We arrive at the end of our discussion on The Beauty of Christ, Model and Prototype of Christian Holiness and the Pontifical Council for Culture offers its Pastoral Proposals. We’ll take these slowly, and in pieces, touching on matters such as episcopal teaching, faith formation, and naturally, my favorite topic: liturgy. Let’s begin with a simple suggestion, one that doesn’t necessarily require an artist to effect. Just pass the message of Christ to others. Giving a “witness to joy” may only require setting the best example we can muster. Living a life that is considerate of others. Many people yet offer this in their neighborhoods, homes, schools, workplaces, churches, and in the wider communities where we find ourselves. People notice, not always to take advantage, but to regard the virtues expressed and think to themselves, “Perhaps that attractive life is something I can live too.”
It is good to offer the message of Christ in all its beauty, able to attract the spirits and hearts through the links of love. At the same time we must live and witness to the beauty of the communion in a world often marked by disharmony and rupture. It is a matter of transforming into “events of beauty” the gestures of daily charity and all the ordinary pastoral activities of the local. The saving beauty of Christ must be presented in a renewed manner so that each believer and also the indifferent may welcome it and contemplate Him.
Lay Christians in the world do need encouragement to persist in the rendering of a positive witness to others:
The attention of pastors and catechists needs to be brought to this issue so that their preaching and teaching will lead to the beauty of Christ. Christians are called to witness to the joy and to know that they are beloved of God and of a beauty of life transformed by this love which comes from on high.
Remember: the full document is here.
Image: the rose window at Notre Dame in Paris, By Zachi Evenor based on File:North rose window of Notre-Dame de Paris, Aug 2010.jpg by Julie Anne Workman – CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60404628