Pontiff's Address to Emmanuel Community

“A Genuinely Eucharistic Life Is a Missionary Life”

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 3, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI gave today upon receiving in audience members of the Emmanuel Community on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the death of their founder, Pierre Goursat.

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Dear Brothers in the Episcopate,
Dear Friends,

With great joy I welcome you at this time in which the Emmanuel Community is preparing to observe the 20th anniversary of the death of its founder, Pierre Goursat, whose cause of beatification was introduced last year. May the example of his life of faith and his missionary commitment stimulate you and be for you a constant call to walk toward sanctity! In the forthcoming months you will also celebrate the 30 years of service of Fidesco in the most underprivileged countries, and then the 40 years of the foundation of the Community, and the 20th anniversary of the recognition of its statutes by the Pontifical Council for the Laity. With you I thank God for this work! To each one of you, priests and laymen, I address my cordial greeting. I greet in particular the moderator of the community, whom I thank for the kind words he addressed to me, the members of the International Council, those responsible for the great services, as well as the bishops who have come from the Community. May your pilgrimage to Rome at the beginning of the jubilee year be the occasion to renew your commitment to continue being ardent disciples of Christ in fidelity to the Church and her pastors!

Dear friends: the profound grace of your community comes from Eucharistic adoration. From this adoration compassion is born for all men, and from this compassion the thirst is born to evangelize (cf. Statutes, Preamble I). In keeping with the spirit of your own charism, I encourage you therefore to deepen your spiritual life giving an essential place to your personal encounter with Christ, the Emmanuel, God-with-us, so that you will allow yourselves to be transformed by him and have the passionate desire of the mission mature in you. In the Eucharist you find the source of all your commitments in the following of Christ and in his adoration you purify your look on the life of the world. “We cannot keep for ourselves the love that we celebrate in the Sacrament. By its nature, it exacts that it be communicated to all. What the world needs is the love of God, to encounter Christ and to grow in Him” (postsynodal apostolic exhortation “Sacramentum Caritatis,” No. 84). A genuinely Eucharistic life is a missionary life. In a world frequently disoriented and in search of new reasons to live, the light of Christ must be taken to everyone. In the midst of the men and women of today, be ardent missionaries of the Gospel, supported by a life radically anchored in Christ! Be thirsty to proclaim the Word of God!

Today the urgency of this proclamation is felt particularly in families, so often broken, by the youth, or in intellectual world. Offer your contribution to the renewal from within of the apostolic dynamism of parishes, developing their spiritual and missionary orientations! I encourage you, moreover, to give your attention to persons that are returning to the Church and that have not received a profound catechesis. Help them to root their faith in an authentically theological, sacramental and ecclesial life! The work carried out in particular by Fidesco is also a testimony of your commitment in favor of the populations of underprivileged countries. May your charity reflect the love of Christ everywhere and become in this way a force for the building of a more just and fraternal world!

In particular I invite your community to live a genuine communion among its members. This communion, which is not simply human solidarity among members of the same spiritual family, is based on your relationship with Christ and on a common commitment to serve him. The community life you wish to develop, in respect of the state of life of each one, will be, hence, a living testimony for society of the fraternal love that must animate all human relations. Fraternal communion is already a proclamation of the new world that Christ came to establish.

May this same communion, which does not mean to be withdrawn in oneself, be effective also with the local Churches. Every charism is in relation with the growth of the whole Body of Christ. Hence missionary action must be ceaselessly adapted to the realities of the local Church, with a permanent concern for agreement and collaboration with the pastors, under the authority of the bishop. In fact, mutual recognition of the diversity of vocations in the Church and of their contribution, indispensable to evangelization, is an eloquent sign of the unity of the disciples of Christ and of the credibility of their testimony.

The Virgin Mary, Mother of the Emmanuel, has a great place in the spirituality of your community. Take her “to your home,” as the beloved disciple did, so that she will truly be the Mother who guides you to her divine Son and helps you to remain faithful to him. Entrusting you to her maternal intercession, I impart to each one of you , as well as to all the members of the Emmanuel Community my heartfelt apostolic blessing.

[Translation by ZENIT]
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