The Cardinal went on to speak of the Year of Faith due to begin in October, fifty years after the opening of the second Ecumenical Vatican Council, pointing out that this year will be significant, because in our times there is a need to serve the cause of man by promoting God‘s plan for creation. Aware of our dignity of co-operators and heralds of a ‘new evangelization‘ - he continued -, we have to cultivate a great passion for God above all else. But we also have to strive in many ways to rediscover, through a genuine Christian education, the many treasures of our culture and faith, that many people have lost and that, therefore, have become almost unrecognizable. Recalling Pope Benedict XVI‘s words in his encyclical Caritas in Veritate, Card. Bertone concluded by saying that without God man neither knows which way to go, nor even understands who he is. Openness to God makes us open towards our brothers and sisters and towards an understanding of life as a joyful task to be accomplished in a spirit of solidarity.
To become aware of the value of faith and, thus, of the beauty and goodness that have derived from it in the history of mankind: this is the invitation that Card. Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State, addressed to the faithful of the parish of Introd, Aosta Valley, during the mass he celebrated this evening at the invitation of parish priest Fr. Ugo Reggiani, on the Feast of St. Eusebius of Vercelli, patron saint of the pastoral region. Well-known for its site of Les Combes, where John Paul II spent his holidays for 10 times, and which was also visited by Benedict XVI, the municipality of Introd keeps fond memories of Pope Wojtyla. In his homily before a large group of parishioners and tourists, Card. Bertone reflected on the figure of bishop Eusebius, who was bishop of the world. He proclaimed the Gospel everywhere with all possible means; he did not stay at home; he faced difficult journeys, danger, incomprehension and persecution by his enemies to bring Christ‘s Gospel and salvation everywhere. The cardinal then linked Eusebius‘ apostolic mission with today‘s need for a new evangelization, which - he said - we have to promote among our people, just as the first disciples promoted it among the pagans of their time. In this work - he added - the contribution of each of us is truly indispensable to ensure the effective proclamation of faith. (continued)
(Sir Europe - Bratislava) - World Youth Day (WYD) in Rio de Janeiro will take place next year, but the preparation must start today. Not only by saving money for the journey to Brazil, but first of all by prayers, affirms Pavol Hudák, spiritual coordinator of preparations for the event in Slovakia. Even now is the time when we can experience the atmosphere of WYD through spiritual connection and unity with young people all over the world, says Hudák, commenting on the recent release of the official anthem in the Slovak language, inviting the youth to pray for spiritual strength and the joy of bearing witness to Christ every day and to create a vivacious core within the Church. The Coordination team of volunteers in Slovakia is currently working on a website that will provide all necessary information on WYD 2013 and the preparations for the National Youth Meeting due to be held concurrently with the event in Rio de Janeiro in Ruzomberok.
Recalling the definition of prayer as a necessary means given by St. Alphonsus, the Pope encouraged the faithful to focus on the main question: what is truly necessary in our lives?. Good health and all the grace we need to obtain it, is St. Alphonsus‘ answer, meaning non only the health of the body, but above all that of the soul. What we need the most - the Holy Father explained - is His liberating presence that makes our lives truly human, and therefore filled with joy. Only through prayer can we welcome Him, His Grace, which, by illuminating us in every situation, helps us discern the true good, and by strengthening us, makes our will effective, that is, capable of doing what we know is good. The Lord‘s disciples know that they are always exposed to temptation and never cease to ask for God‘s help in prayer to overcome it, the Pope highlighted. We too, - the Pope said -, aware of our weaknesses, should seek God‘s help with humility, trusting only in His great mercy. St. Alphonsus, like St. Augustin, invites all Christians not to be afraid to turn to God in prayer to obtain the strength they need to do good, in the certainty that the Lord does not refuse His help to those who pray to Him humbly.
It is necessary for us to pray in every situation of life, especially in moments of difficulty and trial. The Pope said this today in Castel Gandolfo as he resumed his series of catecheses on prayer that he began on 4 May. In his first general audience after the July break, Benedict XVI invited the faithful to always knock at the door of the Lord with confidence, without being afraid of turning to Him and presenting our petitions to Him, confident that we will receive what we need. Reflecting on the figure of St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, bishop and Doctor of the Church, founder of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, patron of moral theologians and confessors, the Pope said that the saint reminds us that a relationship with God is essential to our lives, and that only through personal daily prayer and participation in the Sacraments can the divine presence grow in us and guide us on our journey, illuminating our way and making it safe and joyful, even in the midst of difficulties and dangers. (continued)
From tomorrow to 5th August, Javier, Spain, will be hosting about 800 people who will come to attend Mariapolis 2012. The meeting is organised by the Focolari Movement. On those days, people will reflect on this years theme: Words that build. An idea to make them the builders of solidarity and fraternity, which is what Mariapolis proposes as a lifestyle. The opening addresses will be given by mgr. Francisco Pérez, archbishop of Pamplona, and María José Guindano, Mayor of Javier, who will welcome the public. From then on, all time will be spent in talks, historical-cultural outings and nature trails, workshops for young people and adults about economy, ecology, job search, sports. One of the highlights of this Mariapolis 2012 will be 5th August at 10.30 pm in the Francisco de Jasso Auditorium, with young people acting in the musical Live, Love, Light. A musical about the life of young Chiara Luce Badano, beatified on 25th September 2010 by Benedict XVI. Admission to the musical and all Mariapolis events is free. The calendar will include special activities for children and teenagers. Actually, 200 of the 800 participants are children and teenagers.