01 December 2013

The Joy of the Gospel Pargaphs 1-3

The Holy Father has a new exortation....here it is: I'm going to analyze it chapter by chapter. Apparently, the Vatican has no idea how to translate Spanish correctly, so I'm going to go ahead and translate the Spanish where necessary, my comments are in red

1. The joy of The gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus (Bear in mind that joy is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, but that does not mean that all is an emotional super high either). Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness (Salvation is the final act, when we die..., indeed we are set free, but this doesn't mean that there won't be temptations of this sort). With Christ joy is constantly born anew. In this Exhortation I wish to encourage the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangelization marked by this joy (oh boy), while pointing out new paths for the Church’s journey in years to come (Let's give him a chance).

I. A joy ever new, A joy whIch Is shared

2. The great danger in today’s world, pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience (Indeed so). Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor (Well, I don't know if I fully agree with that statement, perhaps it could be better to say that our priorities are screwed when we put ourselves first, we should be last...God, others, ourselves). God’s voice is no longer heard (maybe God's voice is ignored might be better, I wouldn't necessarily say that God's voice isn't heard...), the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades (Possibly, in some cases because people wish to boost their own egos, they'll try to do more good, this is of course a wrong attitude as to why to do good things, we do good things for our Love of God, and love of neighbor ). This is a very real danger for believers too. Many fall prey to it, and end up resentful, angry and listless. That is no way to live a dignified and fulfilled life; it is not God’s will for us, nor is it the life in the Spirit which has its source in the heart of the risen Christ. 

3. I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ ( There can be a danger in basing one's relationship with God based upon an emotional encounter. That is to say to encounter God, does not necessarily mean that there will be an emotion of consolation attached to it...We are certainly called to a deep intimacy with God, but this again doesn't mean there will be emotions to console or confirm this...traditional Catholic theology has avoided this term in the past as to not confuse or to equate emotions in a relationship with God...this mixing of emotions and relationship is commonly called phenomenology) , or at least an openness to letting Him (capitalization fail) encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day. No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her, since “no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord”.1 The Lord does not disappoint those who take this risk (Of course, but we as humans are weak, hence why our relationships should not be based upon the fragile thing known as emotion); whenever we take a step towards Jesus, we come to realize that He is already there (I don't know about that part), waiting for us with open arms (God is a loving Father always waiting to embrace us when we return to Him). Now is the time to say to Jesus: “Lord, I have let myself be deceived; in a thousand ways I have shunned your love, yet here I am once more, to renew my covenant with you. I need you. Save me once again , Lord, take me once more into your redeeming embrace”. How good it feels to come back to him whenever we are lost! (The prayer says something slightly different: here is the spanish: Señor, me he dejado engañar, de mil 
maneras escapé de tu amor, pero aquí estoy otra 
vez para renovar mi alianza contigo. Te necesito. 
Rescátame de nuevo, Señor, acéptame una vez 
más entre tus brazos redentores: The translation that concerns me here is Rescatame de neuvo...is translated as save me once again...it'd be better to translate this as redeem me once again...strictly speaking Salvation is considered our final act whether we're in heaven or in hell...for our time on earth, redemption would be a better word to apply here...Protestants often speak of "being saved." One can't be "saved" unless one is dead ;)...) Let me say this once more: God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking his mercy (How true this is, how hard is it to go to Confession where Christ forgives us through the person of the priest? It's embarrassing, difficult, painful...I don't know about you, but I often struggle to go to the box, even though I make myself go) . Christ, who told us to forgive one another “seventy times seven” (Mt 18:22) has given us his example: he has forgiven us seventy times seven. Time and time again he bears us on his shoulders (Christ never stops forgiving us, as long as we keep trying, we need to persevere until the end of the race). No one can strip us of the dignity bestowed upon us by this boundless and unfailing love. With a tenderness which never disappoints, but is always capable of restoring our joy, he makes it possible for us to lift up our heads and to start anew. Let us not flee from the
1 pAul VI, Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete in Domino (9 May 1975), 22: AAS 67 (1975), 297.

resurrection of Jesus, let us never give up, come what will. May nothing inspire more than his life, which impels us onwards! 

Paragraphs 4-7 will come later on :)...There's a lot to digest here, so be patient, Pax Vobis

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