Benedict XV, Maximum Illud, 1919

An encyclical on mission issued in 1919. This section is addressed to the missionaries:

§18: Now We turn to you, beloved sons, the working-men of the Lord's vineyard. In your hands lies the immediate responsibility for disseminating the wisdom of Christ, and with this responsibility the salvation of innumerable souls. Our first admonition is this: never for a moment forget the lofty and splendid character of the task to which you have devoted yourselves. Your task is a divine one, a task far beyond the feeble reach of human reasoning. You have been called to carry light to men who lie in the shadow of death and to open the way to heaven for souls that are hurtling to destruction. Assure yourselves that God was speaking to you, to each one of you, when He said: "Forget your people and your father's house" (Psalm 44:11). Remember that your duty is not the extension of a human realm, but of Christ's; and remember too that your goal is the acquisition of citizens for a heavenly-fatherland, and not for an earthly one.


Don said…
And so Jesus, also, to purify the People by his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore let us go out to him 'outside the camp,' bearing the same reproaches as he; for here we have no permanent city, but are looking for the City that is to be. (Hebrews 13:12-14)

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