Category Archives: Pope Benedict XVI

Pope: live according to the Spirit of unity and truth; the beg the Spirit to guide us to objective Truth

I am happy to celebrate this Holy Mass with you – a Mass animated by the Choir of the Academy of Santa Cecilia and by the Youth Orchestra, which I thank – on this Feast of Pentecost. This mystery constitutes the baptism of the Church, it is an event that gave the Church the initial shape and thrust of its mission, so to speak. This shape and thrust are always valid, always timely, and they are renewed through the actions of the liturgy, especially.

This morning I want to reflect on an essential aspect of the mystery of Pentecost, which maintains all its importance in our own day as well. Pentecost is the feast of human unity, understanding and sharing. We can all see how in our world, despite us being closer to one another through developments in communications, with geographical distances seeming to disappear – understanding and sharing among people is often superficial and difficult. There are imbalances that frequently lead to conflicts; dialogue between generations is hard and differences sometimes prevail; we witness daily events where people appear to be growing more aggressive and belligerent; understanding one another takes too much effort and people prefer to remain inside their own sphere, cultivating their own interests. In this situation, can we really discover and experience the unity we so need?

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Pope lunches with friends, speaks of struggle against evil

At Monday’s lunch with many of the cardinals –not all–Pope Benedict XVI spoke of the struggle he and they are engaged together: for good against evil. Not exactly a lite topic for discussion for a lunch celebrating one’s 85th birthday and 7th anniversary of election to the Chair of Saint Peter, but a point that is true and needs to be addressed.

In reading his text (below) you will notice the Pope’s use of the concept ecclesia militans – the Church Militant – which he admits is “old fashion” but still fitting today. When we say “the Church Militant” it means all living Christians who struggle against sin, the devil, or as the Apostle Paul says  “..the rulers of the darkness of this world” and “spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).

“Church Militant” has two other sisters, “Church Triumphant” and “Church Suffering” that give context to Christian life in light of the doctrine of the Communion of Saints and of what we know the Church to be.

The quick definition of the “Church Triumphant” (Ecclesia Triumphans), indicates those who live in the beatific vision, they see and are seen by God; we say these people are in heaven. The feast day for those in heaven is November 1, All Saints Day.  When we speak of the “Church Suffering” (also called the Church Penitent, Ecclesia Penitens; or Church Expectant, Ecclesia Expectans), we believe that this group of believers are the souls in purgatory. The feast day is  All Souls, November 2.

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Pope Benedict XVI’s prayer intentions for May 2012

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We join with the Pope, Benedict XVI, in prayer before the Divine Majesty for the following intentions:

The general intention

That initiatives which defend and uphold the role of the family may be promoted within society.

The missionary intention


That Mary, Queen of the World and Star of Evangelization, may accompany all missionaries in proclaiming her Son Jesus.

7 years of papal service: working in the Lord’s vineyard, Benedict XVI

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May the Lord bless and protect Pope Benedict XVI!

Pope Benedict turns 85

B16 bday celebration.jpgToday is the 85th anniversary of the birth and the
Baptism of Hi Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI. Let’s  pray for the Pope and his intentions today. 

V. Let us pray for our
Pontiff, Pope Benedict.

R. May the Lord preserve him, and give him life, and
bless him upon earth, and deliver him not to the will of his enemies. 

Father. Hail Mary. 

Let us pray. O God, Shepherd and Ruler of all Thy faithful
people, look mercifully upon Thy servant Benedict, whom Thou hast chosen as
shepherd to preside over Thy Church. Grant him, we beseech Thee, that by his
word and example, he may edify those over whom he hath charge, so that together
with the flock committed to him, may he attain everlasting life. Through Christ
our Lord. Amen.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]
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