Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Essential thinking for reading Catholics.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Apostolic Exhortation, Pt. 20

For some truly excellent commentary on this Apostolic Exhortation by Fr. Martin Fox, click here (and there is, God willing, more to come)

This covers paragraphs 88-91 (almost done!!!) of the Apostolic Exhortation. Please read my "introduction" to this effort if you haven't done so already. (Be patient, not only is the translation from Latin a bit rough for me, a professional non-Latinist, but also formatting in Blogger is a pain in the...it's my croix du jour to bear, let's just say.) The stuff I believe to be incorrect will be stricken out, what I consider the best (or most approximate) translation will be in bold. If there is something that isn't in the text to be translated, but which adds sense, I put it in [brackets]. Sometimes a translated word or phrase needs a little extra help in making itself clearer, so in put any such clarification(s) [italicized in brackets]. I haven't made any comments yet, and I know that I have been VERY nitpicky in the translatin' so that anyone with a better sense of these things than I can piece together something, meaningwise, which might not have been apparent to me.

The Eucharist, a mystery to be offered to the world

The Eucharist, bread broken for the life of the world

88. "The bread I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world" (Jn 6:51). In With these words the Lord reveals the true meaning significance of the gift of his own life for all people men. These words also reveal demonstrate [literally "prove"] his deep compassion intimate mercy for every man and woman person. The Gospels frequently speak of Jesus' feelings towards others men [i.e., persons], especially the suffering [literally, "those in pain"] and sinners (cf. Mt 20:34; Mk 6:34; Lk 19:41). Through a profoundly human sensibility sentiment [i.e. "empathy" or "sharing of pains"] he expresses declares God's saving will for will to save all people men – that they may have arrive at true life. Each celebration of the Eucharist makes has the effect of making sacramentally present the gift of his own life that the crucified Lord made of his life, on the cross for us and for the whole world. In At the same time, in the Eucharist Jesus also makes us witnesses of God's compassion towards all each of our brothers and sisters. The eucharistic mystery thus gives rise is an origin to a service of charity towards neighbour, which "consists in the very fact that, in God and with God, I love even the person whom I do not like or even know. This can only take place on the basis of an intimate encounter with God, an encounter which has become a communion of will, affecting even my feelings. Then I learn to look on this other person not simply with my eyes and my feelings, but from the perspective of Jesus Christ." (240) In this way, all those I meet, I recognize as brothers or sisters for whom the Lord gave his life, loving them "to the [extreme] end" (Jn 13:1). Our communities, when they celebrate the Eucharist, must are to become ever more conscious that the sacrifice of Christ is for all, and that the Eucharist thus compels all who believe in him to become "bread that is broken" for others, and to work for the building of a more just and fraternal world. Keeping in mind Thinking of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, we need to realize that Christ continues today to exhort his disciples to become personally engaged commit in the first person: "You yourselves, give them something to eat" (Mt 14:16). Each of us is truly called, together with Jesus, to be bread broken for the life of the world.

The social implications of the eucharistic mystery

89. The union Being in society [literally "consociated"] with Christ brought about in the manner effected by the Eucharist also brings a newness to our social relations: "this sacramental ‘mysticism' is social in character." Indeed, "union conjunction with Christ is also union to be in society [literally "consociated"] with all those [others] to whom he gives himself. I cannot possess Christ just for myself; I can belong to him only in union conjunction with all those who have become, or who will become, his own."(241) The relationship between the eucharistic mystery and social commitment must be made explicit. The Eucharist is the sacrament of communion between brothers and sisters who allow themselves to be reconciled in Christ, who made of Jews and pagans one people, tearing down the wall of hostility which divided them (cf. Eph 2:14). Only this constant impulse tension [i.e., pull] towards reconciliation enables us to partake of worthily be in communion with the Body and Blood of Christ (cf. Mt 5:23-24). (242) In the memorial of his sacrifice, the Lord strengthens our fraternal confirms [literally "corroborates"] the communion among the brethren and, in a particular way, urges incites those in conflict to hasten their reconciliation by opening themselves to dialogue and a commitment towards justice. Certainly, Let there be no professions of doubt that the restoration of justice, reconciliation and forgiveness are the conditions for building true peace.(243) The recognition Being conscious of this fact leads to a determination willingness to also transform unjust structures of iniquity and in order to restore respect for the dignity of all men and women man, created in God's image and likeness. Through the concrete fulfilment implementation of this responsibility committment, the Eucharist becomes in life what it signifies in its celebration. As I have had occasion to say previously confirmed, it is not the proper task of the Church to engage in the political work of bringing about the most just society possible; nonetheless she cannot and must should not remain on the sidelines outside in the struggle for justice. The Church "has to play her part through rational argument and she has to reawaken the spiritual energy without which justice, which always demands sacrifice abjuration [i.e., "self-denial" or "deciding to forgo"] , cannot prevail be extolled and prosper [make] progress." (244)

In discussing the complexity of the social responsibility obligations of all Christians, the Synod Fathers noted that the sacrifice of Christ is a mystery of liberation that constantly and insistently continually demands and challenges us. I therefore urge call upon all the faithful to be true promoters of peace and justice: "All who partake of the Eucharist must is to commit themselves himself to peacemaking in our world scarred by violence and war, and today in particular, by terrorism, economic corruption and sexual exploitation abuses." (245) All these problems give rise in turn to generate others no less troubling and disheartening degrading events [i.e., "phenomena"] which awaken [literally, "gives birth"] our grave concern. We know that there can be no superficial approaches to arrive at solutions to these issues. Precisely because of the mystery we celebrate, we must denounce situations contrary to human the dignity of man, since for whom Christ shed his blood for all, and at the same time thereby affirming the inestimable value of each individual person at all times [literally, "at every moment"].

The food of truth and human the needs of man

90. We cannot remain passive before certain processes of globalization which not infrequently excessively increase the gap between the rich and the poor worldwide. We must should denounce those who squander the earth's riches, provoking inequalities that cry out to heaven (cf. Jas 5:4). For example, it is impossible to remain silent before the "distressing disturbing images of huge vast camps throughout the world, of displaced persons and refugees, who are living in makeshift concentrated [and living under] precarious conditions in order to escape a worse fate, yet are still in dire need lacking all things. Are these human beings not our brothers and sisters? Do their children not come into the world with the same legitimate expectations of happiness as other children?" (246) The Lord Jesus, the bread of eternal life, spurs us to be moves us to mindfulness of the situations of extreme poverty in which a great part of humanity still lives finds itself: these are situations for with which human beings men often bear a clear and disquieting responsibility clearly responsible [literally, "with which men cooperate and conspire"]. Indeed, "on the basis of available statistical data, it can be said that less than half of the huge infinite sums spent worldwide on armaments would be more than sufficient to liberate take the immense masses interminable numbers of the poor from destitution. This challenges touches [literally, "stimulates"] humanity's conscience. To peoples living below the poverty line, more as a result of situations to do with which depend on international political, commercial and cultural relations, than as a result of circumstances beyond anyone's control, our common commitment to for truth can and must give new hope" (247).

The food of truth demands that we moves us to denounce inhumane situations of human indignity in which people starve to death because of injustice and exploitation, and it gives us renewed strength and courage to work tirelessly in the service of in the construction of the civilization of love. From the beginning, Christians were concerned made certain to share their goods (cf. Acts 4:32) and to help the poor (cf. Rom 15:26). The alms collected in our liturgical assemblies are not only an eloquent explicit reminder of this, and they are also necessary for meeting today's very real needs. The Church's charitable institutions, especially Caritas, carry out at various levels the important work precious service of assisting the needy, especially the poorest. Inspired by the Eucharist, the sacrament of charity, they these ministries become a concrete expression of that charity; they are to be praised and encouraged deserve every encomium and stimulus for their commitment to solidarity in our world.

The Church's social teaching doctrine

91. The mystery of the Eucharist inspires enables and impels us to the daring work courageously within our world to bring about that renewal of that type of new relationships which has its inexhaustible source in God's gift. The prayer which we repeat at every Mass: "Give us this day our daily bread," obliges us to do everything possible, in cooperation with international, state and private institutions, to end or at least reduce the scandal of hunger and malnutrition afflicting so many millions of people in our world, especially in developing countries. In a particular way, the Christian laity, formed at the school of the Eucharist, are called to assume their specific the proper political and social responsibilities duties. To do so, they need to be adequately prepared through practical education in for charity and justice. To this end, the Synod considered it necessary for Dioceses and Christian communities to teach and promote the Church's social doctrine. (248) In this precious legacy handed down patrimony which proceeds from the earliest ecclesial tradition, we find the elements of great wisdom that guide orient Christians in their involvement in today's burning social issues. This teaching, the fruit of the Church's whole history, is distinguished is characterized by realism and moderation equilibrium; it can help to avoid misguided compromises aberrant committments or false inane utopias.