Notable quotations from Pope John Paul II and official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church
The Christian springtime ... is perceivable in the radical choice of faith, in the genuine holiness of life, in the extraordinary apostolic zeal of many lay faithful, men and women, the young, adults, and the elderly.
It is ... the task of the present generation to bring the Gospel to future humanity... Be well aware of it, and respond with prompt fidelity to this urgent missionary call. The Church is counting on you!
There are essential questions which no one can avoid: What have I done with my Baptism and Confirmation? Is Christ truly the center of my life? Do I make room for daily prayer? Do I live my life as a vocation and a mission?
The vocation and mission of the lay faithful can be understood only in the light of a renewed awareness of the Church, which "is in the nature of sacrament — a sign and instrument .... of communion with God and of unity among all men" (Lumen gentium, n. 1), and of one's personal duty to adhere more firmly to her.
Today, more than ever, it is necessary for Christians, enlightened and guided by faith, to know the Church as she is in all her beauty and holiness, so that they can listen to her and love her as their mother.
At the threshold of the third millennium, God calls believers, especially lay people, to a renewed missionary zeal. Mission is not an appendix to the Christian vocation... The Christian vocation by its nature is a vocation to the apostolate.
An evangelically mature person, or community, is motivated by intense missionary enthusiasm, which spurs him to bear witness to Christ in every social, cultural and political context.
The Church needs you and is counting on you! The promotion and defense of the human person's dignity and rights, today more urgent than ever, demands the courage of individuals who are enlivened by faith, capable of selfless love and deeply compassionate, respectful of the truth about man made in the image of God and destined to grow to the full stature of Christ Jesus (cf. Eph 4:13).
Do not be discouraged by the complexity of situations! Seek the source of all apostolic strength in prayer; draw from the Gospel the light to guide your steps. The complexity of situations ... should spur you to look with wisdom and courage for adequate answers to the demand for bread and work, and to the requirements of freedom, peace and justice, sharing and solidarity.
(Message to Cardinal J. Francis Stafford, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, on the occasion of the Congress of the Catholic Laity, dated November 21, 2000)
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