10 settembre 2008

Politics Needs New Generation, Says Pope

Encourages Sardinians in Seeking Solutions

CAGLIARI, Sardinia, SEPT. 9, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI says the world of politics and the economy needs a new generation of committed laypeople.

The Pope affirmed this during a Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Bonaria in Sardinia, a semi-autonomous Italian island located in the Mediterranean Sea. The Holy Father visited the island for a one-day pastoral visit on Sunday, meeting with priests and young people and marking the centenary of the proclamation of Our Lady of Bonaria as patron of Sardinia.

During his homily, the Pontiff asked for Mary's intercession to help Christian families, "which today more than ever are in need of confidence and support at the spiritual as well as the social level."

May she help you to identify appropriate pastoral strategies so that young people will find Christ since, by nature, they bring a new energy but are often victims of widespread nihilism," he continued.

Benedict XVI asked that the Virgin Mary make believers capable of "evangelizing the world of work, the economy and politics, which needs a new generation of committed lay Christians, capable of seeking with competence and rigor moral solutions for sustainable development."

Theological formation

Later in the day, the Pope met with priests, seminarians and students of the Pontifical Theological Faculty of Sardinia.

He encouraged the professors to help their students have a "daily personal experience of God," especially through the Eucharist, "celebrated and experienced as the center of existence."

Theological formation, the Holy Father added, "must lead you to achieve a 'complete and unitary' vision of revealed truths and of their assimilation into the Church's experience of faith. From here arises the dual need to know the totality of Christian truths and to know them not as separate from one another, but in an organic way, as a unit, as a single truth of faith in God."

Trap of individualism

Before leaving the island, the Bishop of Rome met with youth, with whom he spoke about the true measure of success.

"What can we say of the fact that in modern consumer society, earnings and success have become the new idols before which so many prostrate themselves? The consequence of this is that people are led to give value only to those who [...] 'have found fortune' or who are 'notorious,' and not to those who must struggle with life every day," he said.

"There is a risk of becoming superficial, of taking dangerous shortcuts in search of success, thus giving life up to experiences that bring immediate satisfaction but that in themselves are precarious and deceptive," the Holy Father continued. "There is a growing tendency to individualism, and when we concentrate only on ourselves we inevitably become fragile."

The Pope concluded: "May each of you rediscover God as the meaning and foundation for all creatures, light of truth, flame of charity, bond of unity. You will no longer be afraid to lose your liberty, because you will experience it fully by giving it for love. You will no longer be attached to material goods, because in yourselves you will feel the joy of sharing them. […]

"If you really discover God in the face of Christ, you will no longer think of the Church as an institution external to yourselves, but as your spiritual family."

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