That all Christians may cultivate a deep and personal friendship with Christ so as to communicate the strength of His love to every person they meet. – Pope Benedict’s prayer intention for this month
Pope John Paul II’s reflections in Humanae Vitae likewise advocate a personalism in placing the human person at the center of his ethical analysis. We can draw lessons from his perspective of treating a beloved and apply these lessons in the treating of a ‘be-friended’ – in terms of outreaching to our contacts.
The late pope stresses the fundamental dignity of man which requires that our personhood be always respected. As much as we desire to communicate the strength of Christ’s love to every person we meet, we need to put in as much effort to cultivate a deep and personal friendship with the Christ within a person.
In the Handbook, "the air of sympathy which the good legionary carries with him, the willingness to listen, to enter wholeheartedly into the case as put before him, are sweetly irresistible." (Chapter 39, point 2). Infinite patience and sweetness must be lavished on a priceless soul. This necessitates an effort harder than mere sincerity. It encompasses a transparency of intentions, a wholeheartedness which demands honesty of expressions and thoughts.
In Pope John Paul II’s language of the body, the body is the expression of the human person. If we parallel this to the Handbook, an action can be considered to be an expression of the human thought. The strength of Christ’s love can then be communicated through an utmost sincerity of conduct, outpoured through a wholehearted recognition of priceless souls we are encountering.
Again in the Handbook, "persons are encountered who put one’s faith and hope and charity to trial. They appear to be outside the category of the ordinary sinner; persons of superlative badness, incarnate selfishness, or bottomless treachery, or full of hatred of God or of a revolting attitude towards religion. They seem not to have a soft spot in them, a spark of grace, or a trace of the spiritual. So utterly detestable are they, that it is difficult to believe that they are not equally repellent to God himself. What can he possibly see in the midst of disfigurements so frightful to make him desire closest intimacy with them in Holy Communion, or their company in Heaven?" (Chapter 39, point 2)
Christ can see because His sacred heart is pure. He calls us to then communicate with such openness in our thoughts and deeds. If the direct source of a body’s language is the body in its masculinity and its femininity, then the source of our conduct is possibly the mind which exudes Christ’s masculinity and our Mother’s femininity, a mind that accepts with openness the people we meet and brings forth with supreme generosity and courage towards these priceless souls..
Holy Mary, Mother of God, you have given the world its true light, Jesus, your Son – the Son of God. You abandoned yourself completely to God’s call and thus became a wellspring of the goodness which flows forth from him. Show us Jesus. Lead us to him. Teach us to know and love him, so that we too can become capable of true love and be fountains of living water in the midst of a thirsting world
– Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est