Pope Benedict XVI: June 2009 Archives
On May 30th, the Vigil of Pentecost, Pope Benedict answered three questions of young people with extraordinary simplicity. The tenderness of the Pope's answers is breadth-taking. This it the second time he's taken questions from the youth. The following is Alessandro's question and you can read the rest of questions here. Plus, visit the Holy Childhood Association website AND get involved with their mission as the Pope encourages.
Dear Pope Benedict, you are the first missionary. How can we young people help you to proclaim the Gospel?
Answer: I would say that one initial way is this: work with the Pontifical Society of Missionary Childhood. In this way you are part of a great family that brings the Gospel to the world. In this way you belong to a great network. We see here how the family of the different peoples is reflected. You are in this great family: each one does his part, and together you are missionaries, bearers of the missionary work of the Church. You have an excellent program: to listen, pray, learn, share, support. These are essential elements that really are a way of being missionary, of advancing the growth of the Church and the presence of the Gospel in the world. I would like to highlight some of these points.
First of all, prayer. Prayer is a reality: God listens to us, and when we pray, God enters into our lives, he becomes present among us, active. Prayer is a very important thing, which can change the world, because it makes the power of God present. And it is important to help each other to pray: we pray together in the liturgy, we pray together in the family. And here I would say that it is important to begin the day with a little prayer, and also to end the day with a little prayer: remembering our parents in prayer. Pray before lunch, before dinner, and on the occasion of the common celebration on Sunday. A Sunday without the Mass, the great common prayer of the Church, is not a real Sunday: the heart of Sunday is missing, and with it the light of the week. And you can also help others - especially when there are no prayers at home, when prayer is unknown - you can teach others to pray: pray with others and introduce them to communion with God.
Next, listening, which means really learning what Jesus tells us. Moreover, knowing the Sacred Scripture, the Bible. In the story of Jesus, we come to know the face of God, we learn what God is like. It is important to know Jesus deeply, personally. This is how he enters into our lives, and, through our lives, enters into the world.
And also sharing, not wanting things for ourselves alone, but for all; sharing with others. And if we see another who may be in need, who is less fortunate, we must help him and in this way make the love of God present without big words, in our little personal world, which is part of the big world. And in this way we become a family together, where each respects the other: bearing with the other in his uniqueness, even accepting those we don't like, not letting anyone be marginalized, but helping him to be part of the community. All of this simply means living in this big family of the Church, in this big missionary family.
Living the essential points like sharing, knowing Jesus, prayer, listening to each other, and solidarity is a missionary activity, because it helps the Gospel to become a reality in our world.
The general intention
That international efforts to help poorer nations bring prompt, concrete results to relieve the crushing burden of foreign debt.
The mission intention
That local Church communities serving areas torn by violence may be supported through the love and help offered by Catholics around the world.