Informative Bulletin of the Paphos Latin Parish / 1
για Ελληνικά κάνετε κλικ εδώ
Our joy cannot remain hidden
Our world today is, more than ever before, in need of order and harmony, vis-à-vis the chaos which seems to prevail in many parts of our planet, even inside our most progressive societies.
However, order and harmony are ever present and they support our world’s foundations.
The creation, God’s « very good » work (Gen. 1, 31) carries within itself God’ s seal.
No power, be it earthly or heavenly, can « cancel » the divine plan or eliminate it.
But, in the Creator’s design, mankind has to play a role of paramount importance, that is to become a free collaborator with God and to « re-shape » the world in Christ.
Christ came on this earth in order to lead humankind—and through it the whole universe– to salvation, i.e. to a renewal, a recapitulation, a resurrection, where chaos caused by sin will have no place in it.
The Church, that is all of us who are baptized, continue Christ’s work on earth.
The Spirit, who gives life to the Church, gives us the strength and the discernment we need, not only for our own benefit, but for the good of the whole world.
Our hope in Christ’s promises never disappoints us and our joy cannot remain hidden; it is for this reason that the Apostle Peter writes:
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that is in you. But do this with gentleness and respect and with a clear conscience”. (1 Pet. 3, 15, 16).
What a joy! We are called to be collaborators in God’s creation, carrying on Christ’s work, and apostles of hope in the Resurrection!
Joy and Hope
The root reason for human dignity lies in man’s call to communion with God.
From the very circumstance of his origin man is already invited to converse with God.
For man would not exist were he not created by God’s love and constantly preserved by it; and he cannot live fully according to truth unless he freely acknowledges that love and devotes himself to His Creator.
Still, many of our contemporaries have never recognized this intimate and vital link with God, or have explicitly rejected it. Thus atheism must be accounted among the most serious problems of this age, and is deserving of closer examination.
Gaudium et Spes, Part I, ch.I. §19, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Vatican II, 7/12/1965
Build up in this world God’s temple too
While rejecting atheism, root and branch, the Church sincerely professes that all men, believers and unbelievers alike, ought to work for the rightful betterment of this world in which all alike live; such an ideal cannot be realized, however, apart from sincere and prudent dialogue. Hence the Church protests against the distinction which some state authorities make between believers and unbelievers, with prejudice to the fundamental rights of the human person. The Church calls for the active liberty of believers to build up in this world God’s temple too. She courteously invites atheists to examine the Gospel of Christ with an open mind.
Above all the Church knows that her message is in harmony with the most secret desires of the human heart when she champions the dignity of the human vocation, restoring hope to those who have already despaired of anything higher than their present lot. Far from diminishing man, her message brings to his development light, life and freedom. Apart from this message nothing will avail to fill up the heart of man: “Thou hast made us for Thyself,” O Lord, “and our hearts are restless till they rest in Thee.”
Apostolic Constitution Gaudium et Spes, (=Joy and Hope), Part I, ch. I. §21
As if the Sea should part
As if the Sea should part
And show a further Sea —
And that — a further — and the Three
But a presumption be —
Of Periods of Seas —
Unvisited of Shores —
Themselves the Verge of Seas to be —
Eternity — is Those —
(By Emily Dickinson, 1830-1886)
This brief poem of the 19th century American poet Emily Dickinson, reveals the on-going spiritual search of man, who, having caught but a glimpse of the magnificence of the creation—in this instant the immensity of the sea, hankers after the Creator, i.e. the everlasting Beauty, Eternity.
Emily Dickinson came from an affluent family of Puritan origin and passed her life in relative isolation. Gardening and the writing of poems were her preferred past- times, offering her solace and peace.
In the Catholic Tradition, the liturgy reflects the order and harmony of the redeemed created world and the place of man in it.
Moreover, in the liturgy the faithful are an integral and necessary part of it, active and responsive to God’s plan of salvation in Christ, so we acclaim:
“Through Him, with Him, in Him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honour is yours, almighty Father, for ever and ever. Amen.”
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