Christians Will Need to Be Mystics, Says Theologian

Warns of Challenges of the Secularized World

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ROME, OCT. 26, 2004 ( A theologian and vice rector of the Lateran University thinks that the Christian of the future will either be a mystic — or not a Christian at all.

Monsignor Ignazio Sanna delivered that assessment during the Italian congress of the Ecclesial Movement for Cultural Commitment (MEIC).

The Oct. 22-24 event, in the Domus Mariae Hotel, attracted 250 delegates representing more than 100 Italian groups, who focused on the theme «Run, Compete, Win. And Contemplate?»

On the second day of the congress, Monsignor Sanna, MEIC’s national assistant, addressed the topic «run» — first verb of the theme. Economist Lorenzo Caselli addressed the second, «compete,» and sociologist Mauricio Ambrosini the third, «win.»

«If there must be a race in the life of the Christian, it must be the race of disciple and evangelizer,» Monsignor Sanna said. But at the same time it must also be a «race of hope toward the resurrection,» he said.

«The whole history of Christianity is a history of faith that has transformed the paths of humanity in ways of hope,» the theologian added.

In this perspective, the contemplative dimension assumes an essential function: «The Christian of the future will either be a mystic or will not be a Christian,» Monsignor Sanna stressed.

«By this we don’t mean to say that all should have mystical experiences to be Christians, but that, in a plural and secularized world, it will no longer be enough to be born Christians; one will have to be so with the force of reason and the courage of faith,» he said.

MEIC, described by John Paul II in 2002 as being «the missionary vanguard for the world of culture and the professions, within the great family of Italian Catholic Action,» was established in 1932-33 with the name Movement of University Graduates of Catholic Action. It assumed its present name in 1980.

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