- Thursday, 04 October 2012 19:15
Pope Benedict went to the Shrine of Our Lady of Loreto, his 30th trip in Italy, to commemorate the visit Blessed John XXIII made when he called the Second Vatican Council entrusting her with the needs the Church and the Council. The Pope’s homily follows.
On 4 October 1962,, to intercede for me as Bishop of Rome and for all
Blessed John XXIII came as a pilgrim to this Shrine to
entrust to the Virgin Mary the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, due to
begin a week later. On that occasion, with deep filial devotion to the Mother
of God, he addressed her in these words: “Again today, and in the name of the
entire episcopate, I ask you, sweetest Mother, as Help of Bishops
the bishops of the world, to obtain for us the grace to enter the Council Hall
of Saint Peter’s Basilica, as the Apostles and the first disciples of Jesus
entered the Upper Room: with one heart, one heartbeat of love for Christ and
for souls, with one purpose only, to live and to sacrifice ourselves for the
salvation of individuals and peoples. Thus, by your maternal intercession, in
the years and the centuries to come, may it be said that the grace of God
prepared, accompanied and crowned the twenty-first Ecumenical Council, filling
all the children of the holy Church with a new fervour, a new impulse to
generosity, and a renewed firmness of purpose” (AAS 54 , 727).
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- Friday, 31 August 2012 13:55
The typical protocol is for the Pope, often through the Secretary of State, to send a telegram on the death of a churchman, or on the occasion of another significant event. In the case of cardinals, a pope sends a more personal message. Pope Benedict knew Cardinal Martini well, and even saw him in June when he was in Milan. The pope writes…
Having heard with sadness the news of the death of Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini after a long illness, which he lived with a tranquil soul and with confident abandonment to the will of the Lord, I wish to express to you and to the entire diocesan community, as well as to the family of the late Cardinal, my profound share in their sorrow, recalling with affection this dear brother who served the Gospel and the Church so generously. I recall with gratitude the intense and profuse Apostolic work of this zealous, spiritual child of St. Ignatius, an expert teacher, an authoritative biblical scholar, and a beloved Rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University and of the Pontifical Biblical Institute, and a wise and diligent Archbishop of the Ambrosian Archdiocese. I think also of the competent and fervent service he gave to the Word of God, always opening to the ecclesial community the treasures of the Sacred Scriptures, especially through the promotion of Lectio Divina. I raise fervent prayers to the Lord that, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, He will receive His faithful servant and worthy shepherd into the heavenly Jerusalem; and upon all those who mourn his death, I warmly impart the comfort of the Apostolic Blessing.
- Monday, 27 August 2012 08:28
The Holy Father, Pope Benedict closely follows The Meeting. He was in attendance several years ago, as was John Paul II in 1982. Picking up from Father Luigi Giussani’s thinking of “life as a vocation”, the Pope reminds us that everything is answered in relationship to the Infinite. On July 11, 2012 I posted a piece called “The Vocation to Life” which is essential reading if you want to know more of what the Pope, Giussani and Christianity is all about.
The Pope’s letter for the 2012 Meeting follows (emphasis mine).
To the Venerable
Brother Monsignor Francesco Lambiasi,
Bishop of Rimini
I wish to extend my
cordial greetings to you, to the organizers and to all the participants in the
Meeting for Friendship among Peoples, now in its XXXIII year. The theme chosen
this year – “The nature of man is a relationship with the infinite” – is
particularly significant in view of the approaching start of the Year of Faith,
which I have willed to proclaim to mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of
the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council.
To speak of man and of his yearning for
the infinite means, first and foremost, to recognize his constitutive
relationship with the Creator. Man is a creature of God. Today this word –
creature – seems almost passé: we prefer to think of man as a self-fulfilled
being and master of his own destiny. The consideration of man as a creature
seems “uncomfortable,” because it implies an essential reference to something
else, or better, to Someone else – whom man cannot control – who enters in
order to define his identity in an essential way; a relational identity, whose
first element is the original and ontological dependence on He who wanted us
and created us. Yet this dependence, from which modern and contemporary man
attempts to break free, not only does not hide or diminish, but luminously
reveals the greatness and supreme dignity of man, who is called into life in
order to enter into relationship with Life itself, with God.
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- Tuesday, 31 July 2012 16:51
“Dear friends, it is clear that configuration to Christ is the precondition and the basis for all renewal. But perhaps at times the figure of Jesus Christ seems too lofty and too great for us to dare to measure ourselves by him. The Lord knows this. So he has provided ‘translations’ on a scale that is more accessible and closer to us. For this same reason, Saint Paul did not hesitate to say to his communities: Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. For his disciples, he was a ‘translation’ of Christ’s manner of life that they could see and identify with. Ever since Paul’s time, history has furnished a constant flow of other such ‘translations’ of Jesus’ way into historical figures.”
Pope Benedict XVI
- Monday, 09 July 2012 16:29
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