The Holy Father´s Week (November, 17 2008)

A report on Pope Benedict XVI's messages and activities.
by Maribel de Torres -- Editor | Source:

Asking the Lord to come. In his ongoing reflections on the life and theology of St. Paul, Benedict XVI says faith in the Resurrection should bring Christians to three fundamental attitudes. The first attitude one is to feel secure and free from fear. Christ is alive; he has overcome death. “With this certainty, with this freedom, with this joy, we live.” said the Pope. The second attitude is the certainty of hope. Without Christ the future is dark; there is fear of the future -- a lot of fear of the future. The Christian, explained the Holy Father, “lives in a hope that is not vague, in a hope that gives certainty and courage to face the future.” A third attitude is responsibility toward the world, toward our brothers before Christ. The Judge who returns, is Judge and Saviour at the same time, and has left us the task of living in this world according to his way of living. “In truth,” the Holy Father said, “we live with a great responsibility”. Christ has given us his talents; we have to work so this world opens itself to Him, so that it is renewed.

“The theme of the Resurrection opens a new perspective -- that of awaiting the return of the Lord” The Pope concluded analysing a prayer that  St. Paul in the conclusion of his Second Letter to the Corinthians repeats, ¡Marana, thà!, which literally means, "Our Lord, come!" The Holy Father affirms, “It seems to me that for us today, in our lives, in our world, it is difficult to sincerely pray so that this world perishes, so that the new Jerusalem comes, so that the final judgment and Christ the judge come.” “I think” he adds, “that if we don't dare to sincerely pray like this for many reasons, nevertheless, in a just and correct way, we can also say with the first Christians: "Come, Lord Jesus."  

Benedict XVI explains, “We don't want the end of the world to come now. But, on the other hand, we want this unjust world to end. We also want the world to be deeply changed, the civilization of love to begin, [we want] a world of justice and peace, without violence, without hunger, to arrive.”  So, he concludes, “we too can and should say, with great urgency and in the circumstances of our time, Come, Lord! Come to your world, in the way that you know. Come where there is injustice and violence. Come to the refugee camps, in Darfur and in North Kivu, in so many places in the world. Come where drugs dominate. Come, too, among those rich people who have forgotten you and who live only for themselves. Come where you are not known. Come to your world and renew the world of today. Come also to our hearts. Come and renew our lives. Come to our hearts so that we ourselves can be light of God, your presence.” “In this sense” he finally says “we pray with St. Paul: Maranà, thà! Come, Lord Jesus! And we pray so that Christ is really present today in our world, and that he renews it.” Vatican City, Nov.12, 2008.

Fear undermines talents. Fear is the wrong attitude when it comes to putting talents at the service of our neighbours. The Pope affirmed this today when he reflected on the Gospel reading from Mass before he prayed the midday Angelus. He explained what the talents are for Christians, the treasure that Jesus has entrusted to his friends “so that we bear fruit with them: his Word, deposited in the holy Gospel; baptism, which renews us in the Holy Spirit; prayer -- the 'Our Father' -- that we address to God as sons united in the Son; his forgiveness, which he commanded to be brought to all; the sacrament of his immolated Body and his Blood that he poured out. In a word: the Kingdom of God, which is Christ himself, present and living among us.” “It is a treasure that is made to be spent, invested, and shared with all, as the Apostle Paul, that great administrator of Jesus' talents, has taught us."

 But, the Bishop of Rome stated, "The mistaken attitude is that of fear. The servant who fears his master and fears his return, hides the coin in the ground and it does not produce any fruit. This happens, for example, to those who, having received baptism, Communion, and confirmation bury such gifts beneath prejudices, a false image of God that paralyzes faith and works, so as to betray the Lord's expectations.” The central message of the parable "regards the spirit of responsibility with which the Kingdom of God is to be accepted: responsibility toward God and toward humanity." The Pope   concluded, and he pointed to the Virgin Mary as the perfect example of one who has this responsibility as God wants. VATICAN CITY, NOV. 16, 2008.

Drive safely, the Pope says. . "Dear brothers and sisters, I implore everyone -- drivers, passengers and pedestrians -- to listen carefully to the words of St. Paul in today's Liturgy of the Word: ‘Let us be awake and sober.” After today's midday Angelus, the Pope spoke of the tragedy of traffic accidents. Worldwide organizations mark today the U.N.-sponsored World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. He also invited to pray for the souls of those dead in car accidents and for the consolation of their families. VATICAN CITY, NOV. 16, 2008.

Some of the Pope’s activities

Benedict XVI notes Pius XII´s impact on Vatican II. The Holy Father received in audience participants from the Conference organized on the 50th anniversary on Pius XII´s  death. Modern press reports regarding Pius XII are generally about accusations that the Pope lacked zeal in condemning the Nazi regime and the Holocaust, despite the fact that historians and witnesses have provided ample evidence to the contrary. “Independently of other considerations, this has impeded an adequate vision of a figure of great historical-theological depth like that of Pius XII," Benedict XVI affirmed. "His teaching continues giving light today in the Church.” "In his person”, The Pope added, “the Lord has given his Church an exceptional gift, for which all of us should thank him." The Pope says Pius XII is “the authorized source that the Second Vatican council cites most frequently.” Vatican City, Nov. 11, 2008.

Benedict XVI received in audience Taiwan’s new ambassador to the Holy See. He said that Catholics in Taiwan are “eager to play their part in building up a society that is humane, just and marked by genuine concern for the welfare of the weaker members of the community” He lauded the government’s commitment to freedom of religion and sent greetings to the newly elected president of the republic, the first Catholic to hold this position. Vatican City, Nov.10,2008.

The Holy Father received in audience Bolivian Bishops. He reminded them of the importance of popular devotion as a means to face “difficult circumstances” that affect the country. He urged them to stay "very close to Bolivians," so as to "maintain hope, enliven faith, nourish unity, encourage reconciliation and safeguard peace." He also spoke of the need for a "systematic catechesis, broad and penetrating” and promoting knowledge of Scripture among the faithful. "From docile listening to the divine Word, love for neighbours are born” He said, “and with it, disinterested service to one's brothers." Vatican City, Nov. 10, 2008.

New scientists appointed to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. An Indian professor of astrophysics, Govind Swarup, who has been a pioneer in the field of solar radio astronomy, radio galaxies, quasars, cosmology and of instruments for radio astronomy, and a French professor of evolutionary psychology, Stanislas Dehaene, who has achieved important advances in the understanding of the organization of cognitive abilities, of its pathologies, and of the origins of its development and evolution. Vatican City , Nov.10, 2008.

Pope Prays for Salesian Superior. Benedict XVI asked for an "effusion of divine grace" for the new superior-general of Silesian sisters at the end of today's general audience. Vatican City , Nov.11, 2008.

The Pope received a call from U.S President elect. The call responded to a congratulatory telegram the Holy Father sent to Obama after he won the presidential election last week. VATICAN CITY, NOV. 12, 2008.

Pontiff Appeals for Healthy Secularity." based on collaboration, respect and dialogue, when he received in audience San Marino’s ambassador to the Holy See.  "Healthy secularity" the Pontiff explained, implies that "each temporal reality abides by its specific norms, which should not, nevertheless, forget fundamental ethical forms, the bases of which are found in the very nature of man." He affirmed. "To totally separate public life from all valuing of traditions means to embark on a closed, dead-end path." VATICAN CITY, NOV. 13, 2008.
Brazil's President Visits Benedict XVI Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva visited the Pope in the Vatican. Among the issues discussed was the fundamental role of the family in efforts to curb violence and social degradation. After the visit, representatives of the Holy See and Brazil signed a bilateral accord. Archbishop L. Baldisseri, apostolic nuncio in Brazil, told Vatican Radio that the agreement is historic and gives the Church a "juridical certainty" in the country. VATICAN CITY, NOV. 13, 2008.

Pope to Visit Tomb of Father of Europe. On Nov.30, Benedict XVI will visit the Roman parish of St. Lawrence Outside the Walls. He will pray at the tomb of St. Lawrence, marking the 1,750th anniversary of his martyrdom, and at the tomb of Blessed Pius IX. He will also stop at the tomb of Alcide de Gasperi, a founding father of the European Union. VATICAN CITY, NOV. 13, 2008.
Pope Thanks Contemplative Religious.  During the midday Angelus, Benedict XVI thanked the Lord " for the sisters and brothers who have embraced this mission, dedicating themselves completely to prayer and living of what Providence gives them," He also prayed for new vocations and urged the people to help with prayers and supporting monasteries in their material needs." The Pope then addressed himself to men and women contemplatives to tell them that their "presence in the Church and the world is indispensable." VATICAN CITY, NOV. 16, 2008.

Pope Welcomes Ambrosian-Rite Lectionary The Ambrosian rite is celebrated mainly in the Archdiocese of Milan, Italy. The new lectionary is entering into use as the rite celebrates the First Sunday of Advent. He prayed that the communities who use that rite may always "walk in truth and charity." VATICAN CITY, NOV. 16, 2008
Papal greetings to the 6th World  Meeting of Families. Which will take place in Mexico in Jan. 13-18 VATICAN CITY, NOV. 16, 2008.

A prayer for the Holy Father
Christ Jesus, King and Lord of the Church, in your presence I renew my unconditional loyalty to your Vicar on earth, the Pope. In him you have chosen to show us the safe and sure path that we must follow in the midst of confusion, uneasiness, and unrest. I firmly believe that through him you govern, teach, and sanctify us; with him as our shepherd, we form the true Church: one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. Grant me the grace to love, live, and spread faithfully our Holy Father’s teachings. Watch over his life, enlighten his mind, strengthen his spirit, defend him from calumny and evil. Calm the erosive winds of infidelity and disobedience. Hear our prayer and keep your Church united around him, firm in its belief and action, that it may truly be the instrument of your redemption. Amen.

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