PAULINE PILGRIMAGE TO ROME - CATECHESIS TO THE YOUTH (II°)
ABBAZIA DELLE TRE FONTANE, JUNE, 1st, 2009
Dear young, here Paul's life has finished. It has finished with the martyrdom: dying, the Apostle has given Christ the greatest evidence of his love. I propose to your consideration two kinds of reflection.
1. The real christian, the authentic apostle of God, sooner or later deverges with powers that dominate the world. Don't deceive yourself about that. If you are faithful to Christ, if you guard his word with care you will be persecuted: don't have any doubt about this.
Certainly ways of persecution in our West are very different from those one used by Rome. Derision will not miss. There has even been someone who has written that 'christian' comes from 'stupid'. You won’t miss anny insidious attempt to deprive your faith: christianos not licet esse, as Romans said. Which attempt? 'keep your faith for yourself', in your private. In public you haven't got the right to propose it: it is against democracy; it is against tolerance, it is against respect that is due to the others... especially the muslims'. It is the modern translation of an ancient accusation: the christians are enemies of society; they are dangerous for the State.
In this holy place, dear young, be aware of the fact that being christian is something that belongs to the strong ones, to those who have a great spirit, not to pusillanimous. Stand firm in your faith; live in the unity of the Church, build on the rock that is Peter, the Holy Father Benedetto XVI, in the obedience to his teaching. And nothing will defeat you.
2. Before dying, the apostle Paul took care to assign the communities some successors who continued his work: the testimony to Christ had to be carried on, forever.
And now, dear young, the apostle says to you too: 'carry on my testimony to Christ: be his witnesses.'
It may be that someone, or many of you, are asked by Christ, exactly in this place, to be witnesses just like Paul was: in the form of the apostolate as priests. Christ might ask you to give your entire life to the preaching of the Gospel, to the building of his christian communities.
But everyone can, has to be witness. What does being witness mean? Letting, through your person, your daily life, shine a presence which has changed you, the presence of Christ. And how can one can, how is one a witness? You both eat and drink - the apostle would answer you - do it in Christ. I could add: you both study and work, you both pray and have fun, whether you are with your girlfriend/boyfriend or your friends. Always: be transparence of Christ. Hard? I have already told you: Christianity is for great spirits. But, and I am going to finish, pray the Holy Virgin every day the: She will help you.
'The daily life is the most romantic among the adventures and only the adventurer discovers it' (G.B. Chesterton, Eretici, Piemme; Casale Monferrato 1998, pag. 131).
La traduzione, non rivista dal Cardinale Caffarra, è di Stefania Floridia.