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    » 06/03/2012, 00.00


    Pope: Family, work, celebration, three gifts of God to build a society with a human face, in a world

    Bernardo Cervellera

    Benedict XVI celebrates mass at the end of the VII World Meeting of Families. Man and woman, made 'in the image of God "are fruitful in generating children, but also in transforming the world through work, profit does not dominate, and celebration that is meeting, sharing, relationships with nature and celebration with God . Next World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia (USA).

    Bresso (AsiaNews) - "Family, work, celebration: three of God's gifts, three dimensions of our lives that must be brought into a harmonious balance " of " work schedules with family demands, professional life with motherhood, work with celebration", because it "is important for building up a society with a human face", which "always gives priority to the logic of being over that of having: the first builds up, the second ends up destroying." Benedict XVI summed up the message of the VII World Meeting of Families, which concludes today with Mass in the airfield in the esplanade of Bresso (North Park). The esplanade - defined by the archbishop of Milan, Cardinal. Angelo Scola, "an open-air church" - gathered at least 400,000 faithful, along with hundreds of bishops and priests, in addition to 6 thousand representatives who attended the Meeting from May 30 until today. The rally, organized by the Pontifical Council for the Family, had as its theme "The Family: Work and Celebration".

    In his homily, the pope reflected on the identity of the first family, that is the image of God, the Holy Trinity: "been given the task of building church communities that are more and more like families, able to reflect the beauty of the Trinity and to evangelize not only by word, but I would say by "radiation", in the strength of living love. It is not only the Church that is called to be the image of One God in Three Persons, but also the family, based on marriage between man and woman".

    This identity of the family has fruitful consequences for families  themselves and for society: " Dear married couples - continued the pope -, Dear married couples, in living out your marriage you are not giving each other any particular thing or activity, but your whole lives. And your love is fruitful first and foremost for yourselves, because you desire and accomplish one another's good, you experience the joy of receiving and giving. It is also fruitful in your generous and responsible procreation of children, in your attentive care for them, and in their vigilant and wise education. And lastly, it is fruitful for society, because family life is the first and irreplaceable school of social virtues, such as respect for persons, gratuitousness, trust, responsibility, solidarity, cooperation. Dear married couples, watch over your children and, in a world dominated by technology, transmit to them, with serenity and trust, reasons for living, the strength of faith, pointing them towards high goals and supporting them in their fragility".

    Being families also means "maintaining a constant relationship with God and participating in the life of the Church, by cultivating dialogue, respecting the other's point of view, by being ready for service and patient with the failings of others, by being able to forgive and to seek forgiveness, by overcoming with intelligence and humility any conflicts that may arise, by agreeing on principles of upbringing, and by being open to other families, attentive towards the poor, and responsible within civil society. "

    Benedict XVI did not forget the divorced and separated, those "who, even though they agree with the Church's teachings on the family, have had painful experiences of breakdown and separation"."I want you to know - he added - that the Pope and the Church support you in your struggle. I encourage you to remain united to your communities, and I earnestly hope that your dioceses are developing suitable initiatives to welcome and accompany you."

    Being man and woman "in the image of God" means cooperating with God to "change the world through work, science and technology". " In modern economic theories - says the Pope - there is often a utilitarian concept of work, production and the market. Yet God's plan, as well as experience, show that the one-sided logic of sheer utility and maximum profit are not conducive to harmonious development, to the good of the family or to building a more just society, because it brings in its wake ferocious competition, strong inequalities, degradation of the environment, the race for consumer goods, family tensions. Indeed, the utilitarian mentality tends to take its toll on personal and family relationships, reducing them to a fragile convergence of individual interests and undermining the solidity of the social fabric".

    Similarly, " man, as the image of God, is also called to rest and to celebrate."

    "For us Christians - said Benedict XVI - the feast day is Sunday, the Lord's day, the weekly Easter. It is the day of the Church, the assembly convened by the Lord around the table of the word and of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, just as we are doing today, in order to feed on him, to enter into his love and to live by his love. It is the day of man and his values: conviviality, friendship, solidarity, culture, closeness to nature, play, sport. It is the day of the family, on which to experience together a sense of celebration, encounter, sharing, not least through taking part in Mass. Dear families, despite the relentless rhythms of the modern world, do not lose a sense of the Lord's Day! It is like an oasis in which to pause, so as to taste the joy of encounter and to quench our thirst for God. "

    He concluded: " Family, work, celebration: three of God's gifts, three dimensions of our lives that must be brought into a harmonious balance. Harmonizing work schedules with family demands, professional life with motherhood, work with celebration, is important for building up a society with a human face. In this regard, always give priority to the logic of being over that of having: the first builds up, the second ends up destroying". 

    At the end of Mass, before praying the Angelus, Benedict XVI thanked all the organizers of Milan, and announced that the next World Meeting of Families will take place in Philadelphia (USA). "I am pleased to announce - he said - that the next World Meeting of Families will take place in 2015, in Philadelphia, United States of America. I greet the Archbishop of Philadelphia, Archbishop Charles Chaput, and thank him right now for having offered to host the event. "

    And in his greetings in Italian he concluded: "Dear families in Milan, Lombardy, Italy and the whole world, I greet you all with affection and thank you for your participation. I encourage you to always be in solidarity with the families who are experiencing greater difficulties, I think of the economic and social crisis, I think of the recent earthquake in Emilia. May the Virgin Mary always accompany and support you. "


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    See also

    03/06/2012 VATICAN- ITALY
    Pope at Festival of Families in Bresso's North Park
    In an unscripted intervention Benedict XVI answers questions from some families in difficulty: on fidelity, on the economic crisis, divorce, work and celebration. The pope recalls his childhood: "Heaven will be like coming home and will have the same joy of my childhood." Politicians should be more responsible and not make promises they can not keep. To the divorced: the Church loves you, no one wants to forget about you.

    01/06/2012 VATICAN - ITALY
    Card. Antonelli: “Normal” families key overcoming crisis and future of world
    The president of Pontifical Council for the Family draws conclusions from the Congress for the VII World Meeting: “the normal family "(husband, wife and children) is the foundation for the rebirth of society, in the midst of a profound economic, but also cultural, crisis. Mayor of Milan promises a "register of civil unions" in favour of homosexual unions. The request to politicians: less taxes, more support to couple and procreation, more services for education. And the business world: flexible hours, part time, the possibility to work from home, maternity leave, parental leave, child care services. Sunday, as a day of rest, has a positive effect on the workplace and society.

    02/06/2012 VATICAN - ITALY
    Pope: Love of Christ in celibacy, source of communion and mission for families
    Benedict XVI, on a pastoral visit to Milan, meets priests, deacons and consecrated in the Cathedral, within the context of the VII World Meeting of Families. Among the saints "who have devoted their energies to the service of the Gospel" he mentions two PIME missionaries. Personal love of Jesus Christ, also cultivated with liturgical prayer, is the source of the "zeal" and the unity of life of the priest.

    24/09/2010 VATICAN
    Pope: restore true sense of celebration to families torn apart by consumerism
    Letter of Benedict XVI for the preparation of the VII World Meeting of Families to be held in Italy, in Milan from May 30 to June 3, 2012. An organization of work focused on profit has taken away from the real meaning of festivities, especially Sunday, the "Lord's day and day of man, the day of family, community and solidarity."

    29/02/2012 VATICAN - ITALY
    Benedict XVI in Milan for the World Meeting of Families
    The pontiff will visit the diocese set to host the seventh edition of the event from 1 June until it ends on Sunday, 3 June. About 100 delegations should come from around the world, and more than a million faithful are expected to take part in the final Mass.

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