Sunday, 11 February 2007

To be a person

As I was making the shortened version of John Paul II's "Letter to young people" I was struck by the difference that Christ makes to our lives, a difference which we can easily take for granted. I would like to make a few postings about the "Letter to young people" especially in terms of the "christian personality" - what openness to Christ means.

The first experience of an encounter with Christ is of him bearing witness, by his words, his gestures, his very being, to God the Father. “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” (Jn 14:9). With Christ we are in the presence of God. Our culture laughs at this event and it tries to stifle and inhibit our spirits from responding. Yet, in Christ’s presence we are suddenly free to ask the essential questions that are in our hearts. John Paul II cites a number of truly human questions:
Is it true that God exists? Is it true that He created the world?
Is it true that the Son of God became man, died and rose from the dead?
What values really deserve my attention?
What must I do so that my life may have meaning?
What must I do to be happy? What must I do to inherit eternal life?
We have a need to ask these questions and, we need someone who is competent to answer them.

Our culture today acts like a lid on a jar, preventing our natural openness to Christ from expressing itself - preventing us from coming out of ourselves in response to him, stifling our capacity to hope.

Yet in Christ’s presence I discover a truth about myself: that I am a mystery in myself and that Christ holds the key to this mystery. We who have met Christ should not remain in any way complacent about the greatness of our encounter, nor the process which He has begun in us. And we should intercede on behalf of many each day that the power of his presence may break through the sullen culture of paganism which hangs in our air. Check out what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says in paragraph 359.
You can find my precis of the "Letter to young people" on the Community of Grace website.

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