A union with Jesus through prayer Groaning under in a special filmed message shown to all the delegates in their sects on Saturday morning, Pope John Paul expressed his support for the Congress"initiative in shared responsibility' but warned that the community of faith was not independent of the Magisteriurn of the Church. Here we print key extracts from the message.
'AT THE beginning of the congress I extend my congratulations for the initiative you are taking in shared responsibility. It is an initiative which bears witness to the variety of gifts in the Body of Christ, and to the vital mission of all baptised persons in the Church who, in union with the hierarchy and under their direction,. are building up the Kingdom of God.
Shared responsibility in the Church is based upon the conviction that it is one and the same spirit of truth who directs the hearts of the faithful and who guarantees the Magisterium of the pastors of the flock.
In this regard I would like to recall what I said to a group of Bishops in Rome on the occasion of their ad limina visit: "In the community of the faithful — which must always maintain Catholic unity with the Bishops and the Apostolic See — there are great insights of faith.
The Holy Spirit is active in enlightening the minds of the faithful with his truth, and in Mani-. ing their hearts with his love. But these insights of faith and this sensus fidelium are not independent of the Klagisterium of the Church which is an
instrument of the same Holy Spirit and is assisted by him. It is only when the faithful have been nourished by the Word of God, faithfully transmitted in its purity and integrity, that their own charisms are fully operative and fruitful.
Once the Word of God is faithfully proclaimed to the community and is accepted, it brings forth fruits of justice and holiness of life in abundance."
From the time of my election to the Chair of Peter. I have considered it my duty to continue the work of the Second Vatican Council. In order to fulfil this task I have felt the need to call attention to the Church's understanding of her
own nature and mission. as set out in the Magna Carta of the Council, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium.
Again and again we need to ponder the mystery of the Church, striving to appreciate ever more keenly this visible community of faith, hope and charity through which Christ communicates truth and grace to all men and women. (cf. Lumen Gentium, 8.) On this occasion I ask each of you to meditate on the mystery of the Church and to ponder the marvellous ways in which God's saving power is effected through her. Consider your own role in
the mission of the Church. SA hether it be a priest, deacon, religious or lay-person For each baptised person is called to participate actively in the Church's mission so that in our day she may make her presence felt in action.
Above all let us realise that the Church is a community of prayer. It is especially in prayer that Jesus unites us to himself in his work of salvation and service.
Brothers and sisters in Christ: Let us not lose sight of Jesus who leads us in our faith and brings it to perfection (Heb. 12:2). Let us not lose sight of his guiding Word. Let us not lose sight of His spirit abiding in our hearts.
In everything, trust in Jesus. Trust in his grace working within you and inviting you to sacrifice and holiness. Trust in his presence in the Eucharist and in the whole Church. Trust in the power of his Gospel to be the light which will lead you into the future.
Let the message of Christ in all its richness fine a home in you" (Co1.3:16); for it is his justice, hi: compassion, his love which you must bring to the world.'