CZESTOCHOWA, Poland, DEC. 1, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Now is the time for a new evangelization, for God’s moment to reach out to all people through his Church, says Cardinal Antonio Cañizares.
The prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments affirmed this at a spiritual exercises retreat organized by the Pontifical Council Cor Unum for diocesan leaders of Caritas and other ecclesial agencies throughout Europe.
The retreat, which began Monday and ends Friday, is taking place at the Marian shrine of Jasna Gora in Czestochowa, Poland, on the theme, “Here I Am.”
In his talk, the cardinal said, “In our days we see a powerful request for evangelization; the cry is raised: ‘Help us!'”
“Evangelization is possible,” he added, “it is urgent, and God asking for it.”
“It is God’s moment,” the prelate affirmed, “the hour of the new evangelization, the time of a missionary Church that proclaims and attests that God is Love.”
He continued: “This is what is most urgent.
“It is about a new evangelization in a pagan world, which has distanced itself from God and does not even pose the question to itself.
“It is urgent to evangelize. This is our future. This is God’s great appeal to the Church of our time.”
The Lord’s mandate
Cardinal Cañizares affirmed that “the truth of evangelization, the sign that the Lord’s mandate to evangelize is being carried out, which Andrew and the Apostles obeyed and which we are called to follow, is the great sign of charity, which is the dimension of a Christian’s life and the indispensable pillar that supports the Church.”
He added that this is “the sign of the Messiah, Savior and hope of humanity, which men, sinners and poor, sick and destroyed are awaiting, so that the poor are evangelized.”
The prelate noted, “It is the great sign that the Kingdom of God is near to us, from whom we received the good news of the Kingdom of God, which is rooted in us: God’s love reigns in our hearts.”
He continued, “This is, hence, the true sign that makes the Gospel credible: charity, precisely this, the love that we are called to bear one another as Christ has loved us, a living and effective love, practical and concrete toward our brothers, above all toward those who are in conditions of greater poverty and need.”
“From this all will know that we are his disciples: by loving one another as he loves us and with his same love,” the cardinal affirmed.
He explained that “the charity that the Spirit realizes in us points us to the practice of an active and concrete love toward every human being.”
Cardinal Cañizares stated that “it is urgent and imperative” to have a charity that “must also, necessarily, be a service to culture, to politics, to the economy and to the family, so that the fundamental principles on which the destiny of humanity depends are respected, in which its inviolable dignity is at stake, as well as its fundamental and inalienable rights.”
He asserted, “This dimension of charity is an inseparable component of evangelization.”
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