Cardinal: Minorities Are Called to Be Exemplary

Reflects on Obligation to Live Service and Charity

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, SEPT. 22, 2009 ( When Christians are a minority — as in the case of the Holy Land — they have a special obligation to live exemplary lives, says Cardinal John Foley.

The grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher affirmed this Sunday during his homily at a Mass for the investiture of new members of the order.

The new members «should be distinguished by good example in conduct and good example in generosity, especially to our brother and sister Christians in the Holy Land, the land called holy because it has been sanctified by the life, death and resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,» the prelate affirmed.

He went on to reflect about the new members’ call to live charity: «As Catholics, you form a minority in this beautiful nation of Sweden. You can understand what it means to be in a minority — but, of course, Catholic Christians in Israel are a minority within a minority — a Catholic minority among Christians; a Christian minority within the largely Muslim Palestinian minority in a Jewish state; and a Catholic minority among Christians in the overwhelmingly Muslim majority in the Palestinian territory and in Jordan.

«How important it is for those who form such minorities to lead exemplary lives — and also lives of service and charity! In the Holy Land, the schools, hospitals and social centers sponsored by the Catholic Church and funded through the sacrifices of — among others –the Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulcher, are open to all: Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant Christians, Jews, Druze and Muslims. All are received as children of God; all are received in a spirit of peace and of service.»

In the vigil service the day before, Cardinal Foley offered a mini spiritual program for the members’ efforts to achieve holiness.

«I would hope,» he said, «that, if you do not already do so, you would follow a special spiritual program: a morning offering to God of everything you do during the day; acts of faith, hope and charity; family prayer of blessing and thanksgiving before meals; daily reading of sacred Scripture; assistance at Mass and reception of Holy Communion, if possible; evening examination of conscience, thanking God especially for his gifts during the day and asking his forgiveness for your failures and making sincere resolutions for the days to come for amendment of life.»

«Especially,» the cardinal added, «be informed about the Holy Land. Be generous to the support of our Catholic communities there and do whatever you can — by prayer, word and example — to encourage the efforts for peace being made by so many.»

Cardinal Foley concluded his homily affirming that the members of the Holy Sepulcher seek to be «instruments of peace in a conflict-torn land.»

We are, he declared, «pledged today to be not warriors but peacemakers, servants of peace, ‘full of mercy and good fruits,’ receiving all in the name of the one God who has created all, loves all and wishes all to live in peace and in an atmosphere of respect and indeed of love.»

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation