Pope: The eclipse of God, relativism and mediocrity in need of Gospel radicalism
Benedict XVI thanks thousands of young religious women (also cloistered) gathered in the courtyard of El Escorial for their testimony, which is even more urgent in the secular world. Their radicalism is needed also in communion with the pastors and the laity, and in the various fields of the mission.
Madrid (AsiaNews) - In a world marked by the "eclipse of God", from "amnesia, if not an outright rejection of Christianity," "in front of relativism and mediocrity", there is an urgent need for radical nature of "consecration" to God , witnessed "with all the transforming power in our lives."
This is what Benedict XVI said today to several thousand consecrated young women gathered at El Escorial. A gathering which also saw the participation of cloistered nuns.
It is perhaps the first time that a meeting with young consecrated women has been included in a World Youth Day. Card. Rouco Varela, archbishop of Madrid gave one reason: "Without their spiritual contribution, there would be no World Youth Day." In his speech, the pope illustrated others, such as the urgency in today’s world for a " Gospel radicalism ", such as " a life devoted to following Christ in his chastity, poverty and obedience becomes a living ‘exegesis’ of God’s word ".
In stressing this theme of " Gospel radicalism " in consecration, the pope referred directly to the World Youth Day this year: "The radicalism of the Gospel - he explains - This Gospel radicalism means being “rooted and built up in Christ, and firm in the faith” (cf. Col 2:7). In the consecrated life, this means going to the very root of the love of Jesus Christ with an undivided heart, putting nothing ahead of this love (cf. SAINT BENEDICT, Rule, IV, 21) and being completely devoted to him, the Bridegroom, as were the Saints, like Rose of Lima and Rafael Arnáiz, the young patrons of this World Youth Day"
The consecrated vocations are important in rendering God close to the secular world: " Your lives must testify to the personal encounter with Christ - he adds - which has nourished your consecration, and to all the transforming power of that encounter. This is all the more important today when “we see a certain ‘eclipse of God’ taking place, a kind of amnesia which, albeit not an outright rejection of Christianity, is nonetheless a denial of the treasure of our faith, a denial that could lead to the loss of our deepest identity” (Message for the 2011 World Youth Day, 1). In a world of relativism and mediocrity, we need that radicalism to which your consecration, as a way of belonging to the God who is loved above all things, bears witness".
The "radicalism" is also needed to live in communion with the Church, with pastors, but especially with "the laity, who are called to make their own specific calling a testimony to the one Gospel of the Lord."
"Finally - he explained - Gospel radicalism finds expression in the mission God has chosen to entrust to us: from the contemplative life, which welcomes into its cloisters the word of God in eloquent silence and adores his beauty in the solitude which he alone fills, to the different paths of the apostolic life, in whose furrows the seed of the Gospel bears fruit in the education of children and young people, the care of the sick and elderly, the pastoral care of families, commitment to respect for life, witness to the truth and the proclamation of peace and charity, mission work and the new evangelization, and so many other sectors of the Church’s apostolate "
"The Church - concluded the pope - needs your youthful fidelity, rooted and built up in Christ. Thank you for your generous, total and perpetual “yes” to the call of the Loved One. I pray that the Virgin Mary may sustain and accompany your consecrated youth, with the lively desire that it will challenge, nourish and illumine all young people”