Monday, September 24, 2012

The New Evangelization: Announcing God Who Responds to Our Reason

From the "found while looking for other things" file --

Remarks of Pope Benedict XVI
Press Conference en route to Mexico
March 23, 2012
The path of the New Evangelization started with the [Second Vatican] Council - this was a fundamental intention of Pope John XXIII, which was underscored by John Paul II. The need for it in a world that is undergoing great changes has become even more evident.

The Gospel must be expressed in new ways - new words that can cut through the difficulty of orienting oneself today. The common condition in the world today is secularization - the absence of God, the difficulty of finding him, and of putting him in the center, to see him as a reality who affects my life.

On the other hand, there are also specific dangers. . . . We must start with what we have in common: In our modern rationality, we can rediscover God, as a fundamental orientation for our life, the foundation of those values which can truly build a society, and the way we can best consider the specificities of diverse situations.

So first, I think it is important to announce God who responds to our reason - we see the rationality of the cosmos, we see that there must be something behind it all, and we also see how near God is, the synthesis of greatness and majesty who is close to us and orients us to the values of truth. He is the nucleus of evangelization, the fundamental nucleus we need in order to live with all the problems of our time.

On the other hand, we must consider concrete realities. In Latin America, generally, I would say that it is very important that Christianity was never so much a matter of reason but of the heart. The Virgin of Guadalupe is known and loved by everyone because they understand that she is the Mother of all. She has been present almost from the very beginning in this new America shortly after the arrival of the Spaniards. They know intuitively that she exists to love us and to help us.

But this, let us say, intuition of the heart, must be linked to the rationality of faith and to the profundity of faith that goes beyond reason. We must seek not to lose this intuition of the heart but to link heart and reason, so that man may be whole, and as a whole man, promote the new evangelization.
(originally posted at Vita Nostra in Ecclesia)(Translation courtesy of Benedetto XVI Forum)

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