The Holy Father´s Week: April 26, 2009

A short report on Benedict XVI´s messages and activities.
by Maribel de Torres | Source: Zenit.org

Love is the key to our knowledge of God, Benedict XVI said at the general audience in St. Peter's Square,in which he continued a catechesis series about great writers of the Church in the Middle Ages;  
repeating the words of the monk and abbot, Ambrose Autpert , a relatively unknown eighth century writer. 
One of Autpert´s most widely-read works is his "Conflict between the vices and the virtues," designed to assist his monks in their daily spiritual struggle. For each of twenty-four vices threatening the soul, he indicated the corresponding virtue that would help the Christian to overcome temptation. He taught that greed is the root of all vices, and he urged his contemporaries to seek the narrow gate that leads to life. 
The Pope added: "I offer this reflection, which, in light of this global economic crisis, is revealed in all its relevance. “We see that from this very root of greed this crisis is born”. The Pontiff affirmed that even rich people must "fight against greed, against the desire to possess, to appear, against the false notion of freedom as the right to dispose of everything according to one's own will," and they must also "find the authentic path of truth, of love and in this way the path of moral rectitude."
In his extensive commentary on the Book of Revelation, viewed as a treatise on the Church, Autpert taught that Christ must "be born, die and rise again every day in us, his body." Hence the Virgin Mary serves as a model of the Church. Autpert is considered the first great Marian theologian in the West, and he writes with an almost mystical love for the Blessed Virgin. 
Love, he says, is the key to our knowledge of God. Intellectual study may point the way, but only when we love God do we truly know him. Following Autpert's teaching, let us strive to grow daily in our love for God, the Holy Father said. VATICAN CITY, APRIL 22, 2009

The Church's life and mission necessarily rest upon the Word of God, which is the soul of theology and, at the same time, the inspiration of all of Christian life.” The Pope said in an audience with representatives from the Pontifical Biblical Commission during their annual plenary assembly
He reminded his listeners the "three perennially valid criteria for interpreting sacred Scripture in accordance with the Spirit that inspired it." 
"In the first place,” he explained, “great attention must be given to the content and unity of the whole of Scripture. Indeed, however different the books it contains may be, sacred Scripture is one by virtue of the unity of God's plan, of which Jesus Christ is the center and the heart."
"In the second place," he continued, "Scripture must be read in the context of the living tradition of the entire Church."
 "The third criterion concerns the need to pay attention to the analogy of the faith; that is, to the cohesion of the individual truths of faith, both with one another and with the overall plan of Revelation and the fullness of the divine economy enclosed in that plan."
The Pontiff affirmed that the task of scholars is to "contribute, following the above-mentioned principles, to a more profound interpretation and exposition of the meaning of sacred Scripture." VATICAN CITY, APRIL 23, 2009

Five new role models for a “disoriented society” , Benedict XVI canonized five blessed at a Mass in St. Peter's Square. All of the five saints proclaimed at the Mass are religious, and all but one is a founder of a religious congregation. In the address given in Italian and Portuguese, the Pope spoke of the lives of each one; he said that in them one can find inspiration to overcome the obstacles and crises of life.
The five who were canonized are:Arcangelo Tadini, who, the Pontiff explained, was led by the Holy Spirit to take on the urgent necessities of the moment and find a solution. The Pope noted the priest's work to help those suffering during the economic crisis of his time, he spent long hours in prayer before the Eucharist and helped his parishioners to grow humanly and spiritually. 
Bernardo Tolomei, Italian abbot who died while taking care of the monks who had fallen ill to the great plague of 1348.
Nuno de Santa Maria Álvares Pereira, Portuguese religious,who had been an officer in the Portuguese army and a national hero in Portugal for his success in various battles. After the death of his wife, the saint gave away all his possessions and entered the convent. As a religious, he dedicated himself totally to the assistance of the poor.
Gertrude Caterina Comensoli, founder of the Institute of Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament , Benedict XVI affirmed "In a society disoriented and many times hurt, such as our own, Saint Gertrude indicated as a firm point of reference the God of the Eucharist who made himself our travel companion," 
and Caterina Volpicelli, founder of the Institute of Handmaidens of the Sacred Heart. The Pontiff said that she “made an effort 'to be of Christ, so as to bring Christ' to those she encountered in Naples at the end of the 19th century, during a time of spiritual and social crisis.". VATICAN CITY, APRIL 26, 2009

Other papal messages and activities:

Benedict XVI received members of the Franciscan family participating in the "Chapter of Mats”. He welcomed the Minister Generals gathered with the priests, Sisters and Brothers of the worldwide Franciscan community. First of all the Pontiff thanked God for them and for the precious gift that they are for the entire Christian people “ It all began from the conversion of Francis, who, following the example of Jesus "emptied himself" (cf. Phil 2:7) and, by marrying Lady Poverty, became a witness and herald of the Father who is in heaven.” 
The Holy Father said. “Francis reflects perfectly the footsteps of Paul and in truth can say with him: "For me, to live is Christ" (Phil 1:21)” The Pope continued. “All his previous wealth, any source of pride and security, everything becomes a "loss" from the moment of encounter with the crucified and risen Jesus (cf. Phil 3:7-11)”. 

“So” Benedict XVI explained, “the Poverello has become a living gospel, able to attract to Christ men and women of all ages, especially young people, who prefer radical idealism to half-measures”
The Holy Father ended encouraging them to “Go and continue to "repair the house" of the Lord Jesus Christ, his Church”.
 “Like Francis”, the Pope added, “always start with yourselves. We are the first house that God wants to restore. If you are always able to renew yourselves in the spirit of the Gospel, you will continue to assist the pastors of the Church to make more and more beautiful the Church's face, that of the bride of Christ.” CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, APRIL 20, 2009

The journey in search of God on earth will never end, affirmed the Holy Father in a message he sent on the occasion of the ninth centenary of the death of St. Anselm. The Holy Father noted that the writings of Anselm reveal a God who is bigger than anyone can imagine. "In fact," he said, the writings show a growing realization "that God is found at an unreachable height, far beyond the goals that man can reach, because God is far beyond what is thinkable." 
"For this reason," Benedict XVI added, "the journey in search of God, at least on this earth, will never end, but will always be turned into thought and desire, into a rigorous intellectual exercise and a imploring petition of the heart." VATICAN CITY, APRIL 21, 2009

Benedict XVI celebrated the 25 years of the World Youth Day Cross. Which John Paul II entrusted to the youth of the world. He noted that since Pope John Paul II's gift, "the cross was accepted in the international youth center of San Lorenzo, and from there began to travel to the continents, opening the hearts of many young men and women to Christ the Redeemer." 
The celebration ended in the afternoon with Eucharistic adoration at the youth center, followed by a Mass. VATICAN CITY, APRIL 22, 2009

The Holy Father thanked the Organizers of the 6th World Meeting of Families. About 100 of the organizers, accompanied by Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, archbishop primate of Mexico, and Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, were greeted by the Pope at today's general audience. VATICAN CITY, APRIL 22, 2009

Schedule for April-May Released. Benedict XVI's schedule for the next weeks will include a visit to the Holy Land. He will leave for an apostolic visit to the Holy Land on May 8, and will return on May 15. On the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, celebrated May 24, the Holy Father will make a pastoral visit to Montecassino, Italy. Finally, Benedict XVI will celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost on May 31 with a morning Mass in the Vatican Basilica. VATICAN CITY, APRIL 22, 2009 

The Gospel virtue of obedience stems from interior communion with God, affirmed Benedict XVI during the homily of a Mass with organizers of January's World Meeting of Families, which took place in Mexico City.
Quoting St. Peter, who said, "We must obey God rather than any human authority," the Holy Father told his listeners, "The Word of God speaks to us of an obedience that is not mere subjection, nor simply an obeying of orders, rather it arises from an intimate communion with God and consists in an interior vision capable of discerning that which comes from on high and is above everything."
 He urged Christian families to share this "essential" value with society. VATICAN CITY, APRIL 23, 2009

The secretary-general of the League of Arab States visited Benedict XVI today after signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Holy See. Regarding Amre Moussa's visit today with the Pontiff and with Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for relations with states, the Vatican reported that the discussions highlighted the "importance of [this] agreement, which seeks to favor an ever greater collaboration between the two parties in favor of peace and justice in the world." VATICAN CITY, APRIL 24, 2009

Benedict XVI sent a note expressing his support for a Bolivian cardinal whose house was attacked with explosives last week. The note said the Pontiff was united in prayer with the bishops of Bolivia's episcopal conference, who are gathered in their ordinary assembly, as well as with the priests, religious communities and the faithful of Bolivia. "Any act of violence, committed with the sole intention of damaging, harming or intimidating others, is always reproachable and unworthy of the human person and profoundly contrary to the Christian values of love, communion and mutual respect," the papal message stated.VATICAN CITY, APRIL 24, 2009

"May All of You … Bear Witness to Him Courageously". After the Mass in which five new saints were proclaimed, Benedict XVI greeted those gathered for the praying of the Regina Caeli, who had wanted to come personally to offer homage to the new saints “Through their intercession, may all of you be filled with joy in the Risen Lord, and bear witness to him courageously in your daily lives.” VATICAN CITY, APRIL 26, 2009

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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