Church's Mission Is to Radiate Beauty of God, Says Preacher

Pope in Last Full Day of Spiritual Retreat

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VATICAN CITY, MARCH 5, 2004 (Zenit.org).- The mission of the Church is to radiate the beauty of God, says the preacher at the annual retreat being attended by John Paul II.



The theme addressed today by Monsignor Bruno Forte, president of the School of Theology of Southern Italy, at the Spiritual Exercises was "On the Way Toward the Trinitarian Homeland: The Church in Mission."

The retreat, being preached in the Vatican's Redemptoris Mater Chapel, entered its third phase, the "unitive way," in which the disciples, transformed by the Spirit of the Risen One and participating in the life of the Triune God, constitute the Church of love, the preacher said.

"A Church in mission is called to radiate in time the beauty of the Trinity, calling all peoples to the meeting of salvation that changes life," Monsignor Forte said when addressing the Pope and Roman Curia officials in attendance.

"The Church of the Trinity, on the way toward the Trinitarian homeland, is the Church in mission," the priest said. "The whole Church is invited to proclaim the whole Gospel to every human being."

The place where the Church is born and where she expresses herself is the Eucharist, he continued.

"We live in a world that is a multitude of 'lonelinesses,'" Monsignor Forte said in a passage heard over Vatican Radio. "We are all together but there is no unity. The Church has immense wealth, the unity that Christ gives us, the agape that she transmits to us in the Eucharist."

"This is what we must proclaim to the world," he concluded. The Spiritual Exercises will end on Saturday morning.