Aparecida 538-540: Sharing Life

538. All authentic transformations take shape and are forged in the heart of persons and radiate in all dimensions of their existence and shared life. There are no new structures unless there are new men and new women to mobilize and bring about convergence in peoples ideals and powerful moral and religious energies. The Church responds to this demand by forming disciples and missionaries.

No one would question some aspects of the modern world are in need of change, and many people could pick out one or two instances where drastic transformation is needed. The differences obviously lie in personal opinions. That said, the Church “responds” best by forming baptized believers as disciples. Volumes are written on discipleship these days. Whatever system, guru, program, or website one subscribes to will have variations on that theme. However one does it, forming authentic disciples will mean women and men are led to mobilize their energies and assert influence by their actions. If such movements are of the Spirit (for the most part) then their fruits will be of God. For the most part.

A key related point on how to discern if the disciple is with God:

539. The church fosters and encourages the reconstruction of the person and its bonds of belonging and shared life, out of a dynamism of friendship, gratuity, and communion.

If this holds true, for the most part, then …

Processes of social decay and atomization are thereby counteracted. To that end, the principle of subsidiarity must be applied at all levels and structures of social organization. Indeed, the state and the market do not satisfy, nor can they satisfy, all human needs. Appreciation and encouragement is due to volunteer endeavors in society, the various forms of popular free self-organization and participation, and charitable, educational, hospital, and cooperative work projects and other projects promoted by the church that adequately respond to these needs.

Perhaps an indicator of how out-of-step the Church is from various ideologies today. As people on local and global levels and in between gather into tribes, the Gospel points us to deeper levels of interaction where people can share and meet others needs directly.

The mission for the baptized:

540. Disciples and missionaries of Christ promote a culture of sharing at all levels, as opposed to the dominant culture of selfish accumulation, seriously taking on the virtue of poverty as sober way of life for going out to encounter and aid in the needs of brothers and sisters living in want.

For deeper examination, check an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in 2007 Aparecida document, bishops, evangelization and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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