Letter to the Archbishop of Buenos Aires to Catechists

“Arise and eat,

you still have long way to go … ”

(I Re 19.7)

Dear catechists:

As Diocesan Church journeyed a path that will have a strong point of the Spirit: the next Assembly of the People of God. I hope that this time of preparation involving start on a path of community discernment through prayer.

As Church on pilgrimage to Corrientes Argentina where, in a few days, we will meet as faithful People around the Eucharist, to ask the Lord to the daily celebration help us realize the dream many times postponed a truly reconciled nation solidarity. What we do with the sad realization that there are people who do not have food in the blessed land of bread.

Finally catechists of Buenos Aires started, with catechists from across the country, a pastoral journey that will culminate with the celebration of the National Meeting of Catechists (ENAC 2005) at the Shrine of Luján next year. This will be a good time to reflect on the person’s identity and catechist, doing also grateful memory of the faces of the past that, as faithful witnesses, they learned to make their ministry fruitful.

Identity, memory, belonging to a people known pilgrim on the way.

In this dynamic reality of the Church want, in the proximity of the feast of St. Pius X, to extend my greetings and affection thankful for the day of the catechist. I want to share with you some thoughts which in recent times have been my prayer, in line with what I wrote on Ash Wednesday, when invited to look fragility own brother from the boldness of the disciples of Jesus who trust Risen in his presence.

Our Church in Buenos Aires, is in need of such audacity and fervor, which is the Holy Spirit, and that leads us to proclaim, to shout to Jesus Christ with all our lives. You need a lot of audacity and courage to keep walking today amid much perplexity.

We know it is tempting to get caught by the paralyzing fear that sometimes fallback makeup and realistic calculation and in other cases, routine repetition. But the vocation always hides a cowardly and conformist culture minimalist accustomed only to walk skirting safety.

Imply apostolic daring quest, creativity, offshore sailing!

In this way spirituality is also a great temptation to betray the call to go as a people, renouncing the mandate of the pilgrimage to run the marathon wildly successful. Thus mortgaged our style, joining a culture of exclusion, in which there is no room for the old, the child upset, no time to stop at the side of the road. The temptation is great, especially because it is based in the new modern dogmas as efficiency and pragmatism. Therefore, It takes courage to go against the grain, to not give up the utopia that is precisely possible inclusion which mark the style and pace of our passing.

Walking as a people is always slower. Besides everyone knows that the road is long and difficult. As on that foundational experience of God’s people in the wilderness, will not miss the tiredness and confusion.

We all find ourselves ever has been arrested and disoriented on the way, not knowing what steps to take. The reality is often closed upon us without hope. We doubt, as the people of Israel, of the promises and presence of the Lord of history and let us wrap the positivist mentality that seeks to become key to interpreting reality. We gave up our vocation to make history, to join the chorus of complaints and reproaches nostalgic: “I’ve already said when we were in Egypt. Us alone! Want to serve the Egyptians, because it is better to serve them to die in the desert! (Ex 14:12). apostolic fervor help us have a memory, not to give up freedom to walk as people of the Covenant: “Do not forget the Lord who brought you out of Egypt, that place of slavery “(Deut. 6:12). As hard times catechists must ask God for the courage and zeal to help remind them to” Pay attention and be careful not to forget the things you’ve seen with your own eyes. .. “(Deuteronomy 4:9). transmitted in memory and held as a people find the strength to not fall into paralyzing fear and anguish.

This journey of God’s people recognize time and rhythms, temptations and trials, events of grace in which it is necessary to renew the alliance.

Also today, in our journey as a church in Buenos Aires, living a very special moment that we dare to envision as probation. We open ourselves to the Spirit to let Him put us in spiritual movement, so that the next Diocesan Assemblies are a real “God’s Time” in which, in the presence of the Lord, we can deepen our identity and awareness of our mission . To place a fraternal experience and fraternal community discernment in which prayer and dialogue to overcome disagreements and we grow in holiness and missionary community.

As we walk around to get moving forces in motion, we uninstalled, and puts us in a position of spiritual struggles. We must pay special attention to what happens in the heart, to watch the movement of the various spirits (the good, the bad, himself). And this, in order to discern and find the will of God.

There will be surprised that in this way we begin to move appears subtle temptation of seduction “alternativist”, expressed in a common path never accept, for filing all other possibilities always. It is not the healthy and rich hues pluralism or when community discernment, but failure to make a journey with others, because deep heart alone is preferred walking trails elitists who, in many cases, lead to retreat selfishly on itself. The catechist however, the true catechist, has the wisdom that passes by the closeness to the people and the wealth of many faces and stories shared that aggiornada away from any version of “enlightenment”.

No wonder that in this way also makes evil spirit, which refuses to any development. The clinging to preferred securities purchased and from Egypt to the promises of the Lord. That evil spirit leads us to wallow in the difficulties, to bet from the start to fail, to dismiss “realistically” the crowds because we do not know, and can not, at heart, we do not include them. This evil spirit no one is exempt.

From there, the invitation to renew the fervor is an invitation to ask God a grace for our Church in Buenos Aires: “The grace of apostolic courage, boldness strong and earnest of the Spirit.”

We know all this spiritual renewal can not be the result of a movement of the will or a simple change of mind. It is grace, interior renovation, profound transformation that is based and supported by a presence that, as the afternoon of the first day of the new story, new paths with us to transform our fears in ardor, our sorrow into joy, our escape in Ad .

You only need to recognize it as at Emmaus. He keeps breaking bread for us to recognize also, from our bread. And if we lack courage to take the challenge to be the ones who give food, let’s update our life in God’s command to the weary and burdened prophet Elijah: “Arise and eat, you still have long way to go …” (I Re 19.7)

To give thanks for all your road catechist, I ask the Lord to renew your ardor Eucharist and apostolic fervor that never get used to the faces of so many children who do not know Jesus, to the faces of so many young people who roam the meaningless life, to the faces of multitudes of excluded who, with their families and the elderly, struggle for community, whose passage through our city everyday hurts and challenges.

More than ever we need a close look of catechist to contemplate, and move you to stop as often as necessary to give our walking pace of projimidad sanante. And you may just make the experience of true compassion, Jesus, far from paralyzing, mobilizes, it drives out harder, more boldly, to preach, to heal, to free (cf. Lk. 4, 16 – 22).

More than ever we need your delicate heart catechist that lets you contribute from your experience of accompaniment, the wisdom of life and the processes which abounds prudence, comprehension skills, the art of waiting, the sense of belonging, to care-and-between all the sheep entrusted to us, of wolves trying illustrated disaggregate the flock.

More than ever we need your person to catechetical ministry with your creative gestures, as David put music and joy to walk tired of our people! (2 Sa. 6, 14-15).

I ask you, please, to pray for me to be a good catechist. May Jesus bless you and take care of you the Holy Virgin.

Buenos Aires, August 2004.

Card. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ

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Posted in 2004

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