- Tuesday, 01 January 2013 20:16
Do you ever ask what peace really is? What are the horizons of peace? Why is the name of Jesus held holy, revered, not to be easily used in common speech? What brings every man, woman and child peace? Who is Mary, and why is she important? Pope Benedict answers these questions in a homily at a Mass he celebrated today to mark the New Year, the World Day of Peace, the solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God.
The Theotokos of Vladimir.
“May God bless
us and make his face to shine upon us.” We proclaimed these words from Psalm 66
after hearing in the first reading the ancient priestly blessing upon the
people of the covenant. It is especially significant that at the start of every
new year God sheds upon us, his people, the light of his Holy Name, the Name
pronounced three times in the solemn form of biblical blessing. Nor is it less
significant that to the Word of God – who “became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn
1:14) as “the true light that enlightens every man” (1:9) – is given, as
today’s Gospel tells us, the Name of Jesus eight days after his birth (cf. Lk
It is in this Name that we are gathered here today. I cordially greet
all present, beginning with the Ambassadors of the Diplomatic Corps accredited
to the Holy See. I greet with affection Cardinal Bertone, my Secretary of
State, and Cardinal Turkson, with all the officials of the Pontifical Council
for Justice and Peace; I am particularly grateful to them for their effort to spread
the Message for the World Day of Peace, which this year has as its theme
“Blessed are the Peacemakers”.
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- Monday, 31 December 2012 16:55
The Pope’s homily for Vespers at the Vatican basilica follows below. He sets out a very clear direction for Christian living and pastoral activity. Are we going to listen? The Pope preached:
I thank all of
you who have chosen to participate in this liturgy of the last hour of the year
of the Lord 2012. This “hour” bears a particular intensity and becomes, in a
sense, a synthesis of all the hours of the year that is about to come to an
end. I cordially greet the Cardinals, Bishops, Priests, consecrated persons and
lay faithful, and especially the many people from the ecclesial community of
Rome. In a special way I greet the Authorities present, beginning with the
Mayor of the City, and thank them for choosing to share with us this moment of prayer
and thanksgiving to God.
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- Sunday, 30 December 2012 16:52
Today is the
feast of the Holy Family of Nazareth. In the liturgy the passage from Luke’s
Gospel presents the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph who, faithful to tradition, go
to Jerusalem for the Passover with the twelve-year-old Jesus. The first time
Jesus had entered the Temple of the Lord was forty days after his birth, when
his parents had offered “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons”
(Luke 2:24) on his behalf, which is the sacrifice of poor. “Luke, whose
Gospel is filled with a whole theology of the poor and poverty, makes it clear
… that Jesus’ family was counted among the poor of Israel; he helps us to
understand that it was there among them where the fulfillment of God’s promise
matured” ( The Infancy Narratives, 96). Today Jesus is in the Temple
again, but this time he has a different role, which involves him in the first
person. He undertakes the pilgrimage to Jerusalem as prescribed by the Law (Ex
23.17, 34.23 ff) together with Mary and Joseph, although he was not yet in his
thirteenth year: a sign of the deep religiosity of the Holy Family. But when
his parents return to Nazareth, something unexpected happens: he, without
saying anything, remains in the City. For three days, Mary and Joseph search
for him and find him in the Temple, speaking with the teachers of the Law (Lk
2: 46 ,47), and when they ask him for an explanation, Jesus tells them they
have no cause to wonder, because that is his place, that is his home, with the
Father, who is God (The Infancy Narratives 143). “He – Origen writes –
professes to be in the temple of his Father, the Father who has revealed
Himself to us and of which he says he is the Son” (Homilies on the Gospel
of Luke, 18, 5).
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- Saturday, 22 December 2012 07:47
Forgiveness is only possible with God’s grace. Pope John Paul II taught us this fact several times with the events of his own life and in Church life. Pope Benedict’s papacy has notable grievances that require pardon. Today is a good example with the Pope forgiving the actions of his former butler Paolo Gabriele who leaked to the world the Pope’s private letters and arrested on 23 May 2012.
Paolo Gabriele, appealing to a high moral standard, said that he wanted the good of the Church by exposing evil and corruption that he loved the pope and the Church. No doubt Gabriele’s actions personally grieved Benedict in a very personal way, by the breaking of trust, it also opened the governance of the Church to harm. A Vatican Tribunal found Gabriele guilty and sentenced him to jail on 6 October 2012.
Paolo Gabriele, 46, is married with three children.
Vatican Radio’s Emer McCarthy posted this report. The Holy See’s Press Office released the following today:
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- Friday, 21 December 2012 17:06
gave his annual address, a “State of the Church,” if you will, to the curial officials
of the Holy See today.
You might say the content talk is crucially relevant for the
work of the Church and the proclamation of the Gospel as he reviews key events
and focuses on some themes. Among many things which need our attention and reflection,
the Pope spoke about nature of man, family life, and inter-religious dialogue.
Regarding man in which he gave insight into, he speaks of how evil and destructive vague and
ideological the “gender conscious crowd” is to the nature of the person and removes God from conversation. Read the full text here.
The Pope notes the crisis of the family and its effect on society, caused by the
unwillingness to make a commitment and by unwillingness to suffer. But he
goes beyond the symptoms to diagnose the cause of the crisis. This talk is not an attack, it is an appeal to truth.
Each of Pope
Benedict’s addresses to the Roman Curia are important, certainly the 2005
address stands out, but today’s will be memorable.
Here’s a section:
all there is the question of the human capacity to make a commitment or to
avoid commitment. Can one bind oneself for a lifetime? Does this correspond to
man’s nature? Does it not contradict his freedom and the scope of his
self-realization? Does man become himself by living for himself alone and only
entering into relationships with others when he can break them off again at any
time? Is lifelong commitment antithetical to freedom? Is commitment also worth
suffering for? Man’s refusal to make any commitment – which is becoming
increasingly widespread as a result of a false understanding of freedom and
self-realization as well as the desire to escape suffering – means that man
remains closed in on himself and keeps his ‘I’ ultimately for himself, without
really rising above it. Yet only in self-giving does man find himself, and only
by opening himself to the other, to others, to children, to the family, only by
letting himself be changed through suffering, does he discover the breadth of
his humanity. When such commitment is repudiated, the key figures of human
existence likewise vanish: father, mother, child – essential elements of the
experience of being human are lost”.
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