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CATHOLIC HERALD — Gaudete et Exsultate: key quotes / Slavery quotes in the document GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE

CATHOLIC HERALD — Gaudete et Exsultate: key quotes / Slavery quotes in the document GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE
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Slav­ery quotes in the doc­u­ment GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE:

MORE ALIVE, MORE HUMAN

  1. Do not be afraid of holi­ness. It will take away none of your ener­gy, vital­i­ty or joy. On the con­trary, you will become what the Father had in mind when he cre­at­ed you, and you will be faith­ful to your deep­est self.To depend on God sets us free from every form of enslave­men­tand leads us to rec­og­nize our great dig­ni­ty. We see this in Saint Josephine Bakhi­ta: “Abduct­ed and sold into slav­ery at the ten­der age of sev­en, she suf­fered much at the hands of cru­el mas­ters. But she came to under­stand the pro­found truth that God, and not man, is the true Mas­ter of every human being, of every human life. This expe­ri­ence became a source of great wis­dom for this hum­ble daugh­ter of Africa”.[30]
  2. To the extent that each Chris­t­ian grows in holi­ness, he or she will bear greater fruit for our world. The bish­ops of West Africa have observed that “we are being called in the spir­it of the New Evan­ge­liza­tion to be evan­ge­lized and to evan­ge­lize through the empow­er­ing of all you, the bap­tized, to take up your roles as salt of the earth and light of the world wher­ev­er you find your­selves”.[31]
  3. Do not be afraid to set your sights high­er, to allow your­self to be loved and lib­er­at­ed by God. Do not be afraid to let your­self be guid­ed by the Holy Spir­it. Holi­ness does not make you less human, since it is an encounter between your weak­ness and the pow­er of God’s grace. For in the words of León Bloy, when all is said and done, “the only great tragedy in life, is not to become a saint”.[32]

 

  1. Once we believe that every­thing depends on human effort as chan­nelled by eccle­sial rules and struc­tures, we uncon­scious­ly com­pli­cate the Gospel and become enslaved to a blue­print that leaves few open­ings for the work­ing of grace. Saint Thomas Aquinas remind­ed us that the pre­cepts added to the Gospel by the Church should be imposed with mod­er­a­tion “lest the con­duct of the faith­ful become bur­den­some”, for then our reli­gion would become a form of servi­tude.[64]

 

  1. The oth­er harm­ful ide­o­log­i­cal error is found in those who find sus­pect the social engage­ment of oth­ers, see­ing it as super­fi­cial, world­ly, sec­u­lar, mate­ri­al­ist, com­mu­nist or pop­ulist. Or they rel­a­tivize it, as if there are oth­er more impor­tant mat­ters, or the only thing that counts is one par­tic­u­lar eth­i­cal issue or cause that they them­selves defend. Our defence of the inno­cent unborn, for exam­ple, needs to be clear, firm and pas­sion­ate, for at stake is the dig­ni­ty of a human life, which is always sacred and demands love for each per­son, regard­less of his or her stage of devel­op­ment. Equal­ly sacred, how­ev­er, are the lives of the poor, those already born, the des­ti­tute, the aban­doned and the under­priv­i­leged, the vul­ner­a­ble infirm and elder­ly exposed to covert euthana­sia, the vic­tims of human traf­fick­ing, new forms of slav­ery, and every form of rejec­tion.[84]We can­not uphold an ide­al of holi­ness that would ignore injus­tice in a world where some rev­el, spend with aban­don and live only for the lat­est con­sumer goods, even as oth­ers look on from afar, liv­ing their entire lives in abject poverty.
  2. We often hear it said that, with respect to rel­a­tivism and the flaws of our present world, the sit­u­a­tion of migrants, for exam­ple, is a less­er issue. Some Catholics con­sid­er it a sec­ondary issue com­pared to the “grave” bioeth­i­cal ques­tions. That a politi­cian look­ing for votes might say such a thing is under­stand­able, but not a Chris­t­ian, for whom the only prop­er atti­tude is to stand in the shoes of those broth­ers and sis­ters of ours who risk their lives to offer a future to their chil­dren. Can we not real­ize that this is exact­ly what Jesus demands of us, when he tells us that in wel­com­ing the stranger we wel­come him (cf. Mt25:35)? Saint Bene­dict did so read­i­ly, and though it might have “com­pli­cat­ed” the life of his monks, he ordered that all guests who knocked at the monastery door be wel­comed “like Christ”,[85]with a ges­ture of ven­er­a­tion;[86] the poor and pil­grims were to be met with “the great­est care and solic­i­tude”.[87]

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