The Church’s Message of Hope

The Holy Father spoke to the Scottish bishops during their ad limina visit a few days ago. He accented how the Church’s teachings, especially in the area of family and human life, must be presented in a positive manner that inspires hope and ennobles the human person, rather than being presented in such a way that it is perceived as a series of prohibitions.

The Holy Father has frequently spoken of hope and human dignity.

Here is an excerpt from his English text:

“…. grapple firmly with the challenges presented by the increasing tide of secularism in your country. Support for euthanasia strikes at the very heart of the Christian understanding of the dignity of human life. Recent developments in medical ethics and some of the practices advocated in the field of embryology give cause for great concern. If the Church’s teaching is compromised, even slightly, in one such area, then it becomes hard to defend the fullness of Catholic doctrine in an integral manner. Pastors of the Church, therefore, must continually call the faithful to complete fidelity to the Church’s Magisterium, while at the same time upholding and defending the Church’s right to live freely in society according to her beliefs.

“The Church offers the world a positive and inspiring vision of human life, the beauty of marriage and the joy of parenthood. It is rooted in God’s infinite, transforming and ennobling love for all of us, which opens our eyes to recognize and love his image in our neighbour (cf. Deus Caritas Est, 10-11 et passim). Be sure to present this teaching in such a way that it is recognized for the message of hope that it is. All too often the Church’s doctrine is perceived as a series of prohibitions and retrograde positions, whereas the reality, as we know, is that it is creative and life-giving, and it is directed toward the fullest possible realization of the great potential for good and for happiness that God has implanted within every one of us.” — Benedict XVI, 5 Feb. 2010

That last sentence is jam packed with substance and meaning.  It goes to the root of our theology of the human person and our relationship with God and one another.

Those of us ordained to preach the Word must do so in a way that underscores the goodness of each human person, all the while putting forth the unblemished Truth of our faith and inspiring our people of follow closely that Truth.

About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota.
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