The Hallmark of Christianity

More than 1000 young people gathered in the parish of the Holy Family in Madrid to hear Caritas Internationalis President Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga present his second catechesis at World Youth Day.

The same day, Pope Benedict arrived in the Spanish Capital from Rome, Cardinal Rodriguez spoke of the Pope’s message for World Youth Day: “Planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith.” Caritas Spain looks at what he said.

Cardinal Rodriguez said, “Whatever we build must be planned in a way that that when tough winds blow, it isn’t swept away.”

 “Our lives are constantly put to the test by personal, family and social crises, through relativism and the ethics of convenience which try to uproot us and make us believe that all that which satisfies our personal needs is good. Yet faith isn’t the rational adherence to an ideology but a personal meeting with Christ who lives within us.”

Cardinal Rodriguez underlines that Christ is the foundation which helps us face our crises and leads to us being stronger. He, who lives among us, is the one who can satisfy our greatest wishes, our most pressing desires for happiness and salvation.

The Hallmark of Christianity

Cardinal Rodriguez reminded the young people that “Christians receive a mark at Baptism. They are aware of this and they act in accordance with it. We are of Christ, we are his inheritance.”

The Cardinal invited young people to answer this call from Christ. Like Pope Benedict in his World Youth Day message, he asked them to offer their commitment and to learn to meet Christ in the Eurcharist where we witness his compassion in helping the poor, the sick and those in difficulty.

Other noteworthy points from Cardinal Rodriguez’s catechesis:

 “Life is a song and what better director than Christ to guide the song of our lives?”

 “Trusting in our solid foundations, we can have confidence if life puts us to the test. The strength of our faith enables us to face difficulties rooted in Christ.

 “When people worship God and listen to his voice, a world of love can be built where each one of us is respected.”

 “Christ wants to be discovered and treated as a friend. He is the way, life, happiness and salvation.”

 “Being a Christian is to be baptised and to be conscious of this. But even more important is to be consistent with this baptism. That means behaving in accordance with what baptism is. With baptism we are son of God and brother of Jesus Christ. We are temple of the Holy Spirit, member of the Church and inheritor of the Kingdom.”