VATICAN - POPE SENDS MESSAGE TO INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS ON ST THOMAS AQUINAS: “PRIORITY FOR NEW EVANGELISATION IS TO HELP MEN AND WOMEN OF OUR DAY HAVE A PERSONAL ENCOUNTER WITH CHRIST, TO LIVE WITH HIM AND FOR HIM”

Tuesday, 30 September 2003

Vatican City (Fides Service) – The Pope has sent a message on the occasion of an international congress on St Thomas Aquinas organised by Pontifical Academy of St Thomas and the St Thomas Aquinas International Society. The Congress which has the theme “Christian humanism in the Third Millennium” intends to identify the special contribution that St Thomas can offer at the beginning of the new millennium to promote understanding and the realisation of a Christian Humanism.
“If it is true that the first part of his great work Summa Theologiae is focussed entirely on God, it is also true that the second part, more innovative and extended, deals directly with mankind’s long journey to God – the Holy Father writes in his message. In this part the human person is considered a main actor in a precise divine plan, and for the actuation of this plan the person is gifted with copious resources not only natural, but also supernatural. Thanks to these gifts, the person is able to correspond to the exciting vocation reserved for him or her in Jesus Christ, true man and true God. In the third part, St Thomas recalls that the incarnate Word, precisely because he is true man, reveals in himself the dignity of every human being and that He is the way back for the entire cosmos to its beginning, that is God. Christ is therefore truly the way for mankind”.
St Thomas’ humanism rotates around this essential intuition: “Man comes from God and to God he must return”… “Time is the place in which the person can bring this noble mission to completion, putting to profit the opportunities offered both on the natural plane and the plane of grace. Certainly, God alone is Creator. Nevertheless he desired to entrust to his creatures, with reason and liberty, the task of completing his task with their labour”.
The Christian is aware that the future of humanity and the world is in the hands of Divine Providence, but he also knows that God, moved by love for mankind, asks for his collaboration to improve the world and govern the vicissitudes of history. “At this not easy beginning of the third millennium, many feel acutely and even painfully the need for masters and witnesses able to point to valid paths towards a world more worthy of man – the Pope underlines -. It is up to believers to propose in Christ “the way” on which to advance towards that new humanity which is God’s plan. It is clear therefore that a priority of new evangelisation must be precisely to help men and women of our times have a personal encounter with Him and to live with Him and for Him” SL (Fides Service 30/9/2003 EM lines 22 Words: 303)


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