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Pope's Message on 10 Commandments
"God has given us the Commandments to educate us to liberty and genuine love"
ROME, SEPT. 10, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the text of Benedict XVI's video message to those participating in the first leg of the "Ten Squares for Ten Commandments" event organized by Renewal in the Spirit and sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization.
The event opened Saturday in Rome's Piazza del Popolo.
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Dear Brothers and Sisters!
I am happy to extend a cordial greeting to all of you taking part in the Squares of several Italian cities in this catechesis on the Ten Commandments and who adhere to the initiative "When Love Gives Meaning to Your Life." In particular I greet and thank the adherents of the Ecclesial Movement Renewal in the Holy Spirit, who organized this praiseworthy initiative, with the support of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization and the Italian Episcopal Conference.
The Decalogue takes us back to Mount Sinai, when God entered in a particular way in the history of the Jewish people, and through this people in the history of the whole of humanity, giving the "Ten Words" that express his will and which are a sort of "ethical code" to build a society in which the covenant relationship with the Holy and Just God illumines and guides the relations between persons. And Jesus comes to bring these words to fulfillment, elevating them and summarizing them in the twofold Commandment of love: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind ... You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (cf. Matthew 22:37-40).
However, we must ask ourselves: what meaning do these Ten Words have for us, in the present cultural context, in which secularism and relativism risk becoming the criteria of every choice and in this, our society, which seems to live as if God did not exist? We answer that God has given us the Commandments to educate us to liberty and genuine love, so that we can be truly happy. They are a sign of the love of God the Father, of his desire to teach us the correct discernment of good and evil, of the true and the false, of the just and the unjust. They are comprehensible to all precisely because they establish the fundamental values in concrete norms and rules, in putting them into practice man can walk on the path of true liberty, which renders him firm in the way that leads him to life and happiness. When, on the contrary, man ignores the Commandments in his existence, not only does he alienate himself from God and abandons the covenant with Him, but he also distances himself from life and from lasting happiness. Man left to himself, indifferent to God, proud of his own absolute autonomy, ends up by following the idols of egoism, of power, of dominion, polluting the relations with himself and with others, and following paths not of life but of death. The sad experiences of history, especially of the last century, remain a warning for the whole of humanity.
"When Love gives meaning to your life ..." Jesus brings to fulfillment the way of the Commandments with his Cross and Resurrection; leads to the radical overcoming of egoism, of sin and of death, with the gift of himself out of love. Only the acceptance of the infinite love of God, trust in Him, following the way He traced, gives profound meaning to life and opens to a future of hope.
Dear friends, I hope that this initiative will arouse renewed commitment in witnessing that the way of love, traced by the Commandments and perfected by Christ, is the only one capable of rendering our life, that of others and of our communities fuller, better and happier. May the Virgin Mary support this path, while I impart my Blessing.
[Translation by ZENIT]
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