Urges Christians to Be Good Citizens
VATICAN CITY, AUG. 28, 2007 (Zenit.org).- The liturgy should inspire Catholics to contribute to bettering the world with testimony and social action, says Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.
Secretary of State Cardinal Bertone said this in a message sent on behalf of Benedict XVI to the 58th Italian National Liturgical Week, in progress in Spoleto through Friday.
"To live as a Christian, we must harmonize personal faithfulness to Christ with 'citizenship,' with a commitment to being present in the world as his witnesses," Cardinal Bertone wrote.
He continued: "Each liturgical celebration helps to carry out a wise reading of history with an attentive discernment of events, so that the soul of believers will open to the eschatological prospective that enables them to work in the earthly city while looking beyond what is passing, to catch a glimpse of the Risen One.
"Christians, throughout history, knew how to recognize what is good, true, noble and positive in the various societies in which they found themselves.
"Aware of Christ's invitation to be 'salt' and 'leaven' of the earth, they worked, sustained by the Holy Spirit, to animate, with the richness of evangelical love, the cultures and traditions of their time."
The letter invites the participants in the Italian National Liturgical Week to reflect on "how to carry out that mission in today's society with an evangelical faithfulness celebrated in the liturgy and lived in day-to-day existence."
"For every Christian generation, the Eucharist is the indispensable nutriment that sustains it while traversing the desert of this world, parched by ideological and economic systems that do not promote life, but rather degrade it; a world where the logic of power and possession dominates rather than that of service and love; a world where the culture of violence and death often triumph," Cardinal Bertone said, citing the Pope's homily from the solemnity of Corpus Christi.
For this reason, he wrote, "an active participation in the celebration of the liturgy makes the Christian more aware of his responsible vocation to be a sign and witness of a radically new way of acting in the world."
"Called to contribute to the construction of the earthly city, they work so as to favor the dynamics of participation and responsibility, of solidarity and subsidiary in the economic and social realm, which are at the service of the person and the common good," the secretary of state added.
The letter ended by mentioning Benedict XVI's desire that the 58th Italian National Liturgical Week "help the Italian Christian communities to assume their own responsibilities, so that human existence will fully develop in its personal, familial, social and cultural dimension."
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