“We know, and children know that they need love in order for them to thrive” - Amidst the historic speeches made during the Papal visit, the Holy Father's Hyde Park Vigil Address was particularly applauded by Dr Rosemary Keenan, Chief Executive of the Catholic Children’s Society (Westminster) - for its simple clarity on the relationship between faith and our daily lives.
Commenting on this after attending the Prayer Vigil she said,:“I was delighted that Pope Benedict XVI quoted from, the soon to be Blessed, John Henry Newman’s Meditations on Christian Doctrine in which Newman stated: ‘God has created me to do him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which he has not committed to another’.”
She added: “The Pope then expanded on this by saying, 'Faith is meant to bear fruit in the transformation of our world through the power of the Holy Spirit at work in the lives and activity of believers.’ “
On talking of the significance of this she said: “This is about how we live out our lives as Christians. It was noticeable that in addressing young people at the vigil he spoke of the “definite service” that Jesus has in mind for each of them and included the importance of parenthood and family life amongst the possibilities saying: “Christ has need of families to remind the world of the dignity of human love and the beauty of family life.’
This echoed his earlier speech to school children at Twickenham where he was inviting them to practice virtue, to care for others and to become saints.”
Commenting on how this related to the work of the Catholic Children’s Society with children who suffer from abuse or neglect within their families or other forms of poverty in their relationships with others, Dr Keenan added: “We know and children know that they need love in order for them to thrive and that their families are where they should experience this first. When, as a Catholic community, we baptise children we pray that their parents may be the first and best teachers in the ways of the faith and it is through their love for their children that this faith is expressed and developed by parents and family members. As Pope Benedict said so simply: ‘Each of us is called to change the world, to work for a culture of life, a culture forged by love and respect for the dignity of each human person.’ I think we would all agree that this has its roots and earliest expression for children within the family.”
For information see: www.cathchild.org.uk/