this is long, but hang in there, it is well worth the read...


If Christianity, as so often and so rightly has been said, is not primarily a doctrine but a person, Jesus Christ, it follows that the proclamation of this person and of one's relationship with Him is the most important thing, the beginning of all true evangelization and the very condition for making such a thing possible. To reverse this order and put the doctrines and obligations of the Gospel before the discovery of Jesus would be like putting the carriages in front of the railway engine that is supposed to pull them. The person of Jesus opens the highway of the heart for the acceptance of everything else. Anyone who has once known the living Jesus has no further need to be goaded along; we ourselves burn with desire to know his thought, his will, his word. It is not on the authority of the Church that we accept Jesus, but on the authority of Jesus that we accept and love the Church. So the first thing the Church has to do is not present herself to the world, but present Jesus...

Insistence on the importance of a personal encounter with Jesus Christ is not a sign of subjectivism or emotionalism but is the translation, on to the spiritual and pastoral place, of a dogma central to our faith: that Jesus Christ is "a person."

Father Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M.Cap., is the preacher to the papal household.

i edited to correct text to reflect what i originally read in the Maginificat. this shows what cutting and pasting can do if you don't totally re-read the entire text and compare with what was the original prior to posting.

i apologize, sincerely, if i offended anyone with my mistake. thank you.

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