In meetings with bishops, priests, men and women, seminarians and catechisms in Slovakia, the pope pointed out the path that a humble church should take, “not to be separated from the world and life,” but to “live in” and share the burden of the people. expect.
(Vatican News NetworkOn the morning of December 13, Pope Francis met with bishops, priests, men and women, seminarians, and catechumens from Slovakia at St. Mardin’s Cathedral in Bratislava. The Pope pointed out that today the Slovak people need a church that “cultivates inner freedom and responsibility”. She is in history and culture, but she “knows how to be creative and dialogue with the world.”
The Pope explained that “the church is not a castle”, and that the church is a group that “desires to draw people to Christ with the joy of the gospel”. We must not succumb to the temptation of majestic and worldly pomp! “A humble church that does not separate from the world and does not look at life with a wait-and-see attitude, but lives in it”, how beautiful it is! “Live within it, and don’t forget the world: share, walk together, and welcome people to ask questions and expectations. This helps us get out of the consciousness of taking ourselves as the norm, because the center of the church is not the church!”
Therefore, the Pope’s invitation is that we should step out of “overworry for ourselves and for our structure” and ask ourselves: “What are the spiritual needs and expectations of our people? What are they willing to church?” teach Zong summarized this answer in three words: freedom, creativity and dialogue.
Regarding freedom, the Pope said that without freedom, “there is no real humanity.” Slovak history teaches us that “when freedom is hurt, violated, or strangled, humanity degenerates”. But freedom “is not automatically acquired, nor is it done once and for all”, but a journey that requires “continuous renewal”. It takes hard work and scares us.
Quoting the Old Testament record, the Israelites were rescued by the Lord under the tyranny of the Egyptian Pharaoh, but when they encountered hardships in the wilderness, they nostalgic for their lives as slaves. He complained that at that time, “we had at least a little Eat onions”. The Pope pointed out that this is a huge temptation, and they think that “a little onion is more cost-effective than free toil and risk.”
“This idea can sometimes frame us in the church: it’s better to have everything scheduled, with laws, security, and consistency to abide by, rather than being a responsible and mature Christian, because it requires thinking, Ask your conscience and question things.”
The Pope warned that “even in the spiritual life, a church that does not leave room for free adventures will become a rigid and closed place”. The Pope therefore invited the Slovak Church: “Don’t be afraid to cultivate people who establish a mature and free relationship with God. This may make us think that we cannot control everything and lose power and authority.” But the Church of Christ “has no intention of dominating conscience and occupying space”. And “willing to be the’source’ of hope in people’s lives”.
Speaking of creativity, the Pope proposed the contributions of the two apostles, St. Cyril and St. Medallion, “They taught us that evangelization is not a repetition of the past.” In order to bring the good news of the gospel of Christ, the two brothers “invented the new alphabet used to translate the “Bible”, liturgical books, and Christian doctrine.” As “apostles of faith localization,” they “invented new languages for evangelism and are creative people in translating Christian messages.”
“We have a rich Christian tradition as a background, but for the lives of many people today, this tradition is just a memory of the past, no longer speaks, no longer guides the choice of life. In the face of loss of God’s consciousness and the joy of faith It is useless to complain, stick to the fortifications of the Catholic Church, make judgments, and accuse the world; what is needed is the creativity of the gospel.”
The Pope further pointed out that creativity is also needed in pastoral and preaching, and experience other paths that are different from the usual ones. Priests and bishops “should consider how to prepare for mass preaching and how to make the preaching reach people” and draw inspiration from the Bible.
The church should also engage in dialogue. This is the third word mentioned by the pope. The Pope said, “The church should also know how to talk to the world, to believe in Christ, people who do not belong to’our’, and to struggle to find faith, and even talk to non-believers.” A church that preaches the gospel “enables communion, friendship and dialogue among believers, among churches of different Christian faiths, and among all nations.”
However, unity, communion, and dialogue are “often fragile”, especially when they are “brought back by the painful historical burden of scarring”. The Pope said: “The memory of pain can lead to resentment, distrust, and even contempt, and build barriers in front of people who are different from us. However, wounds can become passages, openings, imitating the scars of God, and making God’s mercy. Through, His grace changes lives and transforms us into a ministry of peace and reconciliation.”
Therefore, the Pope mentioned a Slovak proverb: “Whoever throws stones at you, you will give him a piece of bread.” The Pope said that this proverb is full of gospel spirit, because in response to Jesus’ invitation, the “vicious circle” of violence is broken and “good is conquering evil.” Cardinal Korec, the Jesuit, is a testimony. He had been persecuted and imprisoned in the past. When he came to Rome in the year of 2000, he went to the cemetery of the early Christians and lit a candle there for the persecution. His people cried out for mercy. The pope said that this is the spirit of the gospel!
The Pope finally wished the Slovak Church, “Continue your journey and walk in the freedom of the gospel, the creativity of faith, and the dialogue derived from the mercy of God” and become “artisans of peace and reconciliation”.
Link URL: www.vaticannews.cn