ARCHBISHOP GOMEZ RELEASES NEW PASTORAL LETTER
“For Greater Things You Were Born” is a Reflection on the Meaning of Life in God’s Plan and the Challenges Christians Face in Living Their Faith in American Society
Archbishop José H. Gomez released today his second pastoral letter to the family of God in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Entitled, “For Greater Things You Were Born,” the letter is a long reflection on the meaning of life in God’s plan and the challenges that Christians face living their faith in American society. An FAQ guide to the pastoral letter is available by visiting angelusnews.com/articles/questions-and-answers-on-for-greater-things-you-were-born.
“Every one of us is created by God and for God. This is the beautiful mystery that lies at the heart of human existence, at the heart of your life and mine,” wrote the Archbishop.
Writing in a personal and pastoral tone, the Archbishop calls Catholics to realize their importance to God and God’s desire for their happiness.
The Archbishop writes: “You are God’s daughter! Jesus is your brother. Like every good parent, God has a beautiful dream for your life — a Father’s dream! He knows your name, and he has great plans for your life, plans for love and plans for your glory! You are something special to God — each one of you. There is nobody like you and there is nobody who can replace you! We need to believe this, and plan and live our lives accordingly.”
The pastoral letter grows out of Archbishop Gomez’s conversations with Catholic families during his first five years in Los Angeles and his concern for what he calls “the darker inclinations in our culture and confirmed a deepening secularism and ‘anti-humanistic’ spirit in American life.”
Changes in American society and culture have deep implications for how Catholics live and how the Church carries out its ministries. “In a society where the reality of God and the meaning of the person are now in question, we need to reclaim and re-propose the vision of the human person that we find at the heart of the Gospel,” he writes.
In the 16,000-word letter, Archbishop Gomez addresses many of the serious issues facing American society — including secularism and “de-Christianization”; racism; the cruel treatment of immigrants and refugees; abortion and euthanasia; the death penalty; inequities in the criminal justice system; globalization; consumerism; and the deep divisions in American society.
The letter contains more than 100 references to Scripture, the teachings of the saints, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church and includes a long passage devoted to practical advice on Christian living, including advice on prayer, on how to read the Bible, and the importance of charity and service to others.
The Archbishop concludes his letter with a series of prayers that express his hope that everyone who reads the letter will come to a new awareness of God’s love and purpose for his or her life.
For a free copy of Angelus featuring the pastoral letter, visit archla.org/planoflove. The pastoral letter, along with an FAQ guide that is attached, is available online by visiting http://archbishopgomez.org/planoflove.