Cardinal to Clergy: Christ Is Present
Says Risen Jesus Accompanies Life's Difficulties
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ROME, MARCH 13, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The Risen Christ accompanies us on our earthly journey, even if we do not always recognize his presence, recalled the prefect of the Congregation for Clergy.
Cardinal Claudio Hummes, in his '08 Lenten message addressed to priests, permanent deacons and catechists, stated that "the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which we celebrate at Easter, bring new life to the Church and encourage God's people, who sing a new song to the Lord."
"The risen Lord is the guarantee of the definitive victory of life," he affirmed, and so death "has been destroyed" and "life and love will have the last word."
The cardinal continued: "Behold the sure and happy hope that gives meaning to our life and to the history of humanity: Christ is risen, and he accompanies us along the path of our earthly pilgrimage, he enlightens us and he strengthens us, as we read in the episode of the disciple of Emmaus, the afternoon of the day of the Resurrection.
"Stay with us, Lord, accompany us even though we haven't always known how to recognize you.
"Stay with us, because the shadows are gathering around us, and you are the light; discouragement is insinuating itself in our hearts, [but] you will make them burn with the certainty of Easter. We are tired from the journey, but you comfort us with the breaking of bread to tell our brothers that you have truly risen and have given us the mission of being witnesses of your resurrection.
"Stay with us, Lord, when the clouds of doubt, weariness or difficulty rise up and surround our Catholic faith: You are truth itself as the one who reveals the Father, enlighten our minds with your word; help us feel the beauty of believing in you."
Cardinal Hummes turned his attention to particular situations that need the presence and reassurance of the risen Christ.
He asked Jesus to stay with "our families," enlightening them "in their doubts," sustaining them "in their difficulties," consoling them "in their sufferings and in the daily fatigue, when shadows gather around them, threatening their unity and natural identity."
"You who are life itself, stay by our hearths, so that they may continue to be nests where human life is generously born, where life is welcomed, loved and respected from conception through to its natural end," the cardinal continued. "Lord, stay with those who are most vulnerable in our society, stay with the poor and the humble people of the world, who suffer unjust limitations on participating at the table of the goods of humanity and on expressing the richness of their culture and the wisdom of their identity.
"Lord, stay with our children and with our young people, who are the hope and the treasure of our world; protect them from so many hidden dangers that attack their innocence and their legitimate hope."
"Stay with our elderly people and our sick," Cardinal Hummes concluded. "Strengthen them all in faith so that we may be your disciples and missionaries."