Paris -- A meeting with Cardinal Barbarin

On the evening of Wednesday, March 8, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, Archbishop of Lyon, met at the Centre Garnelles in Paris with about a hundred university students and young professionals.

The gathering, with the informal atmosphere of a get-together, touched upon such topics as the role of the bishops, overcoming difficulties to attend daily Mass, vocation as a specific call from God, the need for prayer, and apostolate.

The responses of Cardinal Barbarin were direct and to the point, with a constant dose of humor. In regard to the need to find an answer in life that would satisfy all the needs of the body, intellect and spirit, he answered that in the search for perfection “machines have us beaten.” But citing Christ’s words, “be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect,” he said that “prayer is God remaking me, God putting me in my right place.” At another moment, answering a young teacher of physical education’s question about how to help his students respond to a possible vocation, Cardinal Barbarin commented on the “Magnificat,” our Lady’s song of praise to God, and spoke of what he called “the apostolate of the ‘yes’,” which “consists in moving towards the great ‘yes’ through a series of small ‘yes’s.’”

Romana, No. 40, January-June 2005, p. 155-156.