On the last day of the “Holiness of Today” Symposium, Ms. Costa, a professor at the University of Rome III, reflected on the current cultural situation and the topic of holiness. Father Lombardi emphasized that holiness is the core of Christian life.
(Vatican News Network)At the seminar entitled “Holy virtue today”, Ms. Cecilia Costa, professor at the University of Rome III, and Federico Lombardi, former director of the Press Office of the Holy See and president of the Vatican Ratzinger Foundation ) on October 5th, the third day of the conference. Ms. Costa spoke about the crisis of holiness and today’s culture, and Father Lombardi raised the importance of discerning the saint’s form.
Ms. Costa first said that both holiness and cultural crisis are sociological facts: Christianity is lived out in history, and the mission of the church is closely related to the current situation. Therefore, saints are born in every historical age, and even in our present age, which lacks self-devotion and meaning, there is room for saintliness.
Talking about the relevance of holiness to contemporary culture, Ms. Costa invites everyone to reflect: How do we connect holiness to today’s cultural situation? Today’s situation is characterized by the rapid development of technology and the oversimplification of truth, faith and happiness; in this context, “the thirst for God helps to open the way”. It is today, in this cultural crisis, that we need more saints who live out the hope of the Gospel.
The issue underlined by Fr Lombardi is that “holiness is at the heart of the Christian life”. Holiness “flows endlessly in history,” and we must try to discern the example of saints. There are many examples of saints, because everyone is called to be holy. The saints are part of the People of God, and our relationship with them encourages us and enhances our sense of belonging as people on the journey.
The president of the Vatican Foundation stated that the first example is Jesus Christ, who we should follow. However, we think it is difficult to reach the realm of Jesus, and the testimony of the saints is like the way, making the example of Jesus more approachable. The saints have integrated the Gospel into their culture, and we want to “implement the Gospel in our time, in our world“. Therefore, in this day and age, we need exemplary priests, holy couples who show true love. Father Lombardi concluded: The language of the Lord speaking to us is precisely the testimony of the saints.
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