one sentence, the Holy Father has summarized what the Lord
has been teaching us in the 3 years since the CFC crisis of
2007, as reflected in our themes for the year.
In 2008 our theme was joy (Zep 3:17). God had raised a remnant
and had heard the prayer for restoration of His people. In
"Our Theme for 2008," I wrote this: "We had
been unfaithful to our covenant. We had been rebellious. But
now we have been purified and we have been restored. In CFC-FFL
we are a remnant humbled and made lowly (Zep 3:12). Those
who speak lies and have a deceitful tongue have been removed
(Zep 3:13). We have no further misfortune to fear (Zep 3:15).
Indeed, the Lord has brought about our restoration (Zep 3:19,20).
The fruit of lamentations is restoration, which brings hope,
and with hope is joy."
In 2009 our theme was trust (Is 12:2). In Part 1 of "Our
Theme for 2009," I wrote this: "God is continuing
to form us, to be a holy remnant, and ultimately to become
the families He intended us to become, that He could use to
renew the face of the earth. The call to holiness means constant
purification, and a determination to go the way of the cross
of Jesus Christ. There will be great challenges and trials,
there will be human disappointments and frustrations, but
we are to trust in Him totally."
In 2010, our theme from Job 37:23 has taught us much about
redemptive suffering, taking off from the story of Job. In
Part 1 of "Our Theme for 2010," I wrote this: "Suffering
of course is the very way God chose for His Son Jesus. That
is the mystery of the cross. God loves His Son, and God loves
us His children. Just as He allowed Jesus to suffer, so He
allows us. Such suffering is redemptive. Gold is purified
through fire. In His love for us and in His inscrutable wisdom,
God is always working in us to accomplish His very plan and
purpose. Thus such suffering is cause not for lamentations
but for joy."
Joy, trust, suffering -- all intimately connected. All are
very much the crucial aspects of the mystery that is God's
working among us. Let us then continue to embrace the cross
of Jesus and allow suffering to purify us, while in all this
we continue to trust in him who suffered and died for us and
now calls us to proclaim that salvation to the world, and
amidst all the challenges of our life and work let us always
be mindful of the wonderful privilege God has accorded us
and thus keep joy in our hearts.
Doesn't Exclude Humanity's Suffering, Says Pope
Sends Message to Taizé Youth
VATICAN CITY, DEC. 16, 2010 ().-
Joy is intimately related to trust in
God, and does not exclude solidarity with the sufferings of
humanity, according to Benedict XVI.
Pope said this in a message sent on his behalf to the community
of Taizé, as it prepares for the 33rd young adult European
meeting, to be held this year in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Dec. 28-Jan. 1 event is expected to bring 30,000 young people
to the city, at the invitation of the Bishops Conference of
the Netherlands, the General Council of the Dutch Protestant
Church and the Netherlands Council of Churches.
Holy Father expressed his wish that God will guide the participants
to the "wellsprings of joy." And he noted that "this
joy does not take you away from solidarity with the sufferings
of humanity, but is intimately related to trust in God.
By living in this trust, by welcoming it, you permit this
radical renewal of the human being that Christ came to bring."
papal message said that in this way, the young people "will
be filled with the courage to swim against the stream when
giving in to the mirage of individualism, you will become
ever more men and women of communion, through the gift of
yourselves for others," he said.
150 churches will host the youth in the mornings of the meeting.
For the afternoons of the 5-day event, the young people will
join at an exhibition center for meals and prayer.
XVI's note expresses a prayer that when the young people have
returned to their countries, they might be filled by the Holy
Spirit with "boundless compassion."
he communicate to you imagination and courage so you can discover
how to transform your local communities into places of heartfelt
kindness and trust," the Pope said. "The peace he
will give you will thus radiate outwards for others and for
Pontiff also invited the young people to join him next August
in Madrid for World Youth Day.
religious and civic leaders have also sent messages to the
young people for the meeting.
Bartholomew of Constantinople reflected on the virtue of compassion.
His message affirmed: "Finding strength in the incarnation
of Christ, God made man, compassion not only brings together
realities which are oh so different, even contradictory, but
it makes the life of our neighbor a constitutive element of
our own lives. Suffering, disease and poverty, when shared,
bring their victims out of isolation.
despotic oppression of an exaggerated individualism must be
overcome so that its dignity is restored to the human face."
Ki Moon, U.N. secretary-general, made a call for teamwork.
He made this reflection: "I trust you have all heard
the saying, 'united we stand, divided we fall.' That adage
captures this moment in international affairs. No single country
or group, no matter how powerful, can take on the major issues
of the day alone. In an era when challenges spill over borders
and have global reach, our future depends on how well we work
text of these and more messages:www.taize.fr/en_article11702.html
to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." (Phil 1:21)
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Pope on Joy, Trust and Suffering [PDF]