A report on Benedict XVI´s messages and activities.
Love for Work is an important virtue. Affirmed Benedict XVI at the the general audience in St. Peter's Square. Saint Theodore the Studite was the subject of his address. He was born in the year 759 and became a monk at the age of 22. He was the leader of the resistance to the iconoclasm of Leo V the Armenian. Theodore was flogged, jailed and exiled in various parts of Asia Minor. He and his monks, were witnesses of courage in the times of the iconoclast persecutions. They also are inseparably united to the reform of the cenobitic life in the Byzantine world.
The Pope explained that “For Theodore the Studite, an important virtue, together with obedience and humility, is philergia, that is, love for work”, “Theodore is not afraid to speak of work as the "sacrifice of the monk," of his "liturgy." "Precisely in this way the world of work is humanized and man, through work, becomes more himself, closer to God.” The Holy Father continued.
“A consequence of this singular vision deserves to be considered: Precisely because it is the fruit of a form of "liturgy," the riches that come from common work should not serve the comfort of the monks, but should be destined for the help of the poor. In this, all of us can see the need for the fruit of work to be a good for everyone.”
The Holy Father remarked that the work of the "studites" was not only manual: They had great importance in the religious-cultural development of the Byzantine culture as calligraphers, painters, poets, educators of youth, teachers in schools and librarians.
At the end, the Pope highlighted some of the principal elements of the spiritual doctrine of Theodore; among them: love for the incarnated Lord and for his visibility in the liturgy and in icons. Spirit of poverty, of sobriety, of renunciation; chastity, self-control, humility and obedience against the primacy of one's own will, which destroys the social fabric and the peace of souls. And Love for material and spiritual work. VATICAN CITY, MAY 27, 2009
"Where the Spirit of God enters, he chases out fear" The Pope affirmed during the Pentecost Mass that he presided over in St. Peter's Basilica.”(...) he makes us know and feel that we are in the hands of an Omnipotence of love: whatever happens, his infinite love will not abandon us.”
He also explained that “If we do not want Pentecost to be reduced to a mere ritual or to a suggestive commemoration, but that it be a real event of salvation, through a humble and silent listening to God's Word we must predispose ourselves to God's gift in religious openness.”
“ So that Pentecost renew itself in our time, perhaps there is need (...) for the Church to be less "preoccupied" with activities and more dedicated to prayer. Mary Most Holy, the Mother of the Church and Bride of the Holy Spirit, teaches us this.” He said.
He also affirmed that “What air is for biological life, the Holy Spirit is for the spiritual life; and as there is air pollution, that poisons the environment and living things, there is also pollution of the heart and the spirit, that mortifies and poisons spiritual existence.” He warned “it seems that our minds and hearts are menaced by many pollutants that circulate in society today -- the images, for example, that make pleasure a spectacle, violence that degrades men and women -- and people seem to habituate themselves to this without any problem.”
He added, "The metaphor of the impetuous wind of Pentecost makes one think of how precious it is to breathe clean air, be it physical air without lungs, or spiritual air -- the healthy air of the spirit that is love -- with our heart." VATICAN CITY, MAY 31, 2009
Learn from Mary to Follow the Spirit. “The great Feast of Pentecost invites us to meditate upon the relationship between the Holy Spirit and Mary, a very close, privileged, indissoluble relationship.” Benedict XVI said at the traditional Marian celebration to conclude the month of May, Saturday evening in the Vatican Gardens. He affirmed that this year's traditional vigil "has acquired a very special value since it falls on the eve of Pentecost."
“In Mary's school we too learn to recognize the Holy Spirit's presence in our life, to listen to his inspirations and to follow them with docility. He makes us grow in the fullness of Christ, in those good fruits that the apostle Paul lists in the Letter to the Galatians: "Love, joy, peace, magnanimity, benevolence, goodness, fidelity, meekness, self-control" (Galatians 5:22).”
He expressed the hope that Catholics “be filled with these gifts and will always walk with Mary according to the Spirit." VATICAN CITY, MAY 31, 2009
Other Papal messages and activities.
"The Lord wants us to be saints" Benedict XVI told candidates for the Holy See diplomatic service of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy. "Always remember that it is vital and fundamental for the priestly ministry, however practiced, to maintain a personal bond with Christ; he wants us as his 'friends,' friends who seek intimacy with him, who follow his teaching and who undertake to make him known and loved by everyone."
"The dialogue with the modern world that is asked of you, as well as your contact with people and the institutions they represent, require an inner strength and a spiritual firmness capable of safeguarding -- indeed of giving ever more prominence to -- your Christian and priestly identity." He affirmed.
The Pontiff spoke about the Year for Priests, which will begin June 19, as a "valuable occasion to renew and strengthen your generous response to the Lord's call, in order to intensify your relationship with him."
The diplomats fulfil various roles for the Holy See, including the fostering of relationships with the various heads of states.They also assist in the process of naming bishops, participating in the selection of candidates to be proposed to the Holy Father.VATICAN CITY, MAY 25, 2009
The oldest living Nobel Prize winner was received in audience by Benedict XVI .Rita Levi-Montalcini turned 100 years old in April. She won the Nobel Prize in medicine in 1986; she received it together with colleague Stanley Cohen for their discovery of nerve growth factor. VATICAN CITY, MAY 26, 2009
The Pope called on the laity to become more aware of their role when he inaugurated an ecclesial conference for the Diocese of Rome on "Church Membership and Pastoral Co-responsibility." The Bishop of Rome suggested that "there is still a tendency to unilaterally identify the Church with the hierarchy, forgetting the common responsibility, the common mission" of all the baptized. "There should be a renewed becoming aware of our being Church and of the pastoral co-responsibility that, in the name of Christ, all of us are called to carry out," the Holy Father said. ROME, MAY 28, 2009
The current economic and social crisis could lead to a "catastrophe" if richer nations don't come to the aid of poorer ones, said Benedict XVI when he received the letters of credence from eight new ambassadors to the Holy See.
He warned those present of the dangers of inequality, and the conflicts it sparks. One suggestion made by the Pope was for richer nations to increase aid to poorer ones, rather than cutting it, "so that the neediest countries are able to sustain their economies and consolidate social measures designed to protect the most needy sectors of the population."
The envoys present represented Mongolia, India, Benin, New Zealand, South Africa, Burkina Faso, Namibia and Norway. ROME, MAY 29, 2009
Benedict XVI called Mongolia an example of religious liberty when he received the country's new ambassador to the Holy See.
After the fall of Communism in the early 1990s, the first Catholic missionaries -- a Belgian and two Filipinos -- arrived to Mongolia, where few people had heard of Jesus Christ. The Holy See established diplomatic relations with the formally Communist country in 1992. ROME, MAY 29, 2009
Attacks against Christians trouble Pontiff. Benedict XVI expressed his desire that everyone should enjoy religious freedom in a message written for the new ambassador from India, where Christians were the object of a wave of violence last year in the eastern state of Orissa. ROME, MAY 29, 2009
The Pope spoke about the urgent task of education when he received participants in the general assembly of the Italian Episcopal conference, who were gathered in their general assembly.
The Holy Father considered a particular form of ecclesiastical charity in Italy: "intellectual" charity, of which "one significant example is the commitment to promote a widespread mentality in support of life in its every aspect and moment, with particular concern for lives marked by conditions of fragility and precariousness."
"At a time in which relativistic and nihilistic concepts of life exercise a powerful enticement, a time in which the very legitimacy of education is placed in doubt, the principal contribution we can make is that of bearing witness to our trust in life and in man, in his reason and in his capacity to love," he said. ROME, MAY 29, 2009
Benedict XVI sent the World Youth Day cross to the Italian region that was devastated by the April 6 earthquake, and expressed solidarity and compassion for the people.
As he addressed the thousands of pilgrims gathered to pray the midday Regina Caeli, he reported that the Abruzzo youth "are gathering many people" around the cross, which was carried there by 12 volunteers from the youth center of San Lorenzo.
"In communion with that region, hard hit by the earthquake," the Pontiff said, "we ask Christ dead and risen to pour put his Spirit of consolation and hope upon them."
The cross was received by the town's youth, and after a moment of prayer it was carried to the fields of tents where survivors have made temporary homes. VATICAN CITY, MAY 31, 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