Addressing the participants in the twenty-fifth plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum,” the Vatican organization dedicated to charitable activity, Pope John Paul recalled that Catholic concern for the poor cannot be disassociated with the announcement of the Gospel. 

Speaking to the members of the dicastery, who are presently reflecting on the theme, “The dimension of religion in our charitable activity,” the Pontiff said that this topic “highlights the fact that when we are helping the hungry, sick, lonely, or those who are suffering, we must not neglect that intimate aspiration that every human being has to find and get to know God.” 

“We are all looking for answers to the big questions about life.  We Christians know that only in Jesus will we find the true and complete response to the many anxieties of the human soul.”

The Holy Father said that this is why the “Church does not limit itself to satisfying only the material needs of those in difficulty”; the Church “makes an effort to answer the most obscure existential questions, even those that are not clearly expressed.”

 “The reflections of these days push you to emphasize the meaning and evangelical value of charity which the Church exercises through its charitable institutions and which bears witness to the dedication of so many people,” he added.

The example of Mother Teresa The Pope also said that “there is no shortage of luminous examples of this service of love towards God and towards one’s neighbor.  I propose to all other Teresa of Calcutta, whom I was personally able to accompany for many ears and whom I recently had the joy of inscribing in the book of  blessed.” 

“May she intercede for you from heaven and make your work fruitful,” he concluded.