Category Archives: Pope Benedict XVI

The encounter with Christ means following a road through the dark valley

This love affair with Christ, this love story which is the whole of Monsignor Giussani’s life was however far from every superficial enthusiasm, from every vague romanticism. Really seeing Christ, he knew that to encounter Christ means to follow Christ. This encounter is a road, a journey, a journey that passes also–as we heard in the psalm–through the “valley of darkness.”


Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI’s prayer intentions for July 2012

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As Blessed Ildefonso Schuster reminds, “Prayer is indeed the atmosphere in which holiness develops and flourishes.”  So, let’s work on our prayer with His Holiness for the month of July with the hope of a flourishing life of prayer in our daily life.


For the month July let’s pray for the following:


The Pope’s general intention


That everyone may have work in safe and secure conditions. 


The Pope’s missionary intention


That Christian volunteers in mission territories may witness to the love of Christ.

Pope Benedict XVI’s prayer intentions for June 2012

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The general intention

That believers may recognize in the Eucharist the living presence of the Risen One who accompanies them in daily life. 

The missionary intention

That Christians in Europe may rediscover their true identity and participate with greater enthusiasm in the proclamation of the Gospel.

Two new Doctors of the Church: The Lord’s effective witnesses in the world

Reminding us that the Holy Spirit “continues to inspire women and men who engage in the pursuit of truth” Pope Benedict announced that on October 7, at the beginning of the Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, he would proclaim St. John of Avila and St. Hildegard of Bingen as Doctors of the Church. “These two great witnesses of the faith lived in very different historical periods and came from different cultural backgrounds,” he said. “But the sanctity of life and depth of teaching makes them perpetually present: the grace of the Holy Spirit, in fact, projected them into that experience of penetrating understanding of divine revelation and intelligent dialogue with the world that constitutes the horizon of permanent life and action of the Church.”

The Pope continued: “Especially in light of the project of the New Evangelization, to which the Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will be dedicated, and on the vigil of the Year of Faith, these two figures of saints and doctors are of considerable importance and relevance.”

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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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]yahoo.com.
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