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Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga speaking to young people at World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid. Credit: Caritas Spain

Caritas Internationalis president, Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga has given the first of three catecheses at World Youth Day in Madrid. The theme of all the catecheses is “That each of us uses what we receive to serve others.” Caritas Spain looks at the first catechesis.

Building communities through faith

“What are the foundations of our faith like?” With this question Cardinal Rodriguez reflects upon how the building of our lives “can only be complete if they are built on the solid rock that is the Lord”. He called on young people to “build on the rock by listening to the Word and putting it into practice”. Only in this way can we be “living stones, who love and defend life and who build the community that is the Church.” This is possible “even though we’re here from different countries and cultures, we have the same faith which makes the foundations solid”.

A spiritual GPS

Cardinal Rodriquez then looked at the effect of a lack of foundations in today’s world. As he had already said, “The absence of God is at the roots of all of today’s crises.” He continued, “If societies’ reference point stops being God, they will become disorientated. It’s strange that a world which has such advanced technology to help people find their way – such as the GPS – is so disorientated. The Cardinal called for a spiritual GPS, guided by “the Word of God, the bread of life and the Virgin Mary.” This is the door that opens us to Jesus, he said.

Be witnesses to faith

Cardinal Rodriguez ended his catechesis by appealing to the young people at World Youth Day in Madrid “to be witnesses of faith and to live out a truth which isn’t isolated from their lives, to be firm in faith which is the source which brings reasons to live, to fight, to love, to make peace and to be happy, because happiness isn’t found by seeking it out but by making other people happy.