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Every Christian must evangelize, Pope tells Roman faithful

Catholic World News - June 14, 2011

“The Church—each one of us—must bring the world the good news that Jesus is Lord,” Pope Benedict XVI told a congregation at the Roman basilica of St. John Lateran on June 13. “This announcement must resound anew in regions of ancient Christian tradition.”

The Pope laid heavy emphasis on the duty to evangelize as he spoke at a ceremony closing the pastoral year for the Rome diocese. “The faith cannot endure by itself in the world,” he said.

To be effective, the Pope continued, evangelization “must come from a heart that believes.” To prepare the faithful for the task of evangelization, he strongly urged pastors to “educate people in prayer,” and especially the silent prayer that “may permeate our lives and help us discover the truth that dwells in our hearts.”

Pope Benedict also recommended using “the way of beauty” as a means of instructing the faithful. He pointed out that the artistic treasures of Rome—so many of them obviously inspired by deep faith—offer a precious resource in this regard.

The Pontiff cautioned against the tendency to express the faith purely in secular categories. He explained:

If mankind forgets God, this is also because Jesus is often reduced to the status of a wise man, and his divinity is diminished if not denied outright. This way of thinking makes it impossible to comprehend the radical novelty of Christianity, because if Jesus is not the only Son of the Father, then God did not enter into the history of mankind.

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