Friday, October 31, 2008

Bishops call to live life in Holy Spirit

Australia's bishops are seeking to prolong the World Youth Day experience with the publication of a booklet on Living in the Holy Spirit.

The call to live life in the Holy Spirit was a powerful and unforgettable theme of the recent World Youth Day celebration, an ACBC media statement said.

To aid in this, the new booklet has been published to help guide Catholics towards an authentic understanding of Catholic spirituality.

The booklet, Living in the Holy Spirit, is an initiative of the Bishops Commission for Doctrine and Morals. It was prepared for the Commission by Fr David Ranson of the Catholic Institute of Sydney.

In examining different aspects of what it means to live life in the Spirit, the booklet recognises that we live at a time in which "spirituality" enjoys wide interest, but that not everything that presents as "spiritual" is helpful.

"Critical discernment is essential. In the plethora of possibilities for spiritual development, various counterfeits to genuine spirituality can present," the introduction says.

"The contemporary situation places a particular challenge on the Christian disciple within the Catholic tradition. In the midst of the many different options, how do we maintain the integrity of the Christian spiritual journey?"

In easy to read language and an attractive layout, the booklet goes on to outline the key aspects of an authentic Catholic spirituality.

Some of the key points presented are that Christian spirituality in the Catholic tradition begins with the encounter with the person of Jesus Christ through the Word and in the Church community and seeks to grow in openness to the Trinitarian mystery through an ever deeper immersion into the paschal reality, particularly as communicated through a sacramental life.

In the forward to the booklet, the Chairman of the Bishops Commission for Doctrine and Morals, Cardinal George Pell said that Living in the Holy Spirit is intended as "an aid to reflection and prayer on the importance of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church, and in the pilgrimage that each of us makes as individuals in this life."

"It is my hope that this booklet will help Catholics and Christians of all denominations to focus on the Holy Spirit and on the nature of genuine Christian spirituality. The religious longings of the heart are growing more intense in our time and we need the help of the Spirit to discern and practise genuine spirituality and faith," Cardinal Pell said.

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(Source: CTHN)