Cardinal Parolin speaks on the Pope’s thoughts and intentions while in Padua

In Padua, Cardinal Parolin, the Secretary of State of the Holy See, gave an insight into the current thougts of the Holy Father.  Speaking at the inauguration of the academic year for the Theological Faculty of Triveneto in Padua, the Cardinal commented on recent issues and the Holy Father's thoughts and plans, particularly on terrorism, Africa, the Middle East, Cuba, the Armenian genocide, as well as on the dangers of fundamentalism.

Terrorism and the Vatican

On the recent revelation that the Vatican was an intended target of terrorists recently arrested in Italy, Cardinal Parolin commented that the “Pope is calm”, but for authorities “there is fear and it is proper, but there is not an exaggerated preoccupation with the issue and that certainly we need to be alert.”  As a precaution all Vatican buildings are being guarded. 

Africa

On Africa Cardinal Parolin said “after visiting Korea, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, late last year and early this year, the Pope would like to dedicate more attention to Africa,” and continued “plans are already underway to visit the continent, especially the countries that are currently faced with conflict and difficulty.”

Middle East

“The Pope has asked that the forces of the so-called Islamic State be stopped,” Cardinal Parolin went on to continue, saying that the Pope “suffers to see the walls that have arisen between the communities in the Middle East,” and that the “ongoing conflicts run the risk of fragmenting the whole region.”  The Cardinal also mentioned that “for this reason, the Holy See is working to guarantee constant communication and collaboration between the different communities and also to denounce the violence that is now a daily occurrence in the region.”  

Cuba

On the topic of Cuba the Cardinal said that “The Pope will go to Cuba during his planned visit to South America, especially because of the warming of relations after a long period of coldness and misunderstanding and conflict.  However this process has just started and things are still fragile.  It is not easy that after many years of non-communication and imcomprehension, to build a climate of mutual confidence.”  Cardinal Parolin said that the Pope’s visit to the country will be an “encouragement of the process.”  

Fundamentalism

With regards to the current issue of fundamentalism, the Cardinal commented that "Pope Francis speaks constantly on the dangers of fundamentalism, whether it is cultural, relgious or theological.  With fundamentalism there is a grave threat to the political order because of the indefinite violence that it produces."  The Cardinal concluded that "It is up to religious people to question themselves and to participate in the construction of peace."

The Armenia Genocide

Concerning the anniversary of the genocide in Armenia and the Pope’s comments, Cardinal Parolin said “the Pope spoke clearly and always in terms f reconciliation.  When the Pope recalled the incident, it was not to elicit any animosity, but rather to approach the issues fairly, and attempt to find new ways of understanding and cooperation.”  

(from Vatican Radio)

Pope Francis meets with the President of the Czech Republic

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday met with the President of the Czech Republic, Miloš Zeman,  who subsequently met with His Excellency Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, secretary for  Relations with States.

A statement released by the Holy See Press Office called the meeting “cordial”, and noted the meeting took place on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the  restoration of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and the then-Czech and Slovak Federative  Republic, which took place on 19 April 1990.

The statement said the two men spoke of their mutual willingness to strengthen the good bilateral  relations, along with their hope of concluding negotiations with a view to stipulating a  bilateral Agreement.

The Parties expressed their wish to further develop cooperation between  Church and State in sectors of mutual interest, especially in culture, education and social welfare,  for the benefit of the entire nation.

Attention then turned to the current international context, with special attention to the  situation of Christians and other minorities in the Middle East.

(from Vatican Radio)

Pope Francis meets Bishops of Lesotho and Namibia

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday met with the bishops of Namibia and Lesotho, who are in Rome on their ad limina visit.

“I give thanks, with you, to Almighty God for the continued witness and service of so many communities of religious brothers and sisters who are vital to the praying heart of the Church, along with the many committed sodalities and other lay associations in the Church in Lesotho and Namibia,” Pope Francis said.  “For just as we have relied on them in building up the Church, both materially and spiritually, so now their role becomes ever more indispensable.”

 

The full text of Pope Francis’ speech to the Bishops of Namibia and Lesotho

 

Dear Brother Bishops,

I greet you, the pastors of Lesotho and Namibia, in the grace and peace of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, on your visit to pray at the threshold of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul. By this visit you express your desire to deepen the bonds of communion with the Successor of Peter and the See of Rome.  I thank Archbishop Lerotholi and Archbishop Nashenda for their kind words offered on your behalf and in the name of all entrusted to your care.

You have come to Rome from the cities, towns and villages of Lesotho and Namibia, lands known for their flourishing Christian faith.  The Holy Spirit planted the seeds of faith through the labours and sacrifices of many missionaries, who were sustained equally by generations of indigenous coworkers in the vineyards of the Lord.  Your lands often presented great challenges, both environmental and social, but your Christian forebears persevered so that green shoots should spring up “like grass amid waters, like willows by flowing streams” (Is 44:4).  From the deserts of Namibia to the high peaks of Lesotho, the tall tree of faith grew, giving God’s protection and shelter to many souls, nourished as it is by the waters of grace.

Your countries are rightly known for their churches and chapels, parishes, mission stations and outstations, which draw many to a community life centered on prayer and work. Renowned too are your numerous schools at every level, your clinics and hospitals, built with love and faithfulness from the materials of Namibia’s soil and Lesotho’s mountains.  I encourage you to continue supporting and nurturing these great blessings, even when resources are sparse, for the Lord promises that he will not fail to bless us: “I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your descendants, and my blessing on your offspring” (Is 44:3). 

I know that your communities face many challenges daily, and I am sure that this weighs heavily on your hearts.  Strengthen them in love to overcome selfishness in private or public life; be generous in bringing them the tenderness of Christ where threats to human life occur, from the womb to old age – and I think particularly of those suffering with HIV and AIDS.  In all of this, “for their formation in Christian virtues and their growth in holiness” (Africae Munus, 109) the faithful entrusted to your care will look to you and your priest coworkers.  By your devotion to them, in turn, you will “not only win them to the cause of Christ but also make them protagonists of a renewed African society” (ibid.).

I think too of Christian families fragmented due to employment far away from home, or because of separation or divorce.  I urge you to continue offering them help and guidance. Be of fresh resolve in preparing couples for Christian matrimony, and in constantly sustaining families by offering generously the Church’s Sacraments – ensuring in a particular way that the Sacrament of mercy is widely available.  I thank you for your efforts in promoting healthy family life in the face of distorted views that emerge in contemporary society.  May we all help to form families who can be purveyors of peace in the world; for “the family is the best setting for learning and applying the culture of forgiveness, peace and reconciliation” (ibid., 43). 

From healthy families will come numerous priestly vocations, families where men have learned “to love inasmuch as they [have been] unconditionally loved... [having learned] respect... justice... the role of authority expressed by parents [and] loving concern for the members who are weaker” (ibid., 42-43).  The children of such families will more readily be open to a life of unconditional service to the family of the Church. 

In a time of an apparent decrease in vocations to the priesthood and to religious life, it is important to speak openly about the fulfilling and joyful experience of offering one’s life to Christ.  For when your Christian communities are built up by your own continued example of “living in truth and joy your priestly commitments, celibacy in chastity and detachment from material possessions” (ibid., 111), then vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life will most certainly abound.  Continue, too, the demanding work of guiding, with personal and paternal care, every vocation properly discerned as well as all your priests already ordained, so that with the nourishment of ongoing formation these coworkers in the Lord’s fields may be nurtured and sustained throughout their priestly lives.  I ask you to convey to them my spiritual closeness and prayerful support.

Careful spiritual attention in developing pastoral plans needs to be offered to the poorest in your societies (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 33); I have found that “whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, then there will be no more place for the poor” (ibid., 2).  I ask you to be particularly mindful of those most in need in your Churches, entrusting all your initiatives to God’s care, for he is “able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that you may always have enough of everything and may provide in abundance for every good work” (2 Cor 9:7).  In living this way, you will help all the faithful discover the greatest richness: the love of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

I give thanks, with you, to Almighty God for the continued witness and service of so many communities of religious brothers and sisters who are vital to the praying heart of the Church, along with the many committed sodalities and other lay associations in the Church in Lesotho and Namibia.  For just as we have relied on them in building up the Church, both materially and spiritually, so now their role becomes ever more indispensable.

I urge you, finally, to persevere as men of deep and constant prayer, in the way of Blessed Joseph Gerard, who listened to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in all matters.  Prayer precedes and leads to authentic evangelization.  As you know from experience, when the Church summons all Christians to constantly take up anew the task of evangelizing the world, “she is simply pointing to the source of authentic personal fulfilment” (Evangelii Gaudium, 10); that is, she is showing us the path to our deepest happiness. 

Dear Brothers, on returning home may you be like the tree planted by streams of water, yielding fruit in due season, whose leaves do not wither; may you prosper in all that you do (cf. Ps 1).  May your visit here lead you to bring Christ’s healing mercy ever more abundantly to all for whom you have care. 

Commending you and the faithful whom you serve in Lesotho and Namibia to the loving intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church, who rekindles our hearts in service of her Son, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of peace and joy in the Risen Lord.  To him be glory for ever and ever.

From the Vatican, 24 April 2015

(from Vatican Radio)

Pope Francis: our faith is an encounter with Jesus

(Vatican Radio) Jesus never forgets the day we encountered Him for the first time; we should ask God for the “grace of memory” so that we can always remember it. That was the Pope’s hope for us in the homily at Mass on Friday morning at the Casa Santa Marta.

An encounter is the means chosen by Jesus to change lives. A good example of this is Paul of Tarsus, the anti-Christian persecutor who, by the time he reached Damascus, had already become an Apostle. Pope Francis spoke about the celebrated episode in the first reading of the day’s liturgy, and related it to the many encounters that appear in the Gospel narratives.

The first encounter

More precisely, Francis considered the “first encounter” with Jesus – the encounter that “changes the life” of those who meet Him: John and Andrew, who stayed with the Master throughout the night; Simon who immediately became “the rock” of the new community; and then the Samaritan, the leper who returned to thank Jesus for healing him, the sick woman who was healed when she touched Christ’s tunic: these, the Pope said, are decisive encounters that should prompt a Christian to never forget his own first encounter with Christ.

“He never forgers, but we forget the encounter with Christ. And this would be a good assignment to do at home, to consider: ‘When have I really felt that the Lord was close to me? When have I felt the need to change my life, or to become better, or to forgive someone? When have I felt the Lord asking something of me? When have I encountered the Lord?’ Because our faith is an encounter with Jesus. This is the foundation of our faith: I have encountered Jesus, as Saul did.”

Daily memory

Pope Francis said we should look inside ourselves sincerely and ask: “When did you say something to me that changed my life, or invited me to take a step forward in my life?”:

“This is a beautiful prayer, and I recommend saying it every day. And when you remember, rejoice in it, in that memory, which is a memory of love. One more beautiful assignment would be to take the Gospels and look at the stories there and see how Jesus encountered the people, how He chose the Apostles… So many encounters with Jesus are there. Maybe one of them is similar to mine. Each one of us has his own.”

Let us remember the first love

And we should not forget, the Pope said, that Christ intends the “relationship with us” in the sense of a predilection, a relationship of love “of you and for you”:

“Pray and ask for the grace of memory. ‘When, Lord, was that first encounter, that first love?’ – so that we might not hear the complaint the Lord makes in Revelation: ‘I have this against you, that you have forgotten your first love’.”

(from Vatican Radio)

Holy See participates in UN debate on youth radicalization

(Vatican Radio) The Holy See’s Permanent Observer to the Holy See, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, has participated in a United Nations Security Council Open Debate on “The role of youth in countering violent extremism and promoting peace,” looking at the role of social media plays in the life of young people.

“Young people around the world can use the internet and social media to enter into contact, make friends and learn about the great cultures and traditions of other people in every corner of the world,” said Archbishop Auza. “Unfortunately, these great technological advances can also be manipulated to spread messages of hate and violence.”

He said the phenomenon of young people’s responding to the recruitment of those inciting them to engage in violent extremism develops within a context of disillusionment and missed opportunities, of socio-cultural identity crisis and failed integration, of alienation and dissatisfaction, of intergenerational break-up and broken families.

“A fundamental step in addressing the radicalization of young people is to work with and support the family in its efforts to educate children and young people in the values of dialogue and respect for others, to make them better equipped to resist what appear at first as attractive calls to a ‘higher cause’ and to ‘adventure’ with extremist groups,” he said.

 

The full text of the intervention by Archbishop Auza is below

 

Intervention of H.E. Archbishop Bernardito Auza

Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations

Security Council Open Debate on “The role of youth in countering violent extremism and promoting peace”

New York, 23 April 2015

 

Your Royal Highness,

At the outset, let me congratulate Jordan for its Presidency during this month and, in particular, for scheduling this debate on the role of young people in countering violent extremism and promoting peace.

The ever-increasing globalization and technological interconnectedness have brought many benefits to our world today, but they have also created new and emerging challenges. Young people around the world can use the internet and social media to enter into contact, make friends and learn about the great cultures and traditions of other people in every corner of the world. Unfortunately, these great technological advances can also be manipulated to spread messages of hate and violence. Today’s debate allows us to examine more in depth how these harmful messages are finding new audiences and how States can work together to face the challenge.

The phenomenon of young people’s responding to the recruitment of those inciting them to engage in violent extremism develops within a context of disillusionment and missed opportunities, of socio-cultural identity crisis and failed integration, of alienation and dissatisfaction, of intergenerational break-up and broken families.

A fundamental step in addressing the radicalization of young people is to work with and support the family in its efforts to educate children and young people in the values of dialogue and respect for others, to make them better equipped to resist what appear at first as attractive calls to a “higher cause” and to “adventure” with extremist groups. The family is the first educator of children. If States really want to reach young people before they are exposed to extremist ideologies, they should “render appropriate assistance to parents…in the performance of their child-rearing responsibilities.”1

1 Convention on the Rights of the Child, article 18.2.

Studies and events show that some governments tend to avoid frank and constructive conversations on the question of radicalization. Hiding the problem, however, is counterproductive. Fostering public debate, on the other hand, can encourage young people to ventilate their frustrations before they succumb to extremist ideologies, and can assist the State to articulate policies accordingly. Failure to bring the problem into public discussion may imply disinterest, fear or both, while encouraging debate will ordinarily promote collective confidence and deeper mutual knowledge among the various ethnic or racial, and religious components of society. This dialogue can lead to the formulation of government policies of which all members of the society can claim collective ownership, and offer young people convincing counter-narratives to extremist propaganda.

Indeed, balanced public policy plays a key role in facilitating a solid integration of immigrants in society as citizens. Policies that discourage xenophobic or racist perceptions are much needed, and contribute to the observance of healthy religious and socio-cultural values.

Religion constitutes a potent part of these value systems. Policies and education that seek to minimize or eliminate the faith component of individual and collective identities could leave the young disoriented, alienated, marginalized or excluded, and prone to the message of extremist groups. There is no doubt that the catchwords and slogans used by extremist groups to recruit young people often involve distorted religious and socio-cultural values.

Unemployment and despair also lie behind the vulnerability of many young people towards the propaganda and manipulations of extremist recruiters. Idle minds and hands are highly vulnerable to extreme ideologies. Thus, global economic inequalities and the marginalization and exclusion from development to which they lead are not only a grave social and economic concern, but can become a threat to international peace and security. Thus, achieving social justice is key to counter the phenomenon of young people’s joining extremist organizations.

Your Royal Highness,

In our fight against extremist ideologies and in our efforts to promote a culture of peace, young people themselves are a most precious resource. We can counter extremist recruiters by promoting voices that are trusted and respected among their peers, in the very platforms they use to recruit new members, like the social media.

Faith leaders and organizations must condemn messages of hate in the name of religion and provide young people with the religious formation that fosters understanding and respect between peoples of different faiths. People of faith have a grave responsibility to condemn those who seek to detach faith from reason and to instrumentalize faith as a justification for violence. As Pope Francis emphasized during his visit to Albania on 21 September 2014, no one should consider oneself “to be the 'armour' of God while planning and carrying out acts of violence and oppression!”

Thank you, Your Royal Highness

(from Vatican Radio)

Pope is a modern-day St George fighting the forces of evil

(Vatican Radio) Monsignor Guillermo Karcher is an Argentinian priest and pontifical usher and has known the Pope for over 20 years. It was he who held Pope Francis’ microphone when he addressed his first words to the world from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica following his election.

In an interview with Vatican Radio marking the Pope's name-day of Jorge or George, Monsignor Karcher described the Pope as a modern- day St. George because "he is a great fighter against the forces of evil and does this with a truly Christian spirit." Monsignor Karcher said Pope Francis showed the same strength and same characteristics when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires where he sowed good in order to fight evil and was much loved by his flock.

Despite the Pope’s huge popularity, Monsignor Karcher was asked if Francis gets upset when criticisms are levelled against him, including from those within the Catholic Church. He replied saying that the Pope responds to such criticisms by laughing and saying “OK, it’s better that we know what people are like.” He says this reaction is due to Pope Francis’ freedom of spirit and his interior strength. The Pope, he continued, is carrying forward a ministry entrusted to him for the good of the Church and the world and he does it with a tranquil heart and a feeling of certainty. He also has a strong spirituality and every morning dedicates two hours to prayer and reflection.  

Asked what greeting or wish he would like to give the Pope on his name-day, Monsignor Karcher said he hopes the Holy Father will continue to be himself, with his consistency and his transparency because "he is doing so much good." I hope, he concluded, that St. George protects him and that he continues "this battle for good, by sowing the good that he is already doing."  

Listen to the report by Susy Hodges:  

(from Vatican Radio)

Saint George: best wishes Holy Father

(Vatican Radio) Here in the Vatican we are marking Saint George’s Day in a special way. Yes, Cardinal Bergoglio may have taken the name Francis as Pope but his Christian name is Jorge, George to you and me. That’s why we've chosen to bring you a timely reflection for his Feast day on the 23rd of April. Especially as in England our patron Saint is Saint George. One who's most often depicted as a soldier fighting a dragon to save someone else's life.

Monsignor Peter Fleetwood reflects for us on the meaning of this symbolism explaining how dragons may be mythical animals, but myths contains symbols and symbols sum up some aspect of life that is very important or powerful: " I suspect the dragon represents evil in any form. Some people may not like to hear this , but the dragon may represent evil people".

Listen to Monsignor Peter Fleetwood in a programme presented and produced by Veronica Scarisbrick for the series "Why Bother? Staying Catholic despite it all.."  

We would have to apologise to the Chinese in this respect, Father  Peter Fleetwood specifies, for according to an ancient tradition they believe dragons are symbols of good, so exactly the opposite. But this is no Chinese story for as he tells us here in the West : "The dragon is a symbol of the power evil people can wield in this world. They can force good people into submission and either damage them or humiliate them or lead them astray. This is a frightening reality, and it is a reminder that sometimes goodnes and holiness mean bravery in the face of wickedness. At a baptism, the new Christian is exorcised, not because she or he is possessed , but because the Christian Church recognises where human power runs out and we simply have to rely on God. Saint George is a reminder that we need help to survive when evil is about. It may be a naive symbolism, but the pictures and statues of Saint George are all about the battle between good and evil. They also heark back to what Jesus said about his sheep. He was there to protect them , because they needed protection. Saint George is a reminder that sometimes good people are called upon to bother to be brave and offer that protection in place of Jesus".
 

(from Vatican Radio)

Pope to visit Cuba in September

(Vatican Radio) The Director of the Holy See Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, has confirmed that Pope Francis will visit Cuba ahead of his visit to the United States in September 2015.

In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, Father Lombardi said, "I am able to confirm that the Holy Father Francis, having received and accepted the invitation from the civil authorities and bishops of Cuba, has decided to pay a visit to the island before his arrival in the United States for the trip announced some time ago."

The visit to Cuba is especially significant in light of the role played by Pope Francis in diplomatic negotiations between the United States and Cuba. Leaders from both nations have publicly thanked Pope Francis for his aid in negotiations.

Pope Francis will be the third Pope to visit Cuba. In 1998, Saint John Paul II made the first papal visit to the island nation, meeting Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Later, in 2012, Benedict XVI also visited Cuba.

Pope Francis’ visit to Cuba will precede his journey to Philadelphia in the United States for the World Meeting of Families. During his Apostolic Voyage, the Holy Father will also visit Washington, D.C. and New York City.

No other details of the Holy Father's planned visit to Cuba have been released.  

(from Vatican Radio)

Pope on Earth Day: no to exploitation of planet

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has appealed to mankind not manipulate or exploit the planet.

Speaking at the end of the weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square the Pope noted that on April 22 we celebrate Earth Day.

“I exhort everyone to see the world through the eyes of God the Creator: the earth is an environment to be safeguarded, a garden to be cultivated” he said.

Francis continued: “The relationship of mankind with nature must not be conducted with greed, manipulation and exploitation, but it must conserve the divine harmony that exists between creatures and Creation within the logic of respect and care, so it can be put to the service of our brothers, also of future generations”.

(from Vatican Radio)

Pope: our vocation is to care for the covenant of marriage

(Vatican Radio) At his general audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the family, focussing again on the complementarity of men and women.

Pope Francis commented on the second account of the creation of man in Genesis (following his commentary at the previous audience on the first account of man’s creation. The first man, Adam, is created “alone” – and God determines to make for him “a helper suited to him.” When the first woman is presented to the man, he recognizes in her “bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh.” Finally there is a mirroring, a reciprocity,” the Pope said. “The woman is not a ‘replica’ of the man; she comes directly from the creative act of God. The image of the ‘rib’ does not in any way express inferiority or subordination, but on the contrary, that man and woman are of the same substance and are complementary.”

God is generous to the man and the woman, confiding the care of the earth to them. But, the Pope said, the “evil one” introduced “suspicion, disbelief, and mistrust” in their minds – and ultimately led them into the first sin.

“The sin generates distrust and division between the man and the woman,” Pope Francis said. “Their relationship will be undermined by a thousand kinds of abuse and subjugation, of deceitful seduction and demeaning humiliations, up to the most dramatic and violent.” He spoke about “the negative excesses of patriarchal cultures… the multiple forms of ‘machismo’… the instrumentalization and commodification of the female body in the current media culture.” But he also warned about “the recent epidemic of distrust, of scepticism, and even of hostility that is spreading throughout our culture – in particular stemming from an understandable diffidence on the part of women – regarding a covenant between man and woman at once of achieving the intimacy of communion and of safeguarding the dignity of difference.”

If we cannot generate sympathy for the covenant between men and women, Pope Francis said, children will be increasingly uprooted. “The social devaluation of the stable and generative covenant of the man and of the woman is certainly a loss for everyone,” he said. “We must recover the honour of marriage and the family.” Pope Francis continued, “the safekeeping of this covenant between man and woman, is therefore for us believers a challenging and exciting vocation” in today’s world.

The Pope concluded his catechesis with the image, from Genesis, of God clothing Adam and Eve after their sin. “It is an image of tenderness towards the sinful couple that leaves us open-mouthed with wonder. It is an image of paternal safeguarding of the human couple. God Himself cures and protects His masterpiece.”

Below please find the English language  summary of the Pope’s catechesis during Wednesday’s General Audience:

Dear Brothers and Sisters: Continuing our catechesis on the family, we recall God’s creation of man from the ground. He is placed in the garden, where he is to care for creation. Yet God sees that man is alone, and so he creates woman, someone complementary with whom man can share his life. Man and woman are created to live a life of reciprocity, to enter into a covenant together. Yet sin introduces discord into their relationship, lack of trust and suspicion. We see throughout history the fruit of this sin, especially towards women – oppression, violence and exploitation. Most recently, this mistrust and scepticism has led our culture to disregard the marriage covenant between a man and a woman, that covenant which deepens communion and safeguards the dignity of their uniqueness. When the stable and fruitful covenant between a man and a woman is devalued by society, it is a loss for everyone, especially the young. For all our sins and weaknesses, our vocation is to care for the covenant of marriage. It is a vital and energizing vocation, through which we cooperate with our heavenly Father, who himself always cares for and protects this great gift.

(from Vatican Radio)