not know God” (
1 Jn
4:8). Benedict XVI has
said that “closing our eyes to our neighbour
also blinds us to God”,
and that love is, in the
end, the
light which “can always illuminate a
world grown dim and give us the courage need-
ed to keep living and working”.
When we live
out a spirituality of drawing nearer to others and
seeking their welfare, our hearts are opened wide
to the Lord’s greatest and most beautiful gifts.
Whenever we encounter another person in love,
we learn something new about God. Whenever
our eyes are opened to acknowledge the other,
we grow in the light of faith and knowledge of
God. If we want to advance in the spiritual life,
then, we must constantly be missionaries. The
work of evangelization enriches the mind and
the heart; it opens up spiritual horizons; it makes
us more and more sensitive to the workings of
the Holy Spirit, and it takes us beyond our limit-
ed spiritual constructs. A committed missionary
knows the joy of being a spring which spills over
and refreshes others. Only the person who feels
happiness in seeking the good of others, in de-
siring their happiness, can be a missionary. This
openness of the heart is a source of joy, since
“it is more blessed to give than to receive” (
20:35). We do not live better when we flee, hide,
refuse to share, stop giving and lock ourselves up
XVI, Encyclical Letter,
Deus Caritas Est
December 2005), 16: AAS 98 (2006), 230.
 Ibid., 39: AAS 98 (2006), 250.
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