NEWS for the weekend of September 8-10, 2000
HOLY FATHER STRESSES NEED OF CONVERSION "OF HEART AND MIND"
VATICAN CITY, 7 (NE)
"The Christian, disciple of Christ", was
the theme of Pope John Paul II' catechesis yesterday, held in
St. Peter's Square in the presence of 40.000 pilgrims from
different parts of the world. "The meeting with Christ," the
Pope said, "radically changes people's lives, encouraging them
to 'metanoia,' or profound conversion of heart and mind; it also
establishes a communion of life that develops into following
During his catechesis, the Pope stated several "conditions" to
follow the Lord, which appear in the Gospel and "are few but
fundamental". "The way indicated by Christ is narrow, it calls
for sacrifice and the total giving of self. ... It is a way that
knows the thorns of tribulations and persecution. ... It is a
way that creates missionaries and witnesses of Christ's word."
"To follow Christ is not, then, an easy journey along a level
road. It also involves moments of discomfort to the point that,
on one occasion, 'many of His disciples drew back and no longer
went about with Him'."
The Pope highlighted that "the final destination of those who
follow Christ is glory. The path is that of 'imitating Christ,'
who lived in love and died on the Cross for love. The disciple
'must, so to speak, enter into Him with all his own self, he
must appropriate and assimilate the whole of the reality of the
Incarnation and Redemption in order to find himself.' Christ
must enter into the disciple's self to liberate it from
selfishness and pride." "The cross, sign of love and total
donation, is, then, the emblem of the disciple called to
associate himself with the glorious Christ."
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