Translation by: Marisol Becerra
Youth Ministry Office Assistant
Dear Salesian Brothers, young people and lay faithful, Fratelli tutti!
Receive my warmest greetings, hoping that all your pastoral activities are producing the best spiritual fruits.
As you can see with my initial greeting, I would like to dedicate a few words to encourage reading and reflecting, personally and in community, the new encyclical that Pope Francis has recently given us: Fratelli tutti! On fraternity and social friendship.
Many of us have had difficulties when it comes to addressing the pontifical documents, their length, their purely doctrinal content, their high theology, and overall, writings that are sometimes difficult to understand. However, in this latest encyclical; the Pope writes to the people of God, to all of us, in a simple, beautiful, pleasant, decisive and profound way.
The words of Pope Francis spring from a pastoral heart, from a deeply human and spiritual being who yearns for the Kingdom of God and the active PARTICIPATION of his sons and daughters in its construction.
Reading the encyclical, it seems to me to be listening to a prophet, a man sent by God, focused on Him, with his feet firmly planted on the ground, who with his words, breaks open and highlights the reality of a society that has turned their back on human beings, to our brothers and sisters.
With the same style of Jesus of Nazareth, rooted in the evangelical message, specifically in the figure of the “Good Samaritan”, with the grace, efficacy and power of the pedagogy of life and love, the pope shows us once more that the PRACTICE of tenderness and mercy are the only means to save society.
Yes, practice, praxis, less talk, fewer ideologies, what young people, for example, cry out for: Coherence between our statements, what we believe and say, and the way we act. Pope Francis affirms it well:
“Belief in God, and the worship of God are not enough to ensure that we actually live in a way pleasing to God. The guarantee of an authentic OPENNESS to God is a way of practising the faith that helps open our hearts to our brothers and sisters.”
What an excellent message from the Holy Father for our school and parish communities, here in the United States, which are facing conjunctural and decisive events at the political and social level, not only for this country, but for humanity as a whole.
I invite you all, as Christians, Catholics, and Salesians, to allow ourselves to be challenged and inspired by the wise and audacious words of Pope Francis, who has been sent to us by God in the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.
Fr. Fabian Cardenas, SDB