‘Gospel radicalism’ needed to counter religious ‘amnesia’

“Gospel radicalism” is needed today to counteract religious “amnesia,” Pope Benedict XVI told an audience at World Youth Day on August 19.

Speaking to a group of young women religious at Madrid’s historic Escorial, the Pope commended consecrated life as a form of “Gospel radicalism.” This witness is powerful today, he said, at a time when “we see a certain ‘eclipse of God’ taking place, a kind of amnesia which, albeit not an outright rejection of Christianity, is nonetheless a denial of the treasure of our faith, a denial that could lead to the loss of our deepest identity.”

The Holy Father thanked the young religious for their commitment, and encouraged them to live it out “in filial communion with the Church.” Their vocation, he said, calls for communion with the universal Church, with their own religious congregations, and with all others who are bearing witness to the faith in their own lives.

Speaking more generally on this theme, the Pope said:

“Gospel radicalism finds expression in the mission God has chosen to entrust to us: from the contemplative life, which welcomes into its cloisters the word of God in eloquent silence and adores his beauty in the solitude which he alone fills, to the different paths of the apostolic life, in whose furrows the seed of the Gospel bears fruit in the education of children and young people, the care of the sick and elderly, the pastoral care of families, commitment to respect for life, witness to the truth and the proclamation of peace and charity, mission work and the new evangelization, and so many other sectors of the Church’s apostolate.”

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