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As Lydia fulfills her vows as pastor of the new community of faith, she experiences the love and affection of American people and the dedicated church. Cayenne the Lion King "I Love Reggae Music" - [Stakelem Records] - Get Fortunate Youth "Don't Think Twice" - [Fortunate Youth] - Get it. Fortunate Youth - It's All a Jam Torrent Mega kbps Album Zippyshare rar. DOWNLOAD: torentinotum.space Peace Love and Unity (feat. STUDIO GHIBLI PIANO MIDI TORRENT To access Cisco Feature a detailed materials list. Files Drag saya rakus. Doing this utilizes DeskRT, remote access list and with a training and you can new network files, and.

The unity of the person B. Openness to transcendence and uniqueness of the person. Open to transcendence b. Unique and unrepeatable c. Respect for human dignity. The value and limits of freedom b. The bond uniting freedom with truth and the natural law. The equal dignity of all people E. The social nature of human beings. The value of human rights b. The specification of rights c. Rights and duties d. Rights of peoples and nations e. Filling in the gap between the letter and the spirit. Meaning and primary implications b.

Responsibility of everyone for the common good c. Tasks of the political community. Origin and meaning b. The universal destination of goods and private property c. The universal destination of goods and the preferential option for the poor. Concrete indications. Meaning and value b. Participation and democracy. Solidarity as a social principle and a moral virtue c. Solidarity and the common growth of mankind d.

Solidarity in the life and message of Jesus Christ. The relationship between principles and values b. Truth c. Freedom d. Importance of the family for the person b. Importance of the family for society. The value of marriage b. The sacrament of marriage. Love and the formation of a community of persons b. The family is the sanctuary of life c. The task of educating d. The dignity and rights of children. Solidarity in the family b.

The family, economic life and work. The duty to cultivate and care for the earth b. Jesus, a man of work c. The duty to work. The subjective and objective dimensions of work b. The relationship between labour and capital c.

Work, the right to participate d. The relationship between labour and private property e. Rest from work. Work is necessary b. The role of the State and civil society in promoting the right to work c. The family and the right to work d. Women and the right to work e. Child labour f. Immigration and work g. The world of agriculture and the right to work.

The dignity of workers and the respect for their rights b. The right to fair remuneration and income distribution c. The right to strike. The importance of unions b. New forms of solidarity. An epoch-making phase of transition b. Man, poverty and riches b. Wealth exists to be shared. Business and its goals b.

Role of business owners and management. Role of the free market b. Action of the State c. Role of intermediate bodies d. Savings and consumer goods. Globalization: opportunities and risks b. The international financial system c. Role of the international community in an era of a global economy d. An integral development in solidarity e. Need for more educational and cultural formation. God's dominion b. Jesus and political authority c. The early Christian communities. Political community, the human person and a people b.

Defending and promoting human rights c. Social life based on civil friendship. The foundation of political authority b. Authority as moral force c. The right to conscientious objection d. The right to resist e. Inflicting punishment. Values and democracy b. Institutions and democracy c. Moral components of political representation d. Instruments for political participation e.

Information and democracy. Value of civil society b. Priority of civil society c. Application of the principle of subsidiarity. Religious freedom, a fundamental human right B. The Catholic Church and the political community. Autonomy and independence b. Unity of the human family b. Jesus Christ, prototype and foundation of the new humanity c. The universal vocation of Christianity. The international community and values b. Relations based on harmony between the juridical and moral orders.

The value of international organizations b. The juridical personality of the Holy See. Cooperation to guarantee the right to development b. The fight against poverty c. Foreign debt. The environment, a collective good b. The use of biotechnology c. The environment and the sharing of goods d. New lifestyles. Legitimate defence b.

Defending peace c. The duty to protect the innocent d. Measures against those who threaten peace e. Disarmament f. The condemnation of terrorism. Social doctrine and the inculturation of faith b. Social doctrine and social pastoral activity c. Social doctrine and formation d.

Promoting dialogue e. The subjects of social pastoral activity. The lay faithful b. Spirituality of the lay faithful c. Acting with prudence d. Social doctrine and lay associations e. Service in the various sectors of social life.

Service to the human person 2. Service in culture 3. Service in the economy 4. Service in politics. The help that the Church offers to modern man b. Starting afresh from faith in Christ c. A solid hope d. Index of references Analytical index. Apostolic Exhortation Ap. Letter Apostolic Letter c. Denzinger - A. Letter Encyclical Letter ibid. Migne q. Continuing to expound and update the rich patrimony of Catholic social doctrine, Pope John Paul II has for his part published three great Encyclicals — Laborem Exercens , Sollicitudo Rei Socialis and Centesimus Annus — that represent fundamental stages of Catholic thought in this area.

For their part, numerous Bishops in every part of the world have contributed in recent times to a deeper understanding of the Church's social doctrine. Numerous scholars on every continent have done the same. It was therefore hoped that a compendium of all this material should be compiled, systematically presenting the foundations of Catholic social doctrine. It is commendable that the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace has taken up this task, devoting intense efforts to this initiative in recent years.

This work also shows the value of Catholic social doctrine as an instrument of evangelization cf. Centesimus Annus , 54 , because it places the human person and society in relationship with the light of the Gospel. The principles of the Church's social doctrine, which are based on the natural law, are then seen to be confirmed and strengthened, in the faith of the Church, by the Gospel of Christ.

In this light, men and women are invited above all to discover themselves as transcendent beings, in every dimension of their lives, including those related to social, economic and political contexts. Faith brings to fullness the meaning of the family, which, founded on marriage between one man and one woman, constitutes the first and vital cell of society.

It moreover sheds light on the dignity of work, which, as human activity destined to bring human beings to fulfilment, has priority over capital and confirms their rightful claim to share in the fruits that result from work. In the present text we can see the importance of moral values, founded on the natural law written on every human conscience; every human conscience is hence obliged to recognize and respect this law.

Humanity today seeks greater justice in dealing with the vast phenomenon of globalization; it has a keen concern for ecology and a correct management of public affairs; it senses the need to safeguard national consciences, without losing sight however of the path of law and the awareness of the unity of the human family. The world of work, profoundly changed by the advances of modern technology, reveals extraordinary levels of quality, but unfortunately it must also acknowledge new forms of instability, exploitation and even slavery within the very societies that are considered affluent.

In different areas of the planet the level of well-being continues to grow, but there is also a dangerous increase in the numbers of those who are becoming poor, and, for various reasons, the gap between less developed and rich countries is widening. The free market, an economic process with positive aspects, is nonetheless showing its limitations.

On the other hand, the preferential love for the poor represents a fundamental choice for the Church, and she proposes it to all people of good will. Contemporary cultural and social issues involve above all the lay faithful, who are called, as the Second Vatican Council reminds us, to deal with temporal affairs and order them according to God's will cf. Lumen Gentium , We can therefore easily understand the fundamental importance of the formation of the laity, so that the holiness of their lives and the strength of their witness will contribute to human progress.

This document intends to help them in this daily mission. Moreover, it is interesting to note how the many elements brought together here are shared by other Churches and Ecclesial Communities, as well as by other Religions. The text has been presented in such a way as to be useful not only from within ab intra , that is among Catholics, but also from outside ab extra.

In fact, those who share the same Baptism with us, as well as the followers of other Religions and all people of good will, can find herein fruitful occasions for reflection and a common motivation for the integral development of every person and the whole person. The Holy Father, while hoping that the present document will help humanity in its active quest for the common good, invokes God's blessings on those who will take the time to reflect on the teachings of this publication.

In expressing my own personal good wishes for the success of this endeavour, I congratulate Your Eminence and your collaborators at the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace for the important work carried out, and with sentiments of respect I remain. I am pleased to present the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church , which, according to the request received from the Holy Father, has been drawn up in order to give a concise but complete overview of the Church's social teaching.

Transforming social realities with the power of the Gospel, to which witness is borne by women and men faithful to Jesus Christ, has always been a challenge and it remains so today at the beginning of the third millennium of the Christian era. For this very reason the men and women of our day have greater need than ever of the Gospel: of the faith that saves, of the hope that enlightens, of the charity that loves.

The reading of these pages is suggested above all in order to sustain and foster the activity of Christians in the social sector, especially the activity of the lay faithful to whom this area belongs in a particular way; the whole of their lives must be seen as a work of evangelization that produces fruit.

This work, entrusted to me and now offered to those who will read it, carries therefore the seal of a great witness to the Cross who remained strong in faith in the dark and terrible years of Vietnam. This witness will know of our gratitude for all his precious labour, undertaken with love and dedication, and he will bless those who stop to reflect on these pages. I invoke the intercession of Saint Joseph, Guardian of the Redeemer and Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Patron of the Universal Church and of Work, so that this text will bear abundant fruit in the life of society as an instrument for the proclamation of the Gospel, for justice and for peace.

At the dawn of the Third Millennium. Jn through which we passed during the Great Jubilee of the year [1]. Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life cf. Jn : contemplating the Lord's face, we confirm our faith and our hope in him, the one Saviour and goal of history.

The Church continues to speak to all people and all nations, for it is only in the name of Christ that salvation is given to men and women. At the dawn of this Third Millennium, the Church does not tire of proclaiming the Gospel that brings salvation and genuine freedom also to temporal realities. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths.

To the people of our time, her travelling companions, the Church also offers her social doctrine. Discovering that they are loved by God, people come to understand their own transcendent dignity, they learn not to be satisfied with only themselves but to encounter their neighbour in a network of relationships that are ever more authentically human.

They are people capable of bringing peace where there is conflict, of building and nurturing fraternal relationships where there is hatred, of seeking justice where there prevails the exploitation of man by man. Only love is capable of radically transforming the relationships that men maintain among themselves. This is the perspective that allows every person of good will to perceive the broad horizons of justice and human development in truth and goodness.

Love faces a vast field of work and the Church is eager to make her contribution with her social doctrine, which concerns the whole person and is addressed to all people. So many needy brothers and sisters are waiting for help, so many who are oppressed are waiting for justice, so many who are unemployed are waiting for a job, so many peoples are waiting for respect.

Condemned to illiteracy? Lacking the most basic medical care? Without a roof over their head? The scenario of poverty can extend indefinitely, if in addition to its traditional forms we think of its newer patterns. These latter often affect financially affluent sectors and groups which are nevertheless threatened by despair at the lack of meaning in their lives, by drug addiction, by fear of abandonment in old age or sickness, by marginalization or social discrimination And how can we remain indifferent to the prospect of an ecological crisis which is making vast areas of our planet uninhabitable and hostile to humanity?

Or by the problems of peace, so often threatened by the spectre of catastrophic wars? Or by contempt for the fundamental human rights of so many people, especially children? Christian love leads to denunciation, proposals and a commitment to cultural and social projects; it prompts positive activity that inspires all who sincerely have the good of man at heart to make their contribution.

Humanity is coming to understand ever more clearly that it is linked by one sole destiny that requires joint acceptance of responsibility, a responsibility inspired by an integral and shared humanism. It sees that this mutual destiny is often conditioned and even imposed by technological and economic factors, and it senses the need for a greater moral awareness that will guide its common journey. Marvelling at the many innovations of technology, the men and women of our day strongly desire that progress be directed towards the true good of the humanity, both of today and tomorrow.

The significance of this document. The Christian knows that in the social doctrine of the Church can be found the principles for reflection, the criteria for judgment and the directives for action which are the starting point for the promotion of an integral and solidary humanism. It is in this light that the publication of a document providing the fundamental elements of the social doctrine of the Church, showing the relationship between this doctrine and the new evangelization [6], appeared to be so useful.

The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, which has drawn up the present document and is fully responsible for its content, prepared the text in a broad-based consultation with its own Members and Consulters, with different Dicasteries of the Roman Curia, with the Bishops' Conferences of various countries, with individual Bishops and with experts on the issues addressed.

This document intends to present in a complete and systematic manner, even if by means of an overview, the Church's social teaching, which is the fruit of careful Magisterial reflection and an expression of the Church's constant commitment in fidelity to the grace of salvation wrought in Christ and in loving concern for humanity's destiny.

Herein the most relevant theological, philosophical, moral, cultural and pastoral considerations of this teaching are systematically presented as they relate to social questions. In this way, witness is borne to the fruitfulness of the encounter between the Gospel and the problems that mankind encounters on its journey through history. In studying this Compendium, it is good to keep in mind that the citations of Magisterial texts are taken from documents of differing authority.

Alongside council documents and encyclicals there are also papal addresses and documents drafted by offices of the Holy See. As one knows, but it seems to bear repeating, the reader should be aware that different levels of teaching authority are involved.

The document limits itself to putting forth the fundamental elements of the Church's social doctrine, leaving to Episcopal Conferences the task of making the appropriate applications as required by the different local situations[7]. This document offers a complete overview of the fundamental framework of the doctrinal corpus of Catholic social teaching.

This overview allows us to address appropriately the social issues of our day, which must be considered as a whole, since they are characterized by an ever greater interconnectedness, influencing one another mutually and becoming increasingly a matter of concern for the entire human family.

The exposition of the Church's social doctrine is meant to suggest a systematic approach for finding solutions to problems, so that discernment, judgment and decisions will correspond to reality, and so that solidarity and hope will have a greater impact on the complexities of current situations. These principles, in fact, are interrelated and shed light on one another mutually, insofar as they are an expression of Christian anthropology[8], fruits of the revelation of God's love for the human person.

However, it must not be forgotten that the passing of time and the changing of social circumstances will require a constant updating of the reflections on the various issues raised here, in order to interpret the new signs of the times. The document is presented as an instrument for the moral and pastoral discernment of the complex events that mark our time; as a guide to inspire, at the individual and collective levels, attitudes and choices that will permit all people to look to the future with greater trust and hope ; as an aid for the faithful concerning the Church's teaching in the area of social morality.

From this there can spring new strategies suited to the demands of our time and in keeping with human needs and resources. In short, the text is proposed as an incentive for dialogue with all who sincerely desire the good of mankind. This document is intended first of all for Bishops, who will determine the most suitable methods for making it known and for interpreting it correctly. Priests, men and women religious , and, in general, those responsible for formation will find herein a guide for their teaching and a tool for their pastoral service.

Christian communities will be able to look to this document for assistance in analyzing situations objectively, in clarifying them in the light of the unchanging words of the Gospel, in drawing principles for reflection, criteria for judgment and guidelines for action[12]. This document is proposed also to the brethren of other Churches and Ecclesial Communities, to the followers of other religions, as well as to all people of good will who are committed to serving the common good : may they receive it as the fruit of a universal human experience marked by countless signs of the presence of God's Spirit.

It is a treasury of things old and new cf. It is a sign of hope in the fact that religions and cultures today show openness to dialogue and sense the urgent need to join forces in promoting justice, fraternity, peace and the growth of the human person. The Catholic Church joins her own commitment to that made in the social field by other Churches and Ecclesial Communities, whether at the level of doctrinal reflection or at the practical level.

Together with them, the Catholic Church is convinced that from the common heritage of social teachings preserved by the living tradition of the people of God there will come motivations and orientations for an ever closer cooperation in the promotion of justice and peace[13].

At the service of the full truth about man. Ex ; Jn and moves among them cf. By means of the present document, the Church intends to offer a contribution of truth to the question of man's place in nature and in human society, a question faced by civilizations and cultures in which expressions of human wisdom are found. Rooted in a past that is often thousands of years old and manifesting themselves in forms of religion, philosophy and poetic genius of every time and of every people, these civilizations and cultures offer their own interpretation of the universe and of human society, and seek an understanding of existence and of the mystery that surrounds it.

Who am I? Why is there pain, evil, death, despite all the progress that has been made? What is the value of so many accomplishments if the cost has been unbearable? What will there be after this life? These are the basic questions that characterize the course of human life[17]. The direction that human existence, society and history will take depends largely on the answers given to the questions of man's place in nature and society; the purpose of the present document is to make a contribution to these answers.

The deepest meaning of human existence, in fact, is revealed in the free quest for that truth capable of giving direction and fullness to life. The aforementioned questions incessantly draw human intelligence and the human will to this quest. They are the highest expression of human nature, since they require a response that measures the depth of an individual's commitment to his own existence.

The fundamental questions accompanying the human journey from the very beginning take on even greater significance in our own day, because of the enormity of the challenges, the novelty of the situations and the importance of the decisions facing modern generations. The first of the great challenges facing humanity today is that of the truth itself of the being who is man. The boundary and relation between nature, technology and morality are issues that decisively summon personal and collective responsibility with regard to the attitudes to adopt concerning what human beings are, what they are able to accomplish and what they should be.

A second challenge is found in the understanding and management of pluralism and differences at every level: in ways of thinking, moral choices, culture, religious affiliation, philosophy of human and social development. The third challenge is globalization , the significance of which is much wider and more profound than simple economic globalization, since history has witnessed the opening of a new era that concerns humanity's destiny.

The disciples of Jesus Christ feel that they are involved with these questions; they too carry them within their hearts and wish to commit themselves, together with all men and women, to the quest for the truth and the meaning of life lived both as individual persons and as a society. They contribute to this quest by their generous witness to the free and extraordinary gift that humanity has received : God has spoken his Word to men and women throughout history; indeed he himself has entered history in order to enter into dialogue with humanity and to reveal to mankind his plan of salvation, justice and brotherhood.

In Jesus Christ, his Son made man, God has freed us from sin and has shown us the path we are to walk and the goal towards which we are to strive. The Church journeys along the roads of history together with all of humanity.

She lives in the world, and although not of the world cf. Jn she is called to serve the world according to her innermost vocation. This attitude, found also in the present document, is based on the deep conviction that just as it is important for the world to recognize the Church as a reality of history and a leaven in history, so too is it important for the Church to recognize what she has received from history and from the development of the human race[19].

The Church, the sign in history of God's love for mankind and of the vocation of the whole human race to unity as children of the one Father [21], intends with this document on her social doctrine to propose to all men and women a humanism that is up to the standards of God's plan of love in history, an integral and solidary humanism capable of creating a new social, economic and political order, founded on the dignity and freedom of every human person, to be brought about in peace, justice and solidarity.

This humanism can become a reality if individual men and women and their communities are able to cultivate moral and social virtues in themselves and spread them in society. Centesimus Annus , God's gratuitous presence. Every authentic religious experience, in all cultural traditions, leads to an intuition of the Mystery that, not infrequently, is able to recognize some aspect of God's face. On the one hand, God is seen as the origin of what exists , as the presence that guarantees to men and women organized in a society the basic conditions of life, placing at their disposal the goods that are necessary.

On the other hand, he appears as the measure of what should be , as the presence that challenges human action — both at the personal and at the social levels — regarding the use of those very goods in relation to other people. In every religious experience, therefore, importance attaches to the dimension of gift and gratuitousness , which is seen as an underlying element of the experience that the human beings have of their existence together with others in the world, as well as to the repercussions of this dimension on the human conscience, which senses that it is called to manage responsibly and together with others the gift received.

Against the background of universal religious experience, in which humanity shares in different ways, God's progressive revelation of himself to the people of Israel stands out. This revelation responds to the human quest for the divine in an unexpected and surprising way, thanks to the historical manner — striking and penetrating — in which God's love for man is made concrete. These become historical action, which is the origin of the manner in which the Lord's people collectively identify themselves, through the acquisition of freedom and the land that the Lord gives them.

The gratuitousness of this historically efficacious divine action is constantly accompanied by the commitment to the covenant, proposed by God and accepted by Israel. On Mount Sinai, God's initiative becomes concrete in the covenant with his people, to whom is given the Decalogue of the commandments revealed by the Lord cf. Ex Moral existence is a response to the Lord's loving initiative.

It is the acknowledgment and homage given to God and a worship of thanksgiving. The Ten Commandments, which constitute an extraordinary path of life and indicate the surest way for living in freedom from slavery to sin, contain a privileged expression of the natural law. They describe universal human morality.

In the Gospel, Jesus reminds the rich young man that the Ten Commandments cf. There comes from the Decalogue a commitment that concerns not only fidelity to the one true God, but also the social relations among the people of the Covenant. The gift of freedom and the Promised Land, and the gift of the Covenant on Sinai and the Ten Commandments are therefore intimately linked to the practices which must regulate, in justice and solidarity, the development of Israelite society.

Among the many norms which tend to give concrete expression to the style of gratuitousness and sharing in justice which God inspires, the law of the sabbatical year celebrated every seven years and that of the jubilee year celebrated every fifty years [27] stand out as important guidelines — unfortunately never fully put into effect historically — for the social and economic life of the people of Israel.

Besides requiring fields to lie fallow, these laws call for the cancellation of debts and a general release of persons and goods: everyone is free to return to his family of origin and to regain possession of his birthright. This legislation is designed to ensure that the salvific event of the Exodus and fidelity to the Covenant represents not only the founding principle of Israel's social, political and economic life, but also the principle for dealing with questions concerning economic poverty and social injustices.

This principle is invoked in order to transform, continuously and from within, the life of the people of the Covenant, so that this life will correspond to God's plan. To eliminate the discrimination and economic inequalities caused by socio-economic changes, every seven years the memory of the Exodus and the Covenant are translated into social and juridical terms, in order to bring the concepts of property, debts, loans and goods back to their deepest meaning.

The precepts of the sabbatical and jubilee years constitute a kind of social doctrine in miniature [28]. They show how the principles of justice and social solidarity are inspired by the gratuitousness of the salvific event wrought by God, and that they do not have a merely corrective value for practices dominated by selfish interests and objectives, but must rather become, as a prophecy of the future, the normative points of reference to which every generation in Israel must conform if it wishes to be faithful to its God.

These principles become the focus of the Prophets' preaching, which seeks to internalize them. God's Spirit, poured into the human heart — the Prophets proclaim — will make these same sentiments of justice and solidarity, which reside in the Lord's heart, take root in you cf. Jer and Ezek Then God's will, articulated in the Decalogue given on Sinai, will be able to take root creatively in man's innermost being.

This process of internalization gives rise to greater depth and realism in social action, making possible the progressive universalization of attitudes of justice and solidarity , which the people of the Covenant are called to have towards all men and women of every people and nation.

The reflection of the Prophets and that found in the Wisdom Literature, in coming to the formulation of the principle that all things were created by God, touch on the first manifestation and the source itself of God's plan for the whole of humanity. In Israel's profession of faith, to affirm that God is Creator does not mean merely expressing a theoretical conviction, but also grasping the original extent of the Lord's gratuitous and merciful action on behalf of man.

In fact, God freely confers being and life on everything that exists. Man and woman, created in his image and likeness cf. Gen , are for that very reason called to be the visible sign and the effective instrument of divine gratuitousness in the garden where God has placed them as cultivators and custodians of the goods of creation. It is in the free action of God the Creator that we find the very meaning of creation, even if it has been distorted by the experience of sin.

In fact, the narrative of the first sin cf. Gen describes the permanent temptation and the disordered situation in which humanity comes to find itself after the fall of its progenitors. Disobedience to God means hiding from his loving countenance and seeking to control one's life and action in the world. Breaking the relation of communion with God causes a rupture in the internal unity of the human person, in the relations of communion between man and woman and of the harmonious relations between mankind and other creatures[29].

It is in this original estrangement that are to be sought the deepest roots of all the evils that afflict social relations between people, of all the situations in economic and political life that attack the dignity of the person, that assail justice and solidarity. In Jesus Christ the decisive event of the history of God with mankind is fulfilled.

The benevolence and mercy that inspire God's actions and provide the key for understanding them become so very much closer to man that they take on the traits of the man Jesus, the Word made flesh. Is Jesus therefore places himself on the frontline of fulfilment, not only because he fulfils what was promised and what was awaited by Israel, but also in the deeper sense that in him the decisive event of the history of God with mankind is fulfilled.

Jesus, in other words, is the tangible and definitive manifestation of how God acts towards men and women. The love that inspires Jesus' ministry among men is the love that he has experienced in his intimate union with the Father. Jesus announces the liberating mercy of God to those whom he meets on his way, beginning with the poor, the marginalized, the sinners. He invites all to follow him because he is the first to obey God's plan of love, and he does so in a most singular way, as God's envoy in the world.

Jesus' self-awareness of being the Son is an expression of this primordial experience. For Jesus, recognizing the Father's love means modelling his actions on God's gratuitousness and mercy; it is these that generate new life. It means becoming — by his very existence — the example and pattern of this for his disciples. Jesus' followers are called to live like him and, after his Passover of death and resurrection, to live also in him and by him , thanks to the superabundant gift of the Holy Spirit, the Consoler, who internalizes Christ's own style of life in human hearts.

With the unceasing amazement of those who have experienced the inexpressible love of God cf. Rom , the New Testament grasps, in the light of the full revelation of Trinitarian love offered by the Passover of Jesus Christ, the ultimate meaning of the Incarnation of the Son and his mission among men and women.

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him? The Face of God, progressively revealed in the history of salvation, shines in its fullness in the Face of Jesus Christ crucified and risen from the dead. God is Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; truly distinct and truly one, because God is an infinite communion of love.

God's gratuitous love for humanity is revealed, before anything else, as love springing from the Father, from whom everything draws its source; as the free communication that the Son makes of this love, giving himself anew to the Father and giving himself to mankind; as the ever new fruitfulness of divine love that the Holy Spirit pours forth into the hearts of men cf. Rom By his words and deeds, and fully and definitively by his death and resurrection [30], Jesus reveals to humanity that God is Father and that we are all called by grace to become his children in the Spirit cf.

Rom ; Gal , and therefore brothers and sisters among ourselves. Meditating on the gratuitousness and superabundance of the Father's divine gift of the Son, which Jesus taught and bore witness to by giving his life for us, the Apostle John grasps its profound meaning and its most logical consequence.

The commandment of mutual love shows how to live in Christ the Trinitarian life within the Church, the Body of Christ, and how to transform history until it reaches its fulfilment in the heavenly Jerusalem. The commandment of mutual love, which represents the law of life for God's people [32], must inspire, purify and elevate all human relationships in society and in politics. Trinitarian love, the origin and goal of the human person.

The revelation in Christ of the mystery of God as Trinitarian love is at the same time the revelation of the vocation of the human person to love. This revelation sheds light on every aspect of the personal dignity and freedom of men and women, and on the depths of their social nature. In the communion of love that is God, and in which the Three Divine Persons mutually love one another and are the One God, the human person is called to discover the origin and goal of his existence and of history.

It follows, then, that if man is the only creature on earth that God has willed for its own sake, man can fully discover his true self only in a sincere giving of himself cf. Christian revelation shines a new light on the identity, the vocation and the ultimate destiny of the human person and the human race. Every person is created by God, loved and saved in Jesus Christ, and fulfils himself by creating a network of multiple relationships of love, justice and solidarity with other persons while he goes about his various activities in the world.

Human activity, when it aims at promoting the integral dignity and vocation of the person, the quality of living conditions and the meeting in solidarity of peoples and nations, is in accordance with the plan of God, who does not fail to show his love and providence to his children. The pages of the first book of Sacred Scripture, which describe the creation of man and woman in the image and likeness of God cf.

Gen , contain a fundamental teaching with regard to the identity and the vocation of the human person. Gen This vision of the human person, of society and of history is rooted in God and is ever more clearly seen when his plan of salvation becomes a reality. Christian salvation: for all people and the whole person. The salvation offered in its fullness to men in Jesus Christ by God the Father's initiative, and brought about and transmitted by the work of the Holy Spirit, is salvation for all people and of the whole person: it is universal and integral salvation.

It concerns the human person in all his dimensions: personal and social, spiritual and corporeal, historical and transcendent. It begins to be made a reality already in history, because what is created is good and willed by God, and because the Son of God became one of us[39]. Its completion, however, is in the future, when we shall be called, together with all creation cf. Rom 8 , to share in Christ's resurrection and in the eternal communion of life with the Father in the joy of the Holy Spirit.

This outlook shows quite clearly the error and deception of purely immanentistic visions of the meaning of history and in humanity's claims to self-salvation. The salvation offered by God to his children requires their free response and acceptance. In fact, the divine plan of salvation does not consign human creatures to a state of mere passivity or of lesser status in relation to their Creator, because their relationship to God, whom Jesus Christ reveals to us and in whom he freely makes us sharers by the working of the Holy Spirit, is that of a child to its parent: the very relationship that Jesus lives with the Father cf.

Jn ; Gal The universality and integrality of the salvation wrought by Christ makes indissoluble the link between the relationship that the person is called to have with God and the responsibility he has towards his neighbour in the concrete circumstances of history.

This is sensed, though not always without some confusion or misunderstanding, in humanity's universal quest for truth and meaning, and it becomes the cornerstone of God's covenant with Israel, as attested by the tablets of the Law and the preaching of the Prophets. This link finds a clear and precise expression in the teaching of Jesus Christ and is definitively confirmed by the supreme witness of the giving of his life, in obedience to the Father's will and out of love for his brothers and sisters.

Inextricably linked in the human heart are the relationship with God — recognized as Creator and Father, the source and fulfilment of life and of salvation — and openness in concrete love towards man, who must be treated as another self, even if he is an enemy cf.

Mt In man's inner dimension are rooted, in the final analysis, the commitment to justice and solidarity, to the building up of a social, economic and political life that corresponds to God's plan. The disciple of Christ as a new creation. Personal and social life, as well as human action in the world, is always threatened by sin.

Christ's disciple adheres, in faith and through the sacraments, to Jesus' Paschal Mystery, so that his old self , with its evil inclinations, is crucified with Christ. The inner transformation of the human person, in his being progressively conformed to Christ, is the necessary prerequisite for a real transformation of his relationships with others. It is not possible to love one's neighbour as oneself and to persevere in this conduct without the firm and constant determination to work for the good of all people and of each person, because we are all really responsible for everyone [44].

This path requires grace, which God offers to man in order to help him to overcome failings, to snatch him from the spiral of lies and violence, to sustain him and prompt him to restore with an ever new and ready spirit the network of authentic and honest relationships with his fellow men[46].

Even the relationship with the created universe and human activity aimed at tending it and transforming it, activity which is daily endangered by man's pride and his inordinate self-love, must be purified and perfected by the cross and resurrection of Christ. Man thanks his divine benefactor for all these things, he uses them and enjoys them in a spirit of poverty and freedom. Jesus Christ is the Son of God made man in whom and thanks to whom the world and man attain their authentic and full truth.

The mystery of God's being infinitely close to man — brought about in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, who gave himself on the cross, abandoning himself to death — shows that the more that human realities are seen in the light of God's plan and lived in communion with God, the more they are empowered and liberated in their distinctive identity and in the freedom that is proper to them.

Sharing in Christ's life of sonship, made possible by the Incarnation and the Paschal gift of the Spirit, far from being a mortification, has the effect of unleashing the authentic and independent traits and identity that characterize human beings in all their various expressions.

For by the very circumstance of their having been created, all things are endowed with their own stability, truth, goodness, proper laws and order. There is no state of conflict between God and man, but a relationship of love in which the world and the fruits of human activity in the world are objects of mutual gift between the Father and his children, and among the children themselves, in Christ Jesus; in Christ and thanks to him the world and man attain their authentic and inherent meaning.

In a universal vision of God's love that embraces everything that exists, God himself is revealed to us in Christ as Father and giver of life, and man as the one who, in Christ, receives everything from God as gift, humbly and freely, and who truly possesses everything as his own when he knows and experiences everything as belonging to God, originating in God and moving towards God. The human person, in himself and in his vocation, transcends the limits of the created universe, of society and of history: his ultimate end is God himself [50], who has revealed himself to men in order to invite them and receive them into communion with himself [51].

The human person cannot and must not be manipulated by social, economic or political structures, because every person has the freedom to direct himself towards his ultimate end. We can speak here of an eschatological relativity , in the sense that man and the world are moving towards their end, which is the fulfilment of their destiny in God; we can also speak of a theological relativity , insofar as the gift of God, by which the definitive destiny of humanity and of creation will be attained, is infinitely greater than human possibilities and expectations.

Any totalitarian vision of society and the State, and any purely intra-worldly ideology of progress are contrary to the integral truth of the human person and to God's plan in history. The Church, sign and defender of the transcendence of the human person. The goal of salvation, the Kingdom of God embraces all people and is fully realized beyond history, in God.

The Church places herself concretely at the service of the Kingdom of God above all by announcing and communicating the Gospel of salvation and by establishing new Christian communities. Jn It follows from this, in particular, that the Church is not to be confused with the political community and is not bound to any political system [58].

Indeed, it can be affirmed that the distinction between religion and politics and the principle of religious freedom constitute a specific achievement of Christianity and one of its fundamental historical and cultural contributions. Precisely for this reason, the Church offers an original and irreplaceable contribution with the concern that impels her to make the family of mankind and its history more human, prompting her to place herself as a bulwark against every totalitarian temptation, as she shows man his integral and definitive vocation[61].

At the level of concrete historical dynamics, therefore, the coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be discerned in the perspective of a determined and definitive social, economic or political organization. Rather, it is seen in the development of a human social sense which for mankind is a leaven for attaining wholeness, justice and solidarity in openness to the Transcendent as a point of reference for one's own personal definitive fulfilment.

First, their itinerary was confused, so instead of Moscow, the group was sent to Sverdlovsk. Mistakes like this are typical for Russians, but not for Americans. Now, the bus was taking them away from the city deeper and deeper into the woods that looked like real Taiga. Only by taking cold—and frequent—showers, preferably every hour, at work, at home, and especially after a stuffy city bus ride! My day in the office was over and all I could think of was a cold shower. But there was that mandatory for my daughter meeting with the Americans at Dom Mira—the House of Peace and Friendship.

How can I manage to drag Iulia off with me to the village, I wondered? Even when she was a child, I'd never tried to make Iulia accept my point of view, giving her full freedom. My credo was different from other parents: all I had to say was, "It's for you to decide. Children were disappearing every day. All family members had already left.

The Sultanov family "reigns" there, people gossiped. It's a house for the elite, and I never had anything to do with such elite. The occasion called for taking a taxi to make a short trip home to shower. It is just a one-way trip and it costs just one ruble. You have to be strategic in Russia to avoid bad-tempered criticism.

What luck, I thought, to have that cold shower on such a hot day, even if we had to rush in a taxi to the other end of town for it! The poor Americans were not so lucky, I learned later. They had no shower accommodations in their rooms at the camp. Exhausted by the heat, they had waited for six hours for the bus to bring them into town for the concert and meeting.

When a shiny Intourist bus stopped in front of the old mansion, teens, and a few grown-ups spilled out. All Americans had sunburnt smiley faces. The first person who approached me introduced herself as Ann Jones. But talking to me was useless! I forgot all the English I knew. I sighed with relief and went inside the building with the crowd.

There it was cool, as in all old buildings. All the seats were taken. Most of the Americans casually sat down on the floor—custom we Russians to this day find rather unusual. I went upstairs to avoid the crowd and found a spot beside a woman in a bluish dress. I was not just her mother, I was her bodyguard. One more hour and I would finally relax on a train. The concert went on and on—it seemed it would never end. Every song combined with funny comments shared by either the husband or the wife had to be interpreted by a woman in a transparent sundress and an old fashioned up-do wig.

The guests were exhausted. A few Americans had fallen asleep right on the floor. My patriotic feelings were not outraged. Everybody looked tired from sensory overload. Everything is good in a good measure, but the concert organizers, it seemed, kept escalating up the passion.

Their shouts, stomping, and tapping were getting louder and stronger. The old building seemed to groan. Iulia was nowhere in sight. Luckily, it was still some time before the train. I decided to go with the flow. At the moment the concert was over, the sudden silence woke up those who had fallen asleep on the floor. There was a storm of applause. Everybody was delighted, and obviously relieved.

The young people were beginning to talk and introduce themselves. I went downstairs to find my daughter and spotted her talking with a group of kids. An American in blue jeans and a flannel checkered shirt made his way toward me and I noticed a simple wooden cross on his chest.

I could hardly see his face because of his domineering eyes. They studied me, exploring methodically as if probing or taking a sample. The eyes narrowed a little, revealing multiple wrinkles around them, then they laughed, glad to see something.

As his eyes widened, the magnetic field between us weakened just a bit and I could make out his face, but not in detail. It was as the eyes had a life of their own, very deep and completely beyond my comprehension.

We Russians are not used to be looked at this way, and I averted my eyes. Again he turned away as if to leave. But the stranger came back again. Suddenly, I was afraid I would never see those attentive, searching eyes again. Dwight was not a handsome man: round freckled face, large balding head.

He was not athletic, neither was he young. But the eyes seemed held eternity in them. Dwight began to talk and ask questions, giving me no chance to retreat. And without realizing it, I started speaking English to him. I told him I worked at the State University, that I had come with my daughter. I gave him my business card. I tried to decline the gifting. It took a great deal of determination for Dwight to explain the meaning of those pins. Obviously it was something significant if he had to draw an arc on the parquet floor with his foot, as he explained, the first Christians had done, making the secret sign on the sand.

I kept nodding my head and smiling, not understanding the symbolism behind the arc until Dwight imitated another curve mirroring the arc. The image looked just like the pin! Who knew that many of the early Christians escaped persecution, drawing the secret sign on the sand instead of saying they were Christians? I remembered how my grandfather was persecuted for his faith. Could a sign like this keep him from being arrested and from losing his house and his farm?

I looked at the antique parquet scratched by an American shoe and admitted that it could be considered an act of vandalism—old mansions were protected by law. Often, tourists are required to wear special soft shoe covers to protect the floors. I quickly checked our surroundings for security personnel and signaled to my daughter that it was time to leave. When we were already at the door, Dwight suddenly gripped my arm from the back.

I was at the point of mental exhaustion and was afraid to miss the train. If we missed the last train, my son would be crying all night. But Dwight was already dragging me away from the door toward the woman in the blue dress, my neighbor at the concert. She was not a grandmother, but a mother of three children: Jenny, Kim, and David. My tongue became sluggish, and words stuck in my throat.

I forced myself to speak, but the result was only a confused and croaky mumble. Dwight showed no surprise but tactfully tried to help me. His wife was laughing, trying to tease me, but I was ready to run away from shame. Go figure! Besides, Dwight was without a long robe, without greasy hair. Beardless—and in jeans? Though, there were saintly and pure men among them, we knew that too. I just read about Alexander Men, an Orthodox priest who was very open to ordinary people and was very approachable.

I found it difficult to leave Dwight and his family. We stood outside near the bus saying goodbye. I forgot all about the stifling heat. The train! The only consolation was the thought that I would see him on Sunday. On the way to the village, my daughter and I kept laughing happily for no good reason. We hardly contained our excitement on the train, interrupting each other, sharing our impressions, comparing notes.

We were happy as though we had just visited some new world and were eager to bring that world intact to our relatives, to share it with them, to make them feel the same joy. But that is as hard as trying to make people experience your own nostalgia by looking at your personal photos.

Our family greeted us with relief, reprimanding at the same time that we were late for dinner. In an instant, we lost the groove. The less the family approved of our adventure with the Americans, the more we wanted to go back to see them on Sunday. By Saturday night, everybody was intrigued, and the whole family packed in a hurry to make it to the earliest train in the morning.

I went with trepidation. If not for my boiling curiosity, I would never bring my children to a Baptist church. I was afraid of religious fanatics. But even more I was childishly horrified at meeting live Baptists.

There were rumors that sectarians sacrifice young girls. For us, Baptists were those sectarians. If we ever met such people, we were to call a policeman, our teachers instructed. My children, Iulia and Pavlik, accompanied me. I found myself at the strangest stage in my life. My marriage was shaky.

My sister was balancing on a razor edge between anger and depression because of her frequent miscarriages. I almost lost my little boy when he was not even two, and I was scared for his health. They were invited to lecture more often and were paid better. They knew they were in demand. They looked down at the rest of us mortals, until the day of the collapse of the Communist Party. Then, overnight, those same professors got transformed into no less passionate promoters of Perestroika.

I hated demagogues. I knew how manipulative public speakers could be, but Dwight was unlike others. Somehow his charisma overpowered my cynicism. His conviction lifted me over stupefying fear and dull existence. His message cleansed me through tears drawn by the words addressed to me personally and heard by me for the first time: "God loves you! The songs were very primitive and sad.

Everybody cried for no reason, even men. I glanced at my children. Both children were secretly baptized in the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St. The first sermon in my life evoked feelings more than any understanding. The interpreter somehow disturbed me. Not that I could understand Dwight without his assistance, my English was not strong enough at all! I always knew you, but you were not ready. I could even see more than I usually did.

What was the matter with my eyes? Where was all that blinding light coming from? What did I know about God? Yet suddenly I seemed to have understood everything at once, in a twinkling. That God he talked about in his sermon had something to do with me. Even the nasty feeling of resentment, after an early morning exchange with two men who introduced themselves as KGB officers, which had stuck like a lump inside me, now disappeared.

I had to pay for my spontaneity to invite Dwight and his family over. Another thought I dragged was talking to my parents about what a visit like this could do to their careers. Sitting in that stuffy Baptist chapel, I was not sure yet whether we would be able to invite Dwight over. An innocent invitation could harm the family. But as I listened to the sermon, the unpleasant feeling that somebody was constantly standing behind me and watching evaporated, and the choking lump inside of my throat dissolved.

It truly looked like a miracle to many of my friends, who thought that I either bribed one of the officers or was related to somebody. As for being related to someone important, that was true. A famous one! After an American spy plane U-2 had been shot while flying above my hometown in , Francis Gary Powers was arrested.

My uncle escorted him to Moscow. Since I met Dwight, everything started happening on its own like my lucky star was suddenly activated. After the service, Dwight gave to each worshipper a Bible. Just think of it—the Bible that was impossible to buy in those times!

While foreigners were permitted to bring to the Soviet Union only one Bible that belonged to them personally, Dwight Ramsey had managed to get permission to bring in one hundred Bibles! He looked heroic. Now I feel like laughing at those KGB people trying to find some secret meaning behind the American pastor's plans.

The puzzle was why he had come to Sverdlovsk, of all places. Two Enemies—Two Families Dwight Ramsey, as he shared later that day, had been dreaming of going to Russia for twenty years. The dream had been haunting him since his days as a student. If I had known anything about how God works, I would have called it exactly that—destiny.

He and Dwight looked like brothers—the likeness was striking. Dwight did look like a Russian, perhaps even like a relative of ours. Maybe that was why I felt a connection with him from the first moment? Several months later, when I looked through negatives of photos I had taken, I could never be sure which of the two men my father was unless they stood next to each other. Dwight was a little taller. Both were pilots in the past, both were public speakers, and both were proud of their families.

But there was one difference. One was a convinced Communist and atheist though my father was baptized when he was a child , and the other was a pastor. As ideological opponents, two men began studying each other at once, trying to win each other over. Two strong personalities clashed. I keep out of politics, so I did not find their discourse interesting, in spite of its extraordinary psychological and intellectual depth, and I was soon lost in thoughts of my own. Looking at the two families, so different and, one would assume, so alien, I thought: Why do we feel so comfortable together from the first minute, so natural?

Our family didn't get along with other relatives, and we never shared our innermost thoughts, feelings, sorrows, aches, and joys. Our immediate family was enough—a safe, magic circle. We were self-sufficient people. Why, then, this eagerness for personal contact, along with such confidence and trust? Was it just because these strangers were enigmatic or because they were simply foreigners?

There was a pause after his words addressed to Mother were translated to help Dwight and his family understand what was going on. It appeared that a few minutes earlier my father, Pavel, had asked Dwight the question, "Do you believe in the Trinity? Following his example, Dwight drank three shots of cognac at one stroke, surrendering himself to the Creator, for he never, as he attempted to explain, drank even beer.

But retreat was impossible while Pavel was testing him, looking so searchingly. Loud laughter swept away the last traces of awkwardness, and we felt even easier. We were like fellow travelers on a train who know they have just a few days to spend together. Everything that we had been keeping to ourselves all these years now found expression in words, gestures, glances, and smiles.

We were suddenly talking after so many years of silence—about disappointments and hope, happiness and burdens, suspicions and doubts. We felt safe to share, believing that we would never meet again. All conceivable and inconceivable boundaries disappeared. We forgot the interpreter, who could not follow the changing course of our conversation in which all those present took part simultaneously.

The fear of personal contact with foreigners was thrown away, and we mixed Russian and English words, overusing expressive as we thought, but not always understood gestures. When words failed, Dwight took his guitar from the case and opened his soul to us in music. I wanted to play guitar since I was a teen and envied everybody who could play even little.

Dwight played one simple song, but the fact that the pastor played guitar was even stranger to me than seeing a priest in jeans! He was not afraid to make mistakes playing. He is just like you and me. He can be approachable and friendly! That was another discovery. I was disappointed. Well, they are beginning debates again!

But my father brought out several large, thick, hand-written and hand- bound books authored by my grandfather. Dwight heard an extraordinary story, almost a legend, about a simple Christian man, who was faithful to God all his life in spite of persecution.

Ignatii Istomin—my grandfather—lived through the revolution and two wars, the terror of collectivization and expropriation of kulaks wealthy farmers , and the betrayal and repeated the loss of what he valued most. A Christian who still managed to keep his love for the human race and remain a surprisingly trustful man.

Dwight was astounded by what he saw and heard, and father's face was beaming. I did not know that I would take the same path as my Granddad: the path of pain and love, disappointment, and discovery, sacrifice and betrayal. I wanted to say so much but was too shy. I preferred to escape from conversations, thinking on several levels at once. I tried to decide whether I could entrust any part of my secret heartache to the dry, and rather sarcastic, interpreter.

Suddenly, I got overwhelmed with sadness. The days of our unpredicted companionship with Dwight would be over, and we would return to our reality. All these parallel thoughts and images filled my brain as I was mentally writing the book that had been torturing me for years.

Some of them had already found expression in short stories, comic sketches, and notes for which I could not find any use. Sometimes I felt a weird inspiration to let out what was in my head only to be surprised reading what just came out from under my pen: I never believed I could write like that. Once I wrote a comedy piece about a womanizer and took it to the publishing house just to be yelled at by the Executive Editor.

Soviet men are good husbands, they do not sleep around! The setting of the executive office was self-explanatory. You are just one of those men, I wrote my story observing my boss, my doctor, my colleagues—all communists, by the way. After this visit, I felt even more confident that it was better not to share my insights.

He filled the whole evening with jokes, laughter, and anecdotes. It made me even more withdrawn. My resulting silence lasted for three days. But to be with Dwight became a necessity. Our university was one of the best graduate schools in the country. Who knew that my time was coming? My job was to create educational programs for adults and find professors to give seminar and lectures for engineers, teachers, students, officers, and even prisoners.

But I was also to invite interesting people—like scientists, actors, singers, famous writers, and politicians—to the University. Dwight Ramsey would be just another motivating speaker, I decided. I had managed to order a bus—free of charge—to transport the Americans. The President of the University Dr. Vladimir Tretyakov, a nuclear physicist, was the Chair of my Board, so without having second thoughts, I asked him for help.

He gave me one of the university buses and advised to contact the regional television channel to get the reporters since that was the first American Protestant pastor to visit the Ural State University. In spite of successful preparation, I felt jitterier with each hour before the meeting on July 11, , another sweltering day while perestroika was in full swing.

Not too many things fall together easily in Russia. Early in the morning, I got into a beat up the GAZ bus to pick up the Americans from the summer camp. It was not a glamorous Intourist bus that Americans expected to see. How could a mother entrust her children to a piece of junk to drive them in a foreign country?

Now, there was no turning back. When we drove through the woods, we jumped on our seats every time the bus hit another hole in the road. There were no seat belts. I was embarrassed. That was not how I envisioned the trip. We were an hour and a half late and we still had a long way to go. By the time we rushed into the university building along with journalists and an American TV crew who had come to the Soviet Union with the youth group led by Dwight, I was terror-stricken.

Will anyone stay that long? What shall I tell all these people I invited if they did come and waited? What shall I tell Dwight if there was no audience? The Hall of Academic Council was packed, and it made the place stuffy in spite of the open windows. Who will stand this torture for more than 15 minutes?

University people like independence, especially concerning working hours, and particularly in summer. The only thing I could do to encourage them to stay was to tell them about the man I had met three days before and hope for the best. To my relief, the meeting went well. Dwight talked about eternal things. He talked humbly about us, humans. From the very first word he said, there was intense silence. Everyone, without admitting it, was waiting for an answer and for a prediction of long-awaited positive changes.

What if this American pastor is really in possession of the absolute truth? What if he is a prophet? It would have been so easy to alienate us all, to make us shut ourselves up in our own shells. We were so fed up with empty talks and speeches, with flowery and ornate phrases. Only God could have helped this American pastor find the right words and a genuine tone of voice. Again I felt the mysterious ability of this preacher to reach out each of us simultaneously. It was a miracle— to see mature and well-educated atheists shed tears.

There were professors in the audience I knew and respected. The words addressed to us may have been interrupted by translation, but the response was genuine. Dwight asked us if we believed that love was better than hatred, that peace was better than war, that forgiveness was better than vengeance. Yes, of course, everybody agreed inwardly. How can there be any doubts? This is the truth!

Everybody wants peace! But why do we live without following this truth? Why do we yield again and again to envy and malice and then suffer and repent and sin again, turning our life into a tangle with a hopelessly lost end?

Neither had any of the others present, I felt. I swallowed every word. Suddenly, I wanted to tell him everything. I felt like a hurt little girl who would like this big and kind man to put his hand on her head to comfort her and show he understood. And, I thought, he does need me here, in this new situation. That feeling counterbalanced my growing need to be around him and helped me keep my seeming independence.

Finally, the meeting was over. I was excited to have a chance to finally talk about myself with Dwight at last! On the other hand, my mother was in shock when I hesitantly called her and proposed having Dwight and his families stay with them. Mother knew better that I had no food in my refrigerator. Iulia and I spent the last three days with the group and were home only to sleep.

Where will they sleep? To give Mother more time for preparation, we went sightseeing to the site of the Ipatiev House, where Tsar Nicholas II and his family had been killed after the revolution. There were so many legends about the house, stories told in whispers when I was a little girl. Later, the house had been demolished, so that people would forget the tragedy. The large wooden cross was erected overnight on a former empty space making it look like a grave.

The tragic memory of the site invited passersby to stop and bow, baring their heads. It was hard to explain all those recent changes to the Americans. The urban humor was even harder to translate. We had a joke about the monument of Vladimir Lenin, who stood with his right arm stretched up and forward and his eyes stared at the Gorsovet— City Council. Obviously, he did not get the joke. But we learned soon what made him laugh.

Pavel always used his middle finger for not using his index finger that is considered rude in Russia. Periodically, the wooden cross was destroyed. Persistently it was erected again. I had never suspected such deep-seated political struggle going on in my own hometown!

Now, seeing some of its outbursts, I tried to stay out of it, not trusting either side. With her resourcefulness, Raisa had managed to come out of the situation with credit. Nobody suspected how much effort it had cost her to prepare food for all of us! But that would be later. After dinner, we continued talking and laughing around the table.

Our American friends learned that Russians do not just eat: dinnertime is a family time, the time of conversations and sharing. Then we went for a walk around the beautiful and now deserted central part of Sverdlovsk. Returning home, we stood in amazement, looking at our little boys, David, and Pavlik, who had gone asleep together.

They were lying in identical poses, sucking their thumbs. The silence of these moments told us something about one another than any words could ever do. The two children, American, and Russian were trustfully snuggling up to each other, and we could feel love for our children conquering all fears and doubts.

In this newly developed trust, we still had troubling questions about Dwight and his faith. There were more questions than time. To get as many answers as possible, we tried to spend every moment together and, not knowingly, created a problem for Dwight. All we knew was that the Methodist Church was the answer to our dreams. Dwight was trying to find out through my father the rules and procedures for starting a Methodist community in Sverdlovsk. I suddenly felt like spy caught unexpectedly when trying to conceal her knowledge of English.

But Gay had laughed and it helped me to cope with my sudden confusion. Who am I to be present at the City Council? Through the open doors, I could hear every word. That was a remarkable building with marble floors and granite columns. The Regional Communist Party held its annual conferences in this building. It was a belittling laughter of powerful people at those they considered to be fools. Dwight was obviously crazy!

No man in his right mind would have dared in those times to bury the Communist Party this building belonged to. Dwight requested a property that belonged to communists a year before the President of Russia Boris Yeltsin banned the Communist Party.

Another wave of laughter followed. Receiving no permission to officially register a religious community, Dwight made another request. Why not permit an association of Methodists? City Council Deputies voted to grant permission for the new association to register with the condition that it collects the signatures of no fewer than 20 supporters.

City officials continued laughing, leaving the meeting, thinking that, first of all, the Methodist Association was not a significant threat, and, second, that Dwight would never get enough supporters. The official sign up sheet was obtained. Our job was to spread the word to collect the required signatures within the remaining 36 hours Dwight had before leaving Russia.

We knew nothing about Methodism, but our American guests already infected us with their free spirit of openness and independence. Suddenly, to get registered as a new association became our purpose if it was the only way for us to be with these unusual people. We sat and talked for hours about the ideal spiritual city, getting more and more excited.

We will have clean public toilets! In our city, this will be the number one priority! Victor also was excited about building a new apartment complex, a school, and a kindergarten for young families. He was in the construction business and he believed he could help. With all this excitement, we forgot where we lived.

While our American friends were still in town, some odd incidents occurred that seemed to indicate that the authorities were keeping close tabs on them. One evening some university acquaintances of mine invited Dwight and all of us to their apartment. They were to come the next morning to the summer camp where the American delegation was placed, and we would meet them there. When I drove up to the camp, two insignificant looking strangers blocked the entrance. What was going on? But the men's hostility was escalating.

Fortunately, at that moment Dwight appeared on the top of the stairs with the smile and explained the situation. My friends presented Dwight with an icon. Though, no one besides Dwight, my sister, and the hosts had been in the house when Dwight came to the camp the next morning, everyone there knew about the icon!

My friends tried to understand how this information could leak from their house to KGB if no one else were there. The Americans' last day in Sverdlovsk was marked by another incident, both weird and senseless. Not getting permission to use the Communist Propaganda Center, Dwight got an even bigger appetite and switched his attention to the old Voznesenski Cathedral on Ipatievskaia Gorka—one of the most attractive places in town.

My father thought it was pure madness to assume that the government would allow Protestants to use this Orthodox Cathedral. One day he wants the Communist Propaganda building, today—the famous cathedral. He does not show much respect to our history.

I do not want my university colleagues to associate me with this enterprise. I am going to the village. Victor Peretolchin drove us to the Cathedral in his new gray Volga. Anatoly Arshavsky and his wife followed us in their new Zhiguli. Just as we reached the parking area, another Volga passed us in a hurry and parked in front of the cathedral. We both noticed a bulky man in a Nike suit practically plummet out of the car that just passed us and followed our group. Look, he has something in his pocket!

The man walked, pressing his hand to his right side. My heart missed a beat. It was like watching a thriller in a drive-in theater. Were we just imagining things? No other people were near the museum except for a slim young man reading a book. The man with something in his pocket ran up the steps of the cathedral, and a little later ran back down the steps.

Then he began to stroll leisurely before he stopped near the young man, talked to him briefly, and then disappeared. Dwight, Victor, Irina and Anatoly came back upset. They told that some woman explained to them through the closed door that the museum was closed for the day and that she was alone in the building.

So I decided to try my luck. After a long negotiation through the same closed door, we heard the metallic sound of the bolt being turned. Very slowly, the front- desk woman opened the door—and there were two more men standing right behind her! On the way, Dwight asked to stop at the store to get a Russian flag. We had to take him from store to store to find it.

There were no Russian flags. When we finally found the flag, I asked him did he want anything else. We met his wife. His whole family slept in our house. Dwight was a pastor. He was a holy man. I decided to check with my English-speaking friends later what that phrase could possibly mean and asked Dwight to get back into the car.

We forgot about the food that my sister brought and began to sing and to talk. Only Masha and Dasha glued to the plate with chicken. Dwight invited all of us to stand up and asked me to bring my new Bible that he gave me last Sunday. He asked me to open the Book of Acts and read chapter 16 like I knew where it was.

I found the place with difficulties, but Dwight waited. He asked me to read it in Russian. It was the story of the first woman Christian in Europe—Lydia! As I followed the story of Lydia and Paul, my body began to shiver. I felt that God arranged a special road for me. What was it? I did not know. I only felt in my heart: This is the moment to come to a decision. The twelve of us decided to form a Methodist Association, and I was elected the leader of the community.

Thus a Methodist community, the first such community in Russia since the destruction of the Methodist church in St. Petersburg in , was founded. But we were sure of one thing: we wanted to be with Dwight. Think about the children! For one thing, the Methodist Church teaches people to be tolerant and accepting.

Tolerance— that is just what we Russians lack. Raised on the milk of socialism and the ideas of brotherhood—the principles similar to Christian— most of us had become intolerant and cruel individuals. We were trained to repeat what we didn't believe ourselves and to condemn anyone who dared to think different.

Now, on the threshold of approaching bloodshed, we needed a new foundation that could calm people down. Our trust was poisoned by the articles exposing Orthodox priests, calling them KGB officers in priestly robes. History did us an ill turn. In , the foundation of the Soviet system cracked. Nothing could fill the void left in our souls. Besides, we were afraid of being deceived again. That could describe the country from to During this turbulent period, the country sat gazing at TV screens, thirsty for both information and entertainment—and hoping for a miracle.

A Drowning Man Will Grasp at a Straw Every night, the country watched the magician-psychiatrist- healer Anatoly Kashpirovski from Kiev in the Ukraine, who promised instant recovery for all suffering people in the Soviet Union.

All and at once! Neither touch nor personal contact with people was required. The lame, the blind, the disfigured, those who suffered from acute illnesses, even people seeking a cure for problems such as baldness or bladder problems—all were healed by the voice of Kashpirovski. Every evening millions of Russians sat in front of their televisions for another injection of media medicine.

Another healer, with the expressive name Chumak chuma means "plague" in Russian , converted others into drinking his miracle water. Every morning these people filled containers with tap water and placed them near their TV sets so Chumak could "charge" the water with healing properties. People drank this modified water, hoping to get rid of their ailments. Being Russian, I was very trustful by nature. I did not set out any water for charging, fearing that my husband, Sergey, quite a pro in electronics, would think his wife was silly or even stupid.

I know how this box is constructed. There is nothing there and there cannot be! The country also watched the Supreme Soviet meetings, which began to be broadcast on TV in Everyone was glued to their TV sets trying not to miss a single word. We used to say, "The country sits staring at the box. Some political fans who sat in front of the television set all night became innocent victims of the political arguments when their TV sets caught fire.

The country was anxious to know its "heroes," real and imagined. Who is to blame? That age-old Russian question was on everyone's mind during those days. Watching the historic battles of deputies, which sometimes turned into real feast fights, diverted people from reality. The new life, marked by a frail democracy, provided another kind of narcotic—an illusion of participation in what was happening.

But, no doubt, our preoccupation diverted people from barricades and demonstrations for quite a long time. We listened to the mockeries of seemingly well-mannered and educated leaders. People didn't want to miss a single word. Next day at work, they spent time in heated discussions. Actually, it hardly mattered that no one worked, because salaries almost never depended on performance, nor did bonuses! Every time we had idle time at work, I thought of our children.

What was the point to leave my daughter in the Day Care if there was no work, just an appearance of it? I would rather do all my work in four hours and then go home, even though I would be paid only half of what others in our company were getting for sitting idle all day. And now I'm at my job, just as he is, and earning just as much. Another side of it was that not every woman could afford working part-time. No one was allowed to hold two jobs at the same time.

Many people did, however. Only teachers could legally have several jobs. I knew that, not merely by hearsay. My sister and I grew up with our parents seldom at home. Both of them—as teachers—worked in two or three places to break away from paycheck-to-paycheck misery and to live a little better than others. Every summer, instead of taking a usual vacation, they went to work in summer camps so they would have enough money to take us to the Black Sea.

My parents never learned how to take a rest. The mother planned carefully for her summer "vacation," so she wouldn't have a single day at home! She came to this practice by trial and error, after having several breakdowns on her days of doing nothing. The nervous stress that she thought would have burnt itself out in the whirlpool of regular teaching in several places overtook her on vacation.

Those who worked as my parents did—and there were many— were apparently thinking about their careers and promotions. But there was another reason. Somehow, grown-up adults in Russia could not make it without assistance. Trying to help their children, parents were also concerned about their pensions.

That's why they worked in the same place for a long time, setting a high value on the notes on their employment records. To lose this document was worse than losing a passport. Without either of these documents, a person is nobody and nothing. A registration record is in the passport. If a person isn't registered, he or she will not be given employment. If a person has no employment, he or she will not be registered!

Many people tried to solve this puzzle in one way or another. But anyone caught in such a state of affairs was stared at with suspicion. Public opinion was cruel and intolerant: "Decent people don't find themselves in such situations. Decent people have a registration, a passport, and a job.

We Russians were used to marching in this regimented column formation. The Fear of Getting Out of Line I knew from personal experience the painful and humiliating consequences of stepping out of the column, even though it ended up being only a kind of flick on the nose.

It was unbearably cold, and not only were we getting chilled ourselves, but we had overestimated our little daughter's endurance. We decided to find a shortcut to the main square, where loud music was playing, and a voice kept shouting out cheerful words of greeting and salutation to all the marching columns of workers and intelligentsia.

Our attempt to merge another column was unsuccessful. Policemen, red-faced from the bitter cold, began rudely pushing us and the others toward a side street. None of the marchers stopped and interceded for us—not even for me, a young mother with a baby. When policemen got us into Vainera Street, they gave vent to words. My husband began frantically looking around, trying to find a way out, but the street was blocked at the other end with a black police van.

When I saw those hands, I began shouting too, trying to convince the police officer to let us go. Then, I pushed Iulia's stroller with all my strength between the two police officers. Somehow, miraculously, we slipped away. That's how important it was not ever to leave the track defined by the state, not even by chance, not even mentioning any hidden agenda.

The safest way was to march in column formation without asking questions where it was going. It helped if you knew a few patriotic songs to shut those questions inside your head. The louder you sing, the fewer questions you ask.

And if you get lucky to be placed near the head of the column, then you almost feel like you belong to something big. But after perestroika, what did the country do for those who had never fallen out of step, who had worked harder and more diligently than others, who had all their papers in order?

Their pensions, as often as not, were less than those of people who had never worked at all or who had done poor quality work. Moral losses can cause more suffering than financial ones. Such poor retirees had to suffer both morally and materially. They barely managed to survive. Everyone had to conform, to be part of the same "smiling-faced" community. These were people who did not like the uniformity of dress and ideas, who did not like to march in formation. They're not blood relations.

So they can be isolated without our feeling guilty. We need law and order. Take, for instance, the principle "Ignorance of the law doesn't relieve you of responsibility. The Criminal Code was published for professional, and only lawyers could read it. The Criminal Code was protected no less than the Bible in medieval times. It was not available in the bookstores. People were intimidated and put in prison without having any idea that they had broken the law.

Police and the KGB used this principle without any restrictions. I had an experience with this principle during my second pregnancy. It was not a relaxing pregnancy, but I was bearing it with joyful elation.

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