Kiko Argüello on the Value of Loving One's Foes

Founder of Neocatechumenal Way Addresses Students

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MADRID, Spain, NOV. 16, 2004 (Zenit.org).- A founder of the Neocatechumenal Way is convinced that more than ever Christian witness is best expressed in loving one's enemies, including in public life.



Kiko Argüello explained this Monday when addressing the annual meeting of university students of the Madrid Archdiocese.

"Christ said love one another, be one as the Holy Trinity is one, and the world will believe," he said. "But to be able to love like this, to let oneself be killed every day, means that we Christians must receive from God the Holy Spirit, who gives eternal life.

"The résumé of the new man is that he loves his enemies, because the enemy kills. We must offer our lives for our enemies, because Christ loved us when we were his enemies."

"We do not have to fear all that will happen in Europe," Argüello continued. "What we do need is to rediscover our faith. We need to grow in the faith, and arrive at this point of the faith: the dimension of the cross on which Christ loved us."

"If you are Christians, thank heavens, you have found the precious pearl, eternal life dwelling in you where sin has been destroyed in Christ's death," he said.

In statements to the Veritas agency, Argüello added that this way of living as Christians should also be reflected in public life.

If the Christian "has eternal life, if his faith grows to the stature of Christ crucified, this is seen in all areas: the social, political ... in everything," he said.

Before the start of a Mass, at which Cardinal Antonio María Rouco presided, Argüello explained to the more than 2,000 young people gathered in the cathedral, the meaning of the paintings in the form of a "mystery crown," which he painted in the apse of the edifice.

Argüello the artist spoke about the saving beauty of Christ of which the Church herself is the image. Hence his attempt to create a Christian aesthetics that allows for the representation of the mystery of faith through "images that help us live our faith better," he said.

Argüello had a conversion experience 35 years ago that led him to initiate, with Carmen Hernández, the Neocatechumenal Way.

This "way," whose statutes were approved by the Holy See in June 2002, is "at the service of diocesan bishops and parish priests as a means to rediscover the sacrament of baptism, and of continuing education in the faith."

The Neocatechumenal Way is active in more than 900 dioceses worldwide.