I wanted to share with you a passage from JPII's book "Memory and Identity" which he published shortly before his death. This book is a genuine source book for today's 'apostles' for it covers a huge spectrum of human identity and knowledge. In the passage I want to quote (from page 137) JPII speaks realistically about European countries, such as ours, at the very beginning of the era which we call the "New Evanglisation". I am reading this book for the second time and, when I came to this passage I was struck by the force of what the New Evangelisation of our countries means. We are rebuilding civilisation. What looks today as though it is civilisation, is really the remnant of civilisation. Our part in Christ's Body is far more real and we are called to help build "brick by brick" the Civilisation of Love. (This is not a photo of Niamh's car.)
In the twentieth century great efforts were made to stop people believing, to make them reject Christ. Towards the end of the century, the end of the millenium, those destructive forces were weakened, yet they left a trail of devastation behind them. I am speaking of a devastation of consciences, with ruinous consequences in the moral sphere, affecting personal and social morality and the mores of family life. Pastors of souls, who engage every day with the spiritual lives of their flocks, know this better than anyone. When I have occasion to speak with them, I often hear disturbing admissions. Sadly, one could describe Europe at the dawn of the new millenium as a continent of devastation. Political programmes, aimed principally at economic development, are not enough to heal the wounds of this nature. On the contrary, they could even make them worse. Here an enormous task opens up for the Church. The evangelical harvest in today's world is great indeed. We have only to ask insistently, that he send labourers for this harvest, ready and waiting to be reaped.
We need to give our lives to Christ and follow him. No one else will do. He will help us build. That's how it happened before in Europe and that is how it will happen again.