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A Spiritual Journey To God's Best: Fear To Faith By Understanding The Relationship Between God, 23 !LINK!

Dialogue does not mean renouncing one's own identity when it goes againstanother's, nor does it mean compromising Christian faith and morals. To thecontrary, "true openness involves remaining steadfast in one's deepestconvictions, clear and joyful in one's own identity" (ibid., 251) and thereforeopen to understanding the religions of another, capable of respectful human relationships,convinced that the encounter with someone different than ourselves can be anoccasion of growth in a spirit of fraternity, of enrichment and of witness.This is why interreligious dialogue and evangelization are not mutuallyexclusive, but rather nourish one another. We do not impose anything, we do notemploy any subtle strategies for attracting believers; rather, we bear witnessto what we believe and who we are with joy and simplicity. In fact, anencounter wherein each party sets aside his beliefs, pretending to renouncewhat he holds most dear, would certainly not be an authentic relationship. Inthis case we could speak of a false fraternity. As disciples of Jesus we haveto make every effort to triumph over fear, always ready to take the first step,without becoming discouraged in the face of difficulty and misunderstanding.

A Spiritual Journey to God's Best: Fear to Faith By Understanding the Relationship Between God, 23


The ministry of priests and deacons has two vital points of reference: on one hand, the diocesan Bishop; and on the other hand, the people entrusted to their pastoral care. Thus the clergy present in the local Church provide a helpful point of connection between the Bishop and those they serve. This gives priests and deacons a key role in journeying together in the midst of the People of God, united with the Bishop and at the service of the faithful. They are able to communicate to the people on behalf of the Bishop, and they are also able to communicate from the people to the Bishop. They are agents of communion and unity in building up the Body of Christ, helping the faithful to journey together, walking forward with one another in the midst of the Church. The clergy are likewise heralds of renewal, attentive to the evolving needs of their flock, and pointing out how the Holy Spirit is opening new pathways. Finally, they are men of prayer who promote a genuinely spiritual experience of synodality, so that the People of God can be more attentive to the Holy Spirit and listen together to the will of God.


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