An excerpt from:

ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI 
TO THE NATIONAL DIRECTORS 
OF THE PONTIFICAL MISSION SOCIETIES

Clementine Hall
Friday, 11 May 2012

...Christian communities “too need to hear anew the voice of the Bridegroom, who invites them to conversion, spurs them on to bold new undertakings and calls forth their commitment to the great task of the ‘new evangelization’” (John Paul II Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Europa, n. 23).

...We need to invoke light and strength from the Holy Spirit, and to commit ourselves with determination, decision and generosity to usher in, in a sense, “a new era of proclamation of the Gospel... because, after two millennia, a major part of the human family still does not acknowledge Christ, but also because the situation in which the Church and the world find themselves... is particularly challenging for religious belief” (John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Asia, n. 29).

Dear friends, as you know only too well, the proclamation of the Gospel on not a few occasions has entailed difficulty and suffering; the growth of the Kingdom of God in the world, in fact, often comes at the cost of the blood of its servants. In this phase of economic, cultural and political change, where often the human being feels alone, in the grip of anguish and despair, the Gospel messengers, even though they proclaim hope and peace, continue to be persecuted as was their Master and Lord. But, despite the problems and the tragic reality of persecution, the Church is not discouraged, she remains faithful to her Lord's command in the awareness that “throughout Christian history, martyrs, that is, ‘witnesses’, have always been numerous and indispensable to the spread of the Gospel” (John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio, n. 45)....To you is entrusted in a special way, the task of supporting the ministers of the Gospel, helping them to “preserve the delightful and comforting joy of evangelizing, even when it is in tears that we must sow” (Paul VI, Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, n. 80). Your special commitment is to keep alive the missionary vocation of all Christ's disciples, so that each of you, according to the charism you have received from the Holy Spirit, can take part in the universal mission given by the Risen Lord to his Church.... I am sure you will continue to commit yourselves, so that the local Churches assume, always more generously, their share of responsibility in the Church's universal mission.

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