Pope Benedict XVI: March 2012 Archives

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Pope Benedict speaking at the Welcome Ceremony in Cuba said, he comes as a pilgrim of charity to strengthen the people in faith. 14 years ago Blessed John Paul II was in Cuba.

The pontiff acknowledges that Cuba is looking to the future to broaden its horizons based on the spiritual and moral values which stand out in the many the notable people of Cuban history which serve all peoples.

Benedict takes on selfish government practices and intellectual, spiritual and cultural demise, by looking to the deep need for reconciliation by hope and bringing people together.

The Pope comes to kneel down in front of Our Lady of Charity on the 400th anniversary of her appearance in Cuban. For the Pope, and therefore for us, he notes truth that the Holy Virgin formed our Christian identity (our roots) were and continue to shape the soul. It is the Virgin Mary who is the keystone of the true identity of the Cuban people pointing to her Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ.

This is the beginning of yet another revolution in Cuba, actually, it is the Papal Revolution, Part II.

The Pope's text follows:

Thank you, Mr President, for your welcome and your kind words, with which you also conveyed the sentiments of respect of the Cuban government and people for the Successor of Peter. I greet the civil authorities here present, as well as the members of the diplomatic corps. I cordially greet the President of the Episcopal Conference, Archbishop Dionisio Guillermo García Ibáñez of Santiago de Cuba; the Archbishop of Havana, Cardinal Jaime Ortega y Alamino, and my other Brother Bishops of Cuba, and I assure them of my deep spiritual closeness. Finally, I greet with heartfelt affection all the faithful of the Catholic Church in Cuba, the beloved people of this beautiful island, and all Cubans wherever they may be. You are always present in my heart and prayers, especially in the days preceding the much anticipated moment of my visit to you, which the grace and goodness of God has made possible.

At Vespers (evening prayer) with the gathered bishops of Latin America at the Cathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of Light, (Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico) this evening the Holy Father address the following homily. His thoughts turn our attention to a deeper fidelity in belonging to Christ, being true in communion with others, rooted and ground in Love. The homily is terrific, he hits on some real significant issues that concern the Catholic Faith and the promotion of Justice. But I can't help thinking that the Pope is treating this pastoral visit as a giant Ad limina.

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It gives me great joy to be able to pray with all of you in this Basilica-Cathedral of León, dedicated to our Lady of Light. In the lovely painting venerated in this basilica, the Blessed Virgin holds her Son in one hand with immense tenderness while extending her other hand to succour sinners. This is how the Church in every age sees Mary. We praise her for giving us the Redeemer and we put our trust in her as the Mother whom her divine Son bequeathed to us from the Cross. For this reason, we invoke her frequently as "our hope" because she has shown us Jesus and passed down to us the great things which God constantly does for humanity. She does so simply, as a mother teaches her children at home.

A decisive sign of these great things is given to us in the reading just proclaimed at these Vespers. The people of Jerusalem and their leaders did not acknowledge Christ, yet, by condemning him to death, they fulfilled the words of the prophets (cf. Acts 13:27). Human evil and ignorance simply cannot thwart the divine plan of salvation and redemption. Evil is simply incapable of that.

An excerpt of the Pope's homily delivered early today in Mexico. What does it mean to be pure of heart? Why do I want a purity of heart?

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"A pure heart, create for me, O God" (Ps 50:12) during the responsorial psalm. This exclamation shows us how profoundly we must prepare to celebrate next week the great mystery of the passion, death and resurrection of the Lord. It also helps us to look deeply into the human heart, especially in times of sorrow as well as hope, as are the present times for the people of Mexico and of Latin America.

The desire for a heart that would be pure, sincere, humble, acceptable to God was very much felt by Israel as it became aware of the persistence in its midst of evil and sin as a power, practically implacable and impossible to overcome. There was nothing left but to trust in God's mercy and in the hope that he would change from within, from the heart, an unbearable, dark and hopeless situation. In this way recourse gained ground to the infinite mercy of the Lord who does not wish the sinner to die but to convert and live (cf. Ez 33:11). A pure heart, a new heart, is one which recognizes that, of itself, it is impotent and places itself in God's hands so as to continue hoping in his promises. Then the psalmist can say to the Lord with conviction: "Sinners will return to you" (Ps 50:15). And towards the end of the psalm he will give an explanation which is at the same time a firm conviction of faith: "A humble, contrite heart you will not spurn" (v. 19).

The Papal cane

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Pope Benedict heads to Mexico and Cuba today. The Pontiff is taking precautions by using a cane. In charity, we pray for his pastoral visit to these nations.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Charity, pray for us.

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As Queen Esther asked God for grace to follow Him more closely, so we do the same.... 

The Pope asks us to join him during the month of March in praying for women and for those face the trial of discrimination.

The general intention

That the whole world may recognize the contribution of women to the development of society.

The mission intention

That the Holy Spirit may grant perseverance to those who suffer discrimination, persecution or death for the name of Christ, particularly in Asia.

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 March 2012.

Pope Benedict XVI: February 2012 is the previous archive.

Pope Benedict XVI: April 2012 is the next archive.

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