Pope Benedict XVI: October 2009 Archives

Leaning on the Master

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I frequently stand in awe of people who, like Pope Benedict, can draw my attention to the essentials of faith, reason and culture. His audience on Wednesday where he speaks about St. Bernard is one of these instances because he shows me the beauty of St. Bernard, the purpose of theology study, life with the saints, and why we have to suffer some things for the Kingdom. For example, the Pope offers a corrective in my work as a seminarian.

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Here are a few germane sentences with emphasis added: In one place in the talk Pope says: "Faith is above all an individual and intimate encounter with Jesus; it means experiencing His closeness, His friendship and His love." He continues "St. Bernard, solidly based on the Bible and on the Fathers of the Church, reminds us that without a profound faith in God, nourished by prayer and contemplation, by a profound relationship with the Lord, our reflections on the divine mysteries risk becoming a futile intellectual exercise, and lose their credibility. Theology takes us back to the "science of the saints," to their intuitions of the mysteries of the living God, to their wisdom, gift of the Holy Spirit, which become the point of reference for theological thought."

And given that I think there's much discussion in a seminary work, sometimes too much discussion, I am leaning St. Bernard as he says, "but perhaps He can be sought better and found more easily with prayer than with discussion. We put an end here to the book, but not to the search." 

(Pope Benedict XVI, Wednesday General Audience, October 21, 2009) 

Wayne Hellman & the Pope

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WHellmann & Pope Benedict.jpgIn the mid-1990s when I was in formation at Bellarmine House and a student in St Louis, Missouri, I made the acquaintance of Conventual Franciscan Father Wayne Hellman. Father Wayne was a professor of Theology at Saint Louis University, St Louis, MO. I think he was also the Friar Guardian of the local Conventual Franciscan House (St Bonaventure's Friary) and one of the nation's experts in Saint Bonaventure's theology. 

Wayne was frequently perceived as a zaney Franciscan professor but an incredibly bright and sensitive man, one that you can easily approach. I enjoyed his company. Until reading about his encounter with the young Joseph Ratzinger, didn't I realize the  interest and scope of theological formation and how he started off. The pedigree of theologians is always of interest to me because I am interested in history and trajectory.

My friend David Miros sent me and a few others a striking story published in the Saint Louis University News of Father Wayne's recent encounter with the Holy Father. Why is this striking to me and why should you read the story? Because it is a realization how the Holy Spirit works at the lowest and yet the most human of levels: the heart.
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The general intention

That Sundays may be lived as the day on which Christians gather to celebrate the Risen Lord in the table of the Eucharist

The missionary intention

That all the people of God, whom Christ has commanded to go and preach the Gospel to every creature, may diligently fulfill their missionary responsibility.

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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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Pope Benedict XVI category from October 2009.

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