ROME — Christians are called to share their experience of God’s beauty, said Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state.
People of faith find in God, who became flesh, “the wonder of living,” he said in a written message to participants in an annual meeting of the Communion and Liberation movement.
“Isn’t this amazing discovery perhaps the greatest contribution Christians can offer in order to sustain people’s hope” particularly during a time of great difficulty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, he wrote in a message, released by the Vatican Aug. 17.
The Aug. 18-23 meeting was to be livestreamed from Rimini, Italy, and was to include some events in the presence of the public, following ongoing restrictions to curb the spread of the virus.
The theme of the annual meeting was, “Without wonder, we remain deaf to the sublime.”
The dramatic events unfolding over the past several months “have shown that the wonder of one’s own life and the life of others makes us more aware and more creative, less likely to (feel) discontent and resignation,” said a July 13 press release about the meeting on the event’s website MeetingRimini.org.
In his message, sent to Bishop Francesco Lambiasi of Rimini, Parolin said Pope Francis had conveyed his greetings and hopes for a successful meeting, assuring participants of his closeness and prayers.
Amazement is what “sets and resets life in motion, allowing it to take off again under any circumstances,” the cardinal wrote.
Life, as well as faith, without wonder becomes “gray” and routine, he wrote.
If wonder and amazement are not cultivated, then one becomes “blind” and isolated within oneself, attracted only to the ephemeral and no longer interested in questioning the world, he added.
However, expressions of authentic beauty can point people along a path that helps them encounter Jesus, he wrote.
“The pope invites you to continue to collaborate with him in witnessing to the experience of the beauty of God, who became flesh so that our eyes may marvel at his face and our eyes may find in him the wonder of living,” the cardinal wrote.
“It is a call to be clear about the beauty that has changed our life, concrete witnesses to the love that saves, above all to those who are now suffering the most.”