An Invitation to Joy

An Invitation to Joy

by Pope John Paul II, Greg Burke

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780684870335
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 11/01/1999
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 7.88(w) x 9.58(h) x 0.92(d)

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Chapter 1

The Human Family

The Pope preaches one message -- love -- to the entire world, Catholic and non-Catholic alike. He asks everyone to be bearers of hope in a world frequently filled with desperation; to be men and women of faith in societies that seem to have lost any need for God; and to be channels of love and generosity in an age of unbridled egoism.

YOUTH

Young people energize the Pope. He will sing with them, wave his cane for them, and make funny faces at them, While the very presence of young people lifts John Paul II's spirits, he knows how to spread that joy to them as well. He will gladly don a cowboy hat, pick up a hockey stick, or stamp his feet in unison with their cheers and chants. During his travels, his meetings with young people are always the noisiest and the most fun. But along with the shouts and the laughter, the Pope brings a serious message and a heartfelt prayer. The message is always the same: You are the future of the Church; You are the future of the world. And the prayer is always linked to the message: May you have the courage to follow Christ closely at all times during your life.

The Pope continually challenges youth. In 1998, he talked to young Cubans about bravery and commitment; about "the courageous response of people who do not want to let life pass them by but rather seek to shape their own personal history and the history of the society around them." The Pontiff wants that commitment from the young, that whatever path they take in life, they walk as dedicated Christians.

He inaugurated World Youth Day in 1986 to celebrate the faith of young Catholics worldwide, and ever since then, he has either invited young people to Rome or traveled with them on pilgrimages around the globe. The biennial festivities bring together the best elements of a rock concert and a spiritual retreat. John Paul seems to like that combination of high-energy song and dance with the silence of the prayer vigil. Youth, he believes, should learn to enjoy both.

Young people have not only energy but also ideals, and the Pope encourages them in what he calls their "thirst for truth." He views adolescence not as a time to reject religion but as a time to embrace it. "See to it that your youth is not only a purely transitory moment in your lives," he wrote in a 1984 letter, "but realize it fully by remaining united to the word of God, which is always young."

John Paul understands that youth means a time of questions, of looking for direction. He insists -- and he used to do so at the top of his lungs -- that Christ has the answers. Turn to Jesus, listen to him, and discover the true meaning of your lives, he tells young people, challenging them to foster a prayer life, a sincere dialogue with Jesus Christ.

The Pontiff has frequently focused on the Gospel parable of the rich young man who approaches Christ, tells him that he has lived all the commandments, and asks what more he should do to gain eternal life. Jesus answers that he should sell all his belongings, give his money to the poor, and follow him. The young man goes away sad; he does not want to give up his possessions. The Pope contends that this parable remains valid today, when young people are driven to think that what is important is what they own, what they wear, and how much money they have.

So, when speaking with young people, John Paul pounds away with his countercultural but Gospel-centered message: Leave all those material things that keep your hearts from being free. What is important is love of God and love of neighbor. "You must reflect the light of Christ through your lives of prayer and joyful service to others." the Pope told a youth gathering in St. Louis in January 1999.

For teens and young adults, the Pope is a sign of hope in a world that he acknowledges is often filled with darkness: children who go hungry and die; homeless people; violence in families; sexual abuse; drug abuse that destroys bodies, minds, and hearts. But Christ's light shines brightly through the darkness, and those who remain close to him in prayer come to share in his light, and bring it to others who are lost in the dark. In a world in which many people are slaves to their passions, Christ liberates human souls, lifting them out of their shackles.

John Paul promises that, through Christ, young men and women will not only work toward building a better world, but find the truths and values on which to build their own happiness. "Remember," he says, "Christ is calling you; the Church needs you; the Pope believes in you, and he expects great things of you!...Even though you are young, the time for action is now! It is time to let your light shine!"

The Church entrusts to young people the task of proclaiming to the world the joy which springs from having met Christ. Dear friends, allow yourselves to be drawn to Christ; accept his invitation and follow him. Go and preach the good news that redeems; do it with happiness in your hearts and become communicators of hope in a world in a world which is often tempted to despair.
Message for World Youth Day, Vatican City, 1993

As baptized individuals, you bear witness to Christ by your concern for a life that is upright and faithful to the Lord, maintained by means of a spiritual and moral struggle. Faith and moral behavior are linked. In fact, the gift received leads us to a permanent conversion, so that we might imitate Christ and be worthy of the divine promise. The word of God transforms the lives of those who accept it, because it is the rule of faith and action.
Message for World Youth Day, Paris, 1997

To all of you, dear young people, who hunger and thirst for truth, the Church offers herself as a traveling companion. She offers the eternal Gospel message and entrusts you with an exalting apostolic task: to be the protagonists of the new evangelization.
Message for World Youth Day, Vatican City, 1993

Young people should be helped to discover very early on the value of the gift of self, an essential factor in reaching personal maturity.
Discourse to Nigerian Bishops Conference, Vatican City, 1998

What enormous power the prayer of children has! This becomes a model for grown-ups themselves: praying with simple and complete trust means praying as children pray.
Letter to Children in the Year of the Family, Vatican City, 1994

Men and women seek God. Young people realize in the depths of their being that this quest is the inner law of their lives. Human beings seek their way in the visible world and, through the visible world, they seek the unseen world at every stage of their spiritual journey.
Message for World Youth Day, Paris, 1997

In children there is something that must never be missing in people who want to enter the kingdom of heaven. People who are destined to go to heaven are simple like children, and like children are full of trust, rich in goodness and pure. Only people of this sort can find in God a Father and, thanks to Jesus, can become in their own turn children of God.
Letter to Children in the Year of the Family, Vatican City, 1994

FAMILY

For John Paul II, the traditional family is at the heart of what he calls the "civilization of love." It is the first school of virtues, of generous self-giving and joy. Parenthood itself is nothing less than a man and a woman sharing in the creative power of God, who is love.

And, if building a family is an imitation of God -- if the family is the fundamental cell of society -- then breaking one up can only be called evil. The Pope warns that more than love is destroyed when spouses separate; society is damaged as well. He calls upon parents considering divorce to remember their responsibilities to their offspring and to God. For John Paul sees marriage not only as a contract between two people, but also as an accord they have made with God. The marriage bond brings joy, since it is born of the spouses' love for each other, but it also brings obligations. He stresses the importance of prayer both with and for families. "We need to pray that married couples will love their vocation, even when the road becomes difficult, or the paths become narrow, uphill and seemingly insuperable. We need to pray that, even then, they will be faithful to their covenant with God."

Once, when visiting a Roman parish, John Paul greeted a group of young couples who were preparing people for marriage in the Catholic Church. He recalled how he had had to spend so many years in the seminary to become a priest and lamented that laypeople get very little help in preparing for marriage, which is also a lifelong and demanding commitment. "They used to get this formation in the home, but that is no longer true," he told the married couples. "That is why your work is so important."

John Paul points out that the vast majority of Christians have been called to married life, to fatherhood and motherhood. He links the fourth commandment, "Honor your father and your mother," to Christ's command to love one another, and he says that "to honor," by its nature, suggests an attitude of generosity. Such generosity -- the ability to give of oneself -- is at the heart of a solid family for John Paul.

His stalwart defense of the traditional family has won the Catholic Church allies among other Christian denominations and also among Jewish leaders. Calling the family "humanity's most precious resource," the International Catholic Jewish Liaison Committee released a joint declaration in 1994 in an effort to make a positive contribution to the United Nations' International Year of the Family. The declaration, echoing much of John Paul's teaching, stated that the family was far more than a legal, social, or economic unit: "For both Jews and Christians, it is a stable community of love and solidarity based on God's covenant....[It is] uniquely suited to teaching and handing on the cultural, ethical, social and spiritual values that are essential for the development and well-being of its members and of society."

While family unity may sometimes seem impossible to achieve, the Pontiff insists that such is not the case and that the world will reap the positive consequences: "The civilization of love is possible; it is not a utopia."

The family, the great workshop of love, is the first school, indeed, a lasting school where people are not taught to love with barren ideas, but with the incisive power of experience. May every family truly rediscover its own vocation to love!
February 13th Angelus Prayer, Vatican City, 1994

It is above all in the home that, before ever a word is spoken, children should experience God's love in the love which surrounds them. In the family they learn that God wants peace and mutual understanding among all human beings, who are called to be one great family.
Message for World Day of Peace, Vatican City, 1996

Today more than ever, now that the links between the generations are tending to disintegrate, if young people are to develop intellectually, psychologically and spiritually, they need a stable home where they receive affection and where they learn, from the witness of their elders and through education, the necessary values for their personal life and for a harmonious life with all the people who make up society.
Address to the French Ambassador to the Holy See, Vatican City, 1995

The fostering of authentic and mature communion between persons within the family is the first and irreplaceable school of social life, and an example and stimulus for the broader community relationships marked by respect, justice, dialogue and love.
Familiaris Consortio (On the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World), Vatican City, 1981

The family...makes an original contribution in depth to building up the world, by making possible a life that is, properly speaking, human, in particular by guarding and transmitting virtues and values.
Familiaris Consortio (On the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World), Vatican City, 1981

The new evangelization must bring a fuller appreciation of the family as the primary and most vital foundation of society. As the family goes, so goes the nation!
Homily, St. Louis, Missouri, 1999

Inspired and sustained by the new commandment of love, the Christian family welcomes, respects and serves every human being, considering each one in his or her dignity as a person and as a child of God.
Familiaris Consortio (On the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World), Vatican City, 1981

Faced with a society that is running the risk of becoming more and more depersonalized and standardized and therefore inhuman and dehumanizing, with the negative results of many forms of escapism -- such as alcoholism, drugs and even terrorism -- the family possesses and continues still to release formidable energies capable of taking man out of his anonymity, keeping him conscious of his personal dignity, enriching him with deep humanity and actively placing him, in his uniqueness and unrepeatability, within the fabric of society.
Familiaris Consortio (On the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World), Vatican City, 1981

LOVE

Every man and every woman was made for love, both to love others and to be loved. "You are worth what your hearts heart is worth," John Paul II told a group of young people in France in 1980. "The entire history of humanity is the history of the need to love, and to be loved." Love, strictly speaking, is something only a human being is capable of, for only he or she can make a gift of self. The Pope believes it is in that giving -- and not in the mere pursuit of pleasure -- that one finds happiness. While there are different kinds of love, they all have a common thread of the giving of oneself. An individual's fundamental vocation is to love, and his or her life will have meaning inasmuch as it is a gift to others. You "find yourself" by giving yourself.

In 1960, when he was still a young bishop, Karol Wojtyla wrote a book called Love & Responsibility. The book deals with his philosophical reflections on Catholic teaching in the light of his experience as a pastor and marriage counselor. An entire chapter analyzes what it means "to use." While the reasoning is at times very complex, the basic message is clear: "To love" is the opposite of "to use."

Wojtyla explains that it is far easier to draw up a standard of sexual morality for Catholics than to persuade people to practice it. The spiritual director, therefore, must know how to justify this standard. Much of Love & Responsibility is about sex and the relationship between sex and love. True love, he argues, attempts to make the relationship between a man and a woman completely unselfish, but until then there is a struggle between love and the sexual appetite. "The sexual instinct wants above all to take over, to make use of another person," he writes, "whereas love wants to give, to create a good, to bring happiness."

In his 1994 Letter to Families, John Paul refers to the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians as a hymn of love. It speaks of a love that is patient and kind and endures all things. St. Paul described how true love is demanding of the one giving love. It is demanding in all human situations, the Pope writes, and even more so in the case of those who are open to the Gospel. While getting along with friends and family members can entail considerable trials, the Gospel takes it a step further and demands that you love your enemies and those who persecute you.

Real love requires that people know how to give of themselves. In the mind of John Paul, selfishness and a false sense of freedom -- freedom without responsibility -- are what threaten real love and happiness. Promiscuity, he states flatly, has never made men or women truly happy. Selfishness in all its forms -- in individuals, couples, or even nations -- is in radical opposition to love, and yet love is more than simply not being selfish. Love is a gift, one that is truly free and unconditional.

Love goes beyond mere physical attraction or instinct, and John Paul stresses the importance of discovering the "inner beauty" of a person one finds attractive. For a love to last, what is needed is a full appreciation of the entire beauty of the person. "When a man and a woman are united by true love, each one takes on the destiny, the future of the other, as his or her own," he maintains. Despite hardship and suffering, each loves the other so that they "have life and have it in abundance." These words of Christ, the Pope tells us, refer to every true love.

Authentic love is not a vague sentiment or a blind passion. It is an inner attitude that involves the whole human being. It is looking at others, not to use them but to serve them. It is the ability to rejoice with those who are rejoicing and to suffer with those who are suffering. It is sharing what one possesses so that no one may continue to be deprived of what he needs. Love, in a word, is the gift of self.
February 13th Angelus Prayer, Vatican City, 1994

When one reasons calmly and keeps the ideal in mind, it is not difficult to agree that the permanence of the marriage bond springs from the very essence of love and the family. We love one another truly and absolutely only when we love forever, in joy and in sorrow, in good times and bad.
July 10th Angelus Prayer, Vatican City, 1994

May Mary most holy come to the aid of couples in crisis, helping them to rediscover the freshness of their first love.
July 10th Angelus Prayer, Vatican City, 1994

True happiness lies in giving ourselves in love to our brothers and sisters.
Message to Young People, Camagüey, Cuba, 1998

Humanity is loved by God!...Each Christian's words and life must make this proclamation resound: God loves you, Christ came for you, Christ is for you "the Way, the Truth and the Life!"
Christifideles Laici (On the Vocation and Mission of the Laity), Vatican City, 1988

Above all, love is greater than sin, than weakness, than the "futility of creation," it is stronger than death; it is a love always ready to raise up and forgive, always ready to go to meet the prodigal son....In man's history this revelation of love and mercy has taken a form and a name: that of Jesus Christ.
Redemptor Hominis (The Redeemer of Man), Vatican City, 1979

Man cannot live without love. He remains a being that is incomprehensible to himself, his life is senseless, if love is not revealed to him, if he does not encounter love, if he does not experience it and make it his own, if he does not participate intimately in it.
Redemptor Hominis (The Redeemer of Man), Vatican City, 1979

God created man in his own image and likeness: calling him to existence through love, he called him at the same time for love.
Familiaris Consortio (On the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World), Vatican City, 1981

Genuine love...is demanding. But its beauty lies precisely in the demands it makes. Only those able to make demands on themselves in the name of love can then demand love from others.
Message to Young People, Camagüey, Cuba, 1998

If we do not encounter love, if we do not experience it and make it our own, and if we do not participate intimately in it, our life is meaningless. Without love we remain incomprehensible to ourselves.
Message to Religious Women, Washington, D.C., 1979

In our bodies we are a mere speck in the vast created universe, but by virtue of our souls we transcend the whole material world. I invite you to reflect on what makes each one of you truly marvelous and unique. Only a human being like you can think and speak and share your thoughts in different languages with other human beings all over the world, and through that language express the beauty of art and poetry and music and literature and the theater, and so many other uniquely human accomplishments.

And most important of all, only God's precious human beings are capable of loving.
Homily, New York City, 1995

WOMEN

Whenever the progress of women toward equality has been blocked, humanity has suffered what John Paul II calls "spiritual impoverishment." Women's dignity has often been unacknowledged....They have often been relegated to the margins of society and even reduced to servitude," he wrote in his 1995 Letter to Women, adding that the time had come to examine the past with courage and place blame where blame was due.

The Gospel message, the Pope argues, continues to be relevant for setting women free from male exploitation and domination, since the attitude of Christ himself was to transcend the norms of his own culture and treat women with openness and respect. The Pontiff points specifically to Christ not condemning the Samaritan woman at the well who had five husbands, nor the woman caught in adultery. When a public sinner anointed the feet of Jesus with perfumed oil in the house of a Pharisee, the host was shocked. Public opinion had already condemned the woman, but Christ explained, "Her sins, which were many, are forgiven, for she loved much." In saying this, Christ honored the dignity that women have always possessed according to God's plan. How much, the Pope asks, has Christ's message been heard and acted upon?

John Paul laments the fact that in many parts of the world women are still not fully integrated into the social, political, and economic life of societies, and he calls for "real equality" in every area. By this he means equal pay for equal work, protection for working mothers, fairness in career advancement, and the recognition of everything that is a part of the rights and duties of citizens in a democracy.

The feminist movement, John Paul believes, has been a difficult and complicated journey not without its share of mistakes, including a tendency toward the "masculinization" of women. "But it has been substantially a positive one, even if it is still unfinished due to the many obstacles which, in various parts of the world, still prevent women from being acknowledged, respected, and appreciated in their own special dignity." Progress has to continue, not only by condemning discrimination, but above all through an effective and intelligent campaign for the promotion of women.

While much of the debate about the role of women in the Catholic Church has centered on ordination to the priesthood, the Pope argues that he could not change Church teaching -- that only men be ordained priests -- even if he wanted to. If a priest acts "in the person of Christ" and Christ was a male, the line of priests, at least in the Catholic Church, must continue only among men. No one, man or woman, has the "right" to become a priest. But if Christ chose only men as priests, it was not accidental or because of cultural conditioning, John Paul reasons, and does not detract from the role of women or from others in the Church who are not ordained.

A diversity of roles is in no way prejudicial to women, the Pontiff maintains, as long as it is not an arbitrary imposition, but rather the expression of what is specific to being male and female. Equality does not exclude complementarity, and he sees womanhood expressing all that is human just as much as manhood does, but in a different and complementary way.

John Paul acknowledges the contributions of women in the Church and in the world throughout history. The contributions are all the more notable in light of limited educational opportunities and centuries of bias. He often cites two great women saints in particular, Catherine of Siena and Teresa of Avila, both of whom have been granted the title of Doctor of the Church. This title has been awarded to only two dozen writers whose tremendous insights have helped develop Church learning John Paul himself declared the French saint, Thérèse of Lisieux, a Doctor of the Church in 1997.

The Pope has denounced the "long and degrading history" of sexual violence against women and the widespread sexist culture that encourages the exploitation of women and even of young girls. Despite some progress, he regrets that "many women have been and continue to be valued more for their physical appearance than for their skill, their professionalism, their intellectual abilities, their deep sensitivity."

Obstacles in many parts of the world keep women marginalized and often subservient. At the same time, certain societies penalize rather than reward motherhood, and in so doing discriminate against those who have chosen to be wives and mothers. Women are better than men at acknowledging people, recognizing their value as individuals, John Paul writes. He believes this may be related to their potential for motherhood, and especially to the period of pregnancy: "This unique contact with the new human being developing within her gives rise to an attitude toward human beings -- not only toward her own child, but every human being -- which profoundly marks the woman's personality."

I wish to make an appeal on behalf of women whose basic rights are still denied today by the political regimes of their countries: women who are segregated, forbidden to study or to exercise a profession, or even to express their thoughts in public. May international solidarity hasten the due recognition of their rights.
March 8th Angelus Prayer, Vatican City, 1998

Respect for the full equality of man and woman in every walk of life is one of civilization's great achievements. Women themselves, with their deeply felt and generous daily witness, have contributed to this, as have the organized movements which, especially in our century, have put this subject before world attention.
June 25th Angelus Prayer, Vatican City, 1995

In [Christ's] time women were weighed down by an inherited mentality in which they were deeply discriminated against. The Lord's attitude was a "consistent protest against whatever offends the dignity of women." Indeed, he established a relationship with women which was distinguished by great freedom and friendship.
June 25th Angelus Prayer, Vatican City, 1995

How many women have been and are still valued more for their physical appearance than for their personal qualities, professional competence, intellectual work, the richness of their sensitivity and, finally, for the very dignity of their being!
March 8th Angelus Prayer, Vatican City, 1998

We can glimpse the characteristic features of the feminine apostolate in our times too: humble initiative, respect for individuals without seeking to impose a way of seeing things, the invitation to repeat the same experience as a way of reaching the same personal conviction of faith.
July 13th General Audience, Vatican City, 1994

In the family women have the opportunity and the responsibility to transmit the faith in the early training of their children. They are particularly responsible for the joyful task of leading them to discover the supernatural world.
July 13th General Audience, Vatican City, 1994

Again: woman has an understanding, sensitive and compassionate heart that allows her to give a delicate, concrete style to charity. We know that in the Church there have always been many women -- religious and lay, mothers of families and single -- who have been dedicated to relieving human suffering.
July 13th General Audience, Vatican City, 1994

May Mary, the model of a fulfilled woman, help everyone, especially all women, to understand the "feminine genius," not only to carry out God's precise plan, but also to make more room for women in the various areas of social life.
March 8th Angelus Prayer, Vatican City, 1998

WORK & REST

While he is at heart a philosopher and an intellectual, John Paul II spent part of his youth working in a stone quarry and a water-purification plant, and is much more familiar with hard labor than are most priests. He has fond memories of that experience due to the many kindnesses he received from his fellow laborers, who knew he was an underground seminarian. The Nazis, who occupied Poland, had shut down the archdiocesan seminary.

The Pope has reflected at length about what work means for people in his encyclical Laborem Exercens, and he also celebrates the world of work each March 19th, the feast of St. Joseph, Christ's foster father and the patron saint of workers. For many years, John Paul visited a different factory on that holiday to spend some time with the employees and reflect on the importance of work.

Justice, the virtue of giving each person his or her due, is essential in the workplace, according to John Paul. When justice is done, workers will strive to become ever more competent at what they do. Organized labor should serve the cause of justice and assure not only that just payment is made for services rendered but also that workers understand both their rights and their duties.

The human person, in his or her dignity as a child of God, always has to be at the center of the workplace, and the Christian vision of work sees it as a way in which a person can develop not only professionally but also spiritually and culturally. Such things as jealously, power struggles, and unbridled competition -- which the Pope points out are all the result of sin -- can introduce suffering in one's work experience. A workplace that is centered only on efficiency and profit can also trample on the rights of individuals.

The Pope warns against an exaggerated emphasis on profit, success, and material gains, quoting the words of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke: "For what does it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, but ruin or lose himself?" In a recent Apostolic letter called Dies Domini (The Lord's Day), the Pope explains that, over the centuries, the Church has made laws concerning Sunday rest, and "has had in mind above all the work of servants and workers, certainly not because this work was any less worthy when compared to the spiritual requirements of Sunday observance, but rather because it needed greater regulation to lighten its burden and thus enable everyone to keep the Lord's Day holy." John Paul worries particularly about the situation of those Christians who have to make heroic sacrifices to obey the commandment to honor the Lord's Day because they are living in countries in which they are in the minority and Sunday is a workday.

Sunday is above all the day of Our Lord's Resurrection, not simply a day of rest after a hard week of work. Rest is important, for body and soul, but it goes hand in hand with worship, and John Paul asks that Sunday be safeguarded so it can be lived in all its depth. For Catholics, that means time for Mass, which the Pope calls the "heart of Sunday," but also for relaxation with others. Through Sunday rest, daily concerns and tasks can find their proper perspective; he writes: "The material things about which we worry give way to spiritual values; in a moment of encounter and less pressured exchange, we see the true face of the people with whom we live."

The needs which you are called to answer are numerous. First among them, obviously, is that of promoting employment and fighting unemployment. This latter is always an evil and, when it reaches certain levels, it can become a true social disaster, even more painful when we consider the ominous consequences that it entails for families and young people.
Address to the National Councils of Labor Consultants of Italy, Spain and Poland, Vatican City, 1998

What about the work that mothers do at home for their families? Should we not work with greater concern for a legitimate social reevaluation of maternal tasks? I sincerely hope that time is taken to consider these requirements, which have been expressed by many people, giving concrete value to the hard work connected with domestic tasks and the need that children have for the care, love and affection of their parents and especially of their mother.
Address to the National Councils of Labor Consultants of Italy, Spain and Poland, Vatican City, 1998

Public authorities must work both directly and indirectly for the achievement of full and dignified employment....According to the principle of solidarity, the weakest must be defended by putting limits on the autonomy of the parties who decide on working conditions, and by always ensuring the basic essentials for the unemployed worker.
Address to Members of the Regional Board and Council of Lazio, Vatican City, 1998

I would like to remind everyone that human work contains a "small part of the cross of Christ" and, if accepted with love, has a glimmer of new life, of the new good, as if it were an announcement of "the new heavens and the new earth" in which man and the world participate precisely through the toil that goes with work.
Audience with Brazilian Bishops, Vatican City, 1995

We all in fact need an occasional period of extended physical, psychological and spiritual rest. Especially for those who live in large cities, it is important that they immerse themselves in nature for a while. For a vacation to be truly such and bring genuine well-being, in it a person must recover a good balance with himself, with others and with the environment. It is this interior and exterior harmony which revitalizes the mind and reinvigorates body and spirit.
July 6th Angelus Prayer, Vatican City, 1997

One of the values of a holiday is that of meeting and spending time with others in an unselfish way, for the pleasure of friendship and for sharing quiet moments together.
July 6th Angelus Prayer, Vatican City, 1997

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