Catholic Culture Resources
Catholic Culture Resources

Contemplation Involves Surrender To Primacy Of Grace

by Pope Saint John Paul II


The Holy Father's Exhortation given on May 4, 2002, to the members of the international Movement, "Cursillos de Cristiandad". The Holy Father asked them as an ecclesial movement to attain a greater ecclesial consciousness and identity in order to be better integrated in the Church. He also asked them to intensify their evangelical engagement.

Larger Work

L'Osservatore Romano


10 and 11

Publisher & Date

Vatican, July 3, 2002

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

1. I am glad to meet you today: thank you for this visit! Your numerous and joyful presence attests to what I said to the Cursillistas from around the world, meeting in Rome for the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000: "The tiny seed planted in Spain more than 50 years ago has become a great tree laden with fruits of the Spirit" (Audience, Saturday, 29 July 2000, n. 1; ORE, 9/16 August 2000, p. 3). My most cordial welcome to you. I thank the two representatives who spoke on your behalf, and the spiritual directors and the leaders of the movement.

Today the Cursillos de Cristiandad are present in more than 60 countries on all continents, and in 800 dioceses. In recent years, that seed sprang up and grew in Italy, bearing abundant fruit of conversion and holiness of life, in accord with the pastoral orientations of the Italian Bishops' Conference.

Perfect your ecclesial consciousness and identity

2. I would now like to think back with you to two dates that were important and far-reaching. I refer first of all to the meeting with the members of the ecclesial movements and new communities in St Peter's Square, on the Vigil of Pentecost of 30 May 1998.

On that occasion, I recognized in these new ecclesial realities a providential response, raised up by the Holy Spirit for Christian formation and evangelization. At the same time, however, I urged people to grow in ecclesial consciousness and identity: "Today a new stage is unfolding before you: that of ecclesial maturity.... The Church expects from you the "mature' fruits of communion and commitment" (Prayer Vigil on the Eve of Pentecost, 30 May 1998, n. 6; ORE, 3 June 1998, p. 2).

The invitation is still valid and urgent, it is an authentic challenge that you should face with courage and determination. With this mandate to attain a more solid ecclesial maturity, I mention the request of the world Organism of the Cursillos de Cristiandad to the competent office of the Roman Curia for canonical recognition and the approval of its Statutes.

Today when it is difficult, be brave witnesses to the proclamation of the truth

3. The second important event I would like to recall here is the Third World Ultreya, that was crowned by the Jubilee meeting of your members in St Peter's Square, which I have just mentioned. In this regard, I would like to repeat the exhortation that I made then to be courageous witnesses of the "diakonia (service) of truth", working tirelessly with the "force of communion" (nn. 3-4).

In fact, every day this engagement becomes more necessary and demanding. On your part, you will certainly not fail to make the precious contribution that derives from your own charism. Indeed, what else would the kerygmatic proclamation that is the heart of your movement mean than that we "firmly set our gaze on the face of the Christ", as I asked in Novo Millennio ineunte (cf. nn. 16ff.)? What does this contemplation involve if not entrusting oneself to the "primacy of grace" in order to start out on a journey of catechesis and prayer, of conversion and of holiness of life? What fruit does it produce, if not a stronger sense of belonging to the Church and a renewed zeal for evangelizing the places where you live and work?

Mary is model of obedience to the will of the Father and disciple of her Son

4. Dear Cursillistas! Continue confidently on your journey of formation and Christian life undertaken with great generosity. "Duc in altum"! "Put out into the deep"! I entrust you to the motherly protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a wonderful example of obedience to the Father's will and a faithful disciple of her Son.

As I assure you of my special remembrance in prayer, I impart my Apostolic Blessing to you here, and to all your loved ones.

© L'Osservatore Romano, Editorial and Management Offices, Via del Pellegrino, 00120, Vatican City, Europe, Telephone 39/6/698.99.390.

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