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Pope encourages religious to offer radical Christian witness

February 03, 2011

As he presided at a Vespers service on February 2 to celebrate the Day for Consecrated Life, Pope Benedict XVI offered three themes for reflection: the spiritual journey, prophetic witness, and the willingness to listen to the Word of God. The Pope urged religious men and women to meditate on these themes, recognizing them as “pathways of Christian living marked by the radicalism of the Gospel.”

The purity and force of Christian witness is doubly important today, the Pope said, because of a progressive marginalisation of religion from the public sphere, by a relativism which extends to fundamental values.” Consecrated religious, with their “luminous and coherent” witness to a life offered in service to Christ and His Church, can help restore proper balance, he said.

Calling attention to the day’s feast, the Presentation, the Holy Father remarked: “The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple is an eloquent symbol of complete donation of life.” Therefore, he continued, it is appropriate day on which to celebrate religious life.


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