God's omnipotence is nothing to fear, since he is the safeguard of our freedom. Benedict XVI affirmed in reflecting on the closing prayer of vespers Friday, which he celebrated in the cathedral of Aosta, together with some 400 priests, religious and lay representatives.
"It is true that we feel a little threatened by omnipotence; it seems to limit our freedom, it seems too great a burden, but we must learn that the omnipotence of God is not an arbitrary power, because God is the good, he is the truth.” The Pope noted: “God is the safeguard of our freedom, of love, of truth."
" In our worldly concept of power we think that those who have many possessions have power; economically speaking, it is the one who has something to say, who has capital, who can influence the world of the market; we think that those who have military power, who can threaten, have power.”
"But revelation tells us that it is not this way. True power is the power of grace and mercy. [...] God suffered and in his Son he suffers with us and this is the ultimate apex of his power: that he can suffer with us. [...] He wanted to suffer with us and for us and he has never abandoned us in our sufferings. God suffered in his Son and is near to us in our sufferings."
“The height of God's power is mercy and forgiveness.”
"God cannot ignore this cry of the suffering, who are oppressed by injustice," the Pope stated. "Forgiving is not ignoring but transforming. And God must enter into this world and oppose the ocean of injustice with a larger ocean of goodness and love. This is the event of the cross, which, from that moment went against the ocean of evil.”
"Thus in forgiving, God transforms the world and enters into our world so that there truly be a power, a river of goodness greater than all the evil that could ever exist." AOSTA, Italy, JULY 26, 2009
Helping Jesus in his Mission. Before reciting the Angelus at midday today with the faithful gathered at Les Combes in northern Italy's Aosta Valley where he is vacationing, The Pope reflected on the priesthood and the multiplication of the loaves.
“Reading about that anonymous boy who has five loaves and two fish, we too spontaneously say: But what is this for such a multitude? In other words: What am I? How can I, with my limitations, help Jesus in his mission? And the Lord gives the answer: Precisely by putting into his "holy and venerable" hands the little that they are, priests become instruments of salvation for many, for all!”
The Holy Father mentioned the role of grandparents on the Feast of St. Joachim and St. Anne, parents of Mary and, therefore, grandparents of Jesus.
“This feast makes us think about the topic of education, which has such an important place in the pastoral work of the Church. In particular, it invites us to pray for grandparents, who, in the family, are the depositaries and the witnesses of the fundamental values of life. The educational task of grandparents is always very important, and it becomes even more so when, for different reasons, the parents are not able to ensure an adequate presence to their children, while they are growing up.”
During his reflection, he thanked God for the "joy of these days marked by true relaxation -- despite the little accident about which you know well." The Pontiff fell and broke his right wrist at the beginning of his vacation, on July 17. INTROD, Italy, JULY 26, 2009
Other papal messages and activities
Pope mourns the death of first Mauritian Cardinal. In 1988, Bishop Jean Margéot became the first cardinal from his nation. He retired from leading the diocese in 1993, for reasons of age. Benedict XVI expressed his gratitude for the generosity and commitment of Cardinal Margéot, who died Friday at the age of 93.VATICAN CITY, JULY 20, 2009
Benedict XVI greeted participants of the Tour de France bicycle race, which today is passing close to the Alpine village in northern Italy where he is vacationing. In a Vatican communiqué, the director of the Vatican press office, Jesuit Father F. Lombardi, extended the Pope's "cordial" greetings to "all the athletes and to the organizers of the race." and also " to all sports men and women currently involved in various activities and competitions," AOSTA, Italy, JULY 21, 2009
Benedict XVI is well and is adapting to living with his wrist in a plaster cast after he fell and fractured it last Thursday, affirmed Jesuit Father F. Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office. He reported that ,despite everything, the Pope is in good humor. He will remain in northern Italy until July 29, and then will go to the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, some 19 miles south of Rome, where he will remain for the rest of the summer. AOSTA, Italy, JULY 22, 2009
Benedict XVI encourages a new reflection about values in sports, in particular regarding young athletes, says the president of the John Paul II Foundation for Sports. He expressed the hope that "involvement in sport may contribute to the integral development of the person, and that it may never be separated from respect for moral and educational values." VATICAN CITY, JULY 22, 2009
The Holy Father continues his vacation schedule, taking afternoon strolls even if the weather doesn't cooperate. Thursday, for example, he went out despite the rain. On Wednesday, he came across an ill woman, and expressed his hopes for her speedy recovery. During one of his vacation strolls, he came across five children, stopping to chat with them.
He continues to accept the incapacities caused by his fractured wrist. Today when he celebrated vespers at the cathedral in Aosta, he delivered his homily without notes -- he is unable to write, with his right hand immobilized with the cast. INTROD, Italy, JULY 24, 2009
Benedict XVI prays for former Filipino President Corazon "Cory" Aquino, as she goes through a critical stage of cancer. The apostolic nuncio to the Philippines, Archbishop Edward Adams, wrote a letter to Aquino, conveying the Pope's message sent through his secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. Aquino is currently in a serious condition and is under 24-hour surveillance at the Makati Medical Center, after battling colon cancer since March 2008. MAKATI CITY, Philippines, JULY 23, 2009
Update on the Pope’s broken wrist. According to the results of X-rays taken Saturday, Benedict XVI's broken wrist is recovering well, a Vatican spokesman reported. INTROD, Italy, JULY 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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