difficulty. Our relationship with God " the question, what do I really need in my life, is central "
Pope: "gratuitous speculation" on the issue of stolen documents, "renewed confidence in my staff"
In comments at the end of the audience Benedict XVI: an image portrayed of the Holy See, which does not correspond to reality. Despite the difficulties, the Lord does not abandon his Church. In the catechesis, prayer in the Second Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians. The "dialogue" between the "true cause" of God and the Amen of believers.
Pope tells young people to remember the past, to have courage in the present and hope for the future
The Message for the 32nd World Youth Day was issued today centred on “The ‘great things’ that the Almighty accomplished’.” In her meeting with Elizabeth, Mary becomes a model. The pontiff calls on young people to avoid being couch potatoes, safe and cosy, urges them to rediscover the relationship with seniors. The Church experience is not a flash mob. The future should be experienced in a constructive way, and “the institutions of marriage, consecrated life and priestly mission” should not be devalued.
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.