Category Archives: Pope Benedict XVI

The Beauty of the Name of Mary


BVM with female saints.jpgA blessed feast of Mary to you!

 

Today is the feast of the Holy Name of Mary. It has a feast of the Church since 1683 when Pope Innocent XI made it a universal feast. It was removed from the Church’s liturgical memory after Vatican II but was restored  when Pope John Paul II published the Third Typical Edition of the Roman Missal in 2002. His tremendous love for the Mother of God is a significant benchmark for all of us.

 

Pope Benedict XVI said the following about Mary’s holy name at Abbey of Heiligenkreuz (9 September 2007):

 

Let us say a few words about this Name which means “Star of the Sea” and is so appropriate to the Virgin Mother. She — I tell you — is that splendid and wondrous star
stephansplatz2.jpgsuspended as if by necessity over this great wide sea, radiant with merit and brilliant in example.
O you, whoever you are, who feel that in the tidal wave of this world you are nearer to being tossed about among the squalls and gales than treading on dry land: if you do not want to founder in the tempest, do not avert your eyes from the brightness of this star. When the wind of temptation blows up within you, when you strike upon the rock of tribulation, gaze up at this star, call out to Mary.

 

Whether you are being tossed about by the waves of pride or ambition, or slander or jealousy, gaze up at this star, call out to Mary. When rage or greed or fleshly desires are battering the skiff of your soul, gaze up at Mary. When the immensity of your sins weighs you down and you are bewildered by the loathsomeness of your conscience, when the terrifying thought of judgment appalls you and you begin to founder in the gulf of sadness and despair, think of Mary. In dangers, in hardships, in every doubt, think of Mary, call out to Mary. Keep her in your mouth, keep her in your heart. Follow the example of her life, and you will obtain the favour of her prayer. Following her, you will never go astray.

 

Asking her help, you will never despair. Keeping her in your thoughts, you will never wander away. With your hand in hers, you will never stumble. With her protecting you, you will not be afraid. With her leading you, you will never tire. Her kindness will see you through to the end. Then you will know by your own experience how true it is that the Virgin’s Name was Mary.

 

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Let us pray.

Grant, we beseech you, almighty God,
that to all who are celebrating her glorious name, the Blessed Virgin Mary herself may dispense the benefits of your mercy.

Pope Benedict Prepares for the 12th Synod of Bishops on the Word of God

Today the press office of the Holy See published the names of those the Pope asked to
Pope and Gospel.jpgassist the work of the
12th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops being held in Rome October 5-26, 2008. The Synod will be dealing with the topic of The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church.”

 

Pope Benedict’s Janaury 21st address to attending the general meeting for the Synod is here. In the address, the Holy Father says: “Among the Ecclesial Community’s many and great duties in today’s world, I emphasize evangelization and ecumenism. They are centred on the Word of God and at the same time are justified and sustained by it. As the Church’s missionary activity with its evangelizing work is inspired and aims at the merciful revelation of the Lord, ecumenical dialogue cannot base itself on words of human wisdom (cf. I Cor 2: 13) or on neat, expedient strategies, but must be animated solely by constant reference to the original Word that God consigned to his Church so that it be read, interpreted and lived in communion with her.”

 

On Sunday October 5, at 9:30 a.m., in the Basilica of St. Paul’s Outside-the-Walls, Pope Benedict will open the Synod.

 

The list of the Ordinary members with the assistance of experts and auditors is extensive and likely to be meaningless for many but there are some names that we ought to raise an eyebrow and say, “Well….” Of interest to me and perhaps to you are the following:

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Ordinary members
 

-Marc Cardinal Ouellet, P.S.S.


 
Bishop Vincenzo Paglia, Bishop of Terni-Narni-Amelia, Pres. of the Catholic Biblical Federation

-Very Rev’d Fr. Adolfo Nicolás, S.J., Superior General of the Society of Jesus

-Rev’d Fr. Julián Carrón, President of Communion and Liberation

 

 

 


Thumbnail image for St Jerome.jpgExperts

-Rev’d Fr. Peter Damian Akpunonu, Mundelein Seminary, Mundelein, IL

-Rev’d Fr. Enzo Bianchi, Prior of the Monastic Community of Bose, Italy

-Rev’d Sr. Sara Butler, M.S.B.T., Professor of Dogmatic Theology, St. Joseph Seminary, NY

-Rev’d Fr. Juan Javier Flores, O.S.B. Pres. of the Pontifical Liturgical Institute, Rome

-Rev’d Fr. Stephen F. Pisano, S.J. Rector of the Pontifical Biblical Institute (from the USA)

-Rev’d Fr. Marko Rupnik, S.J., Director of the Ezio Aletti Center for Studies & Research, Rome

-Rev’d Sr. Germana Strola, O.C.S.O., Trappist nun of the Vitorchiano Abbey, Italy

-Rev’d Fr. Cyril Vasil, S.J., Rector of the Pontifical Oriental Institute, Rome

-Rev’d Mons. Timothy Verdon, Professor of Sacred Art, Theological Faculty of Central Italy, Florence (from the USA)

-Prof. Michael Waldstein, Professor of NT, International Theological Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, Gaming, Austria (citizen of the USA & Austria)

 

 
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Auditors

-Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus (from the USA)

-Luis F. Figari, Superior General of the Sodalitium Vitae Christianae (from Peru)

-Abbot Michel Jorrot, O.S.B., Abbey of Clervaux (from Luxemburg)

-Rev’d Mother Clare Millea, A.S.C.J., Superior General of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart (from the USA)

-Andrea Riccardi, Founder of the Community of Sant’Egidio (from Italy)

-Maria Voce, Pres. Of the Focolari Movement (from Italy)

 

Interesting to note that there are no bishops from the USA among the Ordinary members of the Synod. Plus, a number of the experts already sit on the International Theological Commission which is under the auspices of the CDF. One can also appreciate the presence of the ecclesial movements participating in the Synod!

 

 

Foundation to Promote Thought of Benedict XVI

A foundation devoted to the study of the thought of Pope Benedict XVI will be unveiled in Munich on November 12th. The foundation is devoted to “the promotion of theology in the spirit of Joseph Ratzinger.” The press release announcing the foundation said: “The board of trustees whose members include former students from Germany, Portugal, Ireland, Benin, and the United States, reflects the international character of the Schülerkreis and the international scope of the foundation’s outreach.”

For 30 years there has been a meeting of the Schülerkreis since it was set up after then Professor Joseph Ratzinger was named archbishop of Munich in 1977.

 

UPDATE 17 September: Rome Reports gives us perspective here.

 

May the Lord bring success to the work of their hands and minds.

The Pope’s Prayer Intentions for September 2008

What is prayer? It is a complete surrender to God; it is an attitude and way of life that is
Pope at Mass.jpg
known as a complete abandonment to God’s greatness who is beyond all our understanding and need because out of love He creates and redeems us.

 

The general intention

That those, who because of war and totalitarian regimes have been obliged to leave their homes and country, be supported by Christians in the defense and protection of their rights.

The mission intention

That all Christian families, faithful to the sacrament of matrimony, will cultivate the values of love and community, so that they will be a small evangelizing community, open and sensitive to the material and spiritual needs of their brothers and sisters.

It’s back to class for Pope Benedict and his students

The Pope held his annual Schülerkreis (Circle of Students) according to the Catholic press. It’s refreshing to me to know that the duties of being Supreme Pontiff don’t sidetrack the Pope from doing some important theological thinking.

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 31, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is meeting with his former students to discuss the historical Christ and the Gospel account of the Passion, reports L’Osservatore Romano.

The Vatican newspaper reported that the meeting is taking place through Monday at Castel Gandolfo, where the Pope is spending the summer.

The meeting is an annual one that the Holy Father has had with 38 former students and doctoral candidates for more than 25 years. The group is called “Ratzinger Schülerkreis” (Ratzinger’s Circle of Students).

The colloquium is treating the figure of Jesus both in light of “Jesus of Nazareth,” published by Benedict XVI in 2007, and in view of the second volume that the Pope is currently writing.

Two Protestant biblical scholars were invited to this year’s colloquium: Martin Hengel and Peter Stuhlmacher. The two presented papers, and then a discussion was held.

Martin Hengel’s paper dealt with the historicity of the figure of Jesus, and Peter Stuhlmacher reflected of the passion and death of Jesus.

The two exegetes — both professors at the University of Tübingen, where Ratzinger taught in the 1960s — offered suggestive themes for discussion, but will not enter into an exploration of the Pontiff’s work.

Hengel, an historian and exegete, is not new to this gathering. In the 1990s he participated in a meeting and spoke on the figure of Peter in the Gospel of Mark.

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, the archbishop of Vienna, and Auxiliary Bishop Hans-Jochen Jaschke of Hamburg, are also participating in the meeting.

Father Stephan Horn, 72, a German priest of the Society of the Divine Savior, heads the “Schülerkreis” and organized the meeting.

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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