The Holy Father´s Week: September 14, 2009

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

“St. Bonaventure presents a positive vision of the world, gift of God's love to men”, the Holy Father said in his visit to the saint’s  birthplace. “In this Year for Priests, I would like to invite priests especially to listen to this great doctor of the Church and to reflect more profoundly on his teaching of wisdom rooted in Christ”.
St. Bonaventure shared with St. Francis his love for all creatures. “How useful it would be if also today we rediscovered the beauty and value of creation in the light of divine goodness and beauty!” the Holy Father said, “In Christ, observed St. Bonaventure, the universe itself can again be the voice that speaks of God and leads us to explore his presence; exhorts us to honor and glorify him in everything”.
The Pope said St Bonaventure was a messenger of hope,he compared the movement of hope to the flight of a bird. “To hope is to fly, says St. Bonaventure. But hope exacts movement from all our members and our projection to the authentic stature of our being, to God's promises.”
“In truth, we all wonder about our future and that of the world and this question has much to do with hope, for which every human heart is thirsty.” Benedict XVI affirmed,
 “ In the encyclical "Spe Salvi," I wrote that not just any hope is sufficient to address and overcome the difficulties of the present: a "certain hope" is indispensable which, giving us the certainty of attaining a "great" goal," justifies the effort of the journey"
Only this "great hope-certainty" assures us that, despite the failures of our personal life and the contradictions of history as a whole, we are always protected by the "indestructible power of Love." BAGNOREGGIO, Italy, SEPT. 7, 2009

Look at the Cross as the supreme act of love of God for man, which has given us salvation. The Holy Father exhorted during the general audience where he reflected on St. Peter Damian (1007-1072), pointing out his love for the cross and his insightful theological reflection. 
St. Peter Damian, he explained, made of monastic life an eloquent testimony of the primacy of God and a call to all to walk toward holiness, free from any compromise with evil.
He gave all his spiritual and physical energies to Christ and the Church, always remaining, as he liked to call himself, "Petrus ultimus monachorum servus," Peter, last servant of the monks.
Profound union with Christ should involve not only monks but all the baptized, the Holy Father affirmed, “ It also implies for us an intense call not to allow ourselves to be totally absorbed by the activities, problems and preoccupations of every day, forgetting that Jesus must truly be at the center of our life”. VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 9, 2009

Faith in God must be expressed in concrete actions, lest it prove insufficient for our salvation, Benedict XVI said at the Angelus. He spoke about today's liturgy, where the "Word of God puts two crucial questions to us." "Who is Jesus of Nazareth for you?" and "Does your faith translate into works or not?"
He explained that, after Peter's expression of faith, he is reproached as Jesus tries to "make him understand that it is not enough to believe that he is God, but that, moved by charity, he must follow him along the same road, that of the cross." Jesus came to show us the "way that leads to life," the way that is love, "which is the expression of true faith.
"The Virgin Mary, who believed in the Lord's Word, did not lose her faith in God when she saw her Son rejected, offended and put on a cross.”  Benedict XVI affirmed: "Rather she stayed with Jesus, suffering and praying, to the end. And she saw the radiant sunrise of his resurrection."
He urged his listeners to "learn from her to bear witness to our faith with a life of humble service, ready to suffer personally to remain faithful to the Gospel of charity and truth, certain that nothing of what we do will be lost." CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 13, 2009

Other papal messages and activities.

The Church is called to spread hope, the Pope affirmed in a message for the 83rd World Mission Day, which will be celebrated this year on Sunday, Oct. 18.  Christ "calls, justifies, sanctifies and sends his disciples to proclaim the Kingdom of God, so that all nations may become the People of God,"
"The Church walks the same path and suffers the same destiny as Christ," the Bishop of Rome stated, "since she acts not on the basis of any human logic or relying on her own strength, but instead she follows the way of the cross, becoming, in filial obedience to the Father, a witness and a travelling companion for all humanity."
 The Lord has called his Church, he said, "to spread Christ, the Light of the nations, to the far corners of the earth. They must make the 'missio ad gentes' a pastoral priority." VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 7, 2009

Benedict XVI prays for Asian charity workers who are on spiritual exercises being preached by the first successor of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Sister Nirmala.
Her preaching is focused on the Pope's first encyclical, "Deus Caritas Est," where the Holy Father affirms that the essential requirement for those who serve in the Church’s charitable organizations is to “be persons moved by Christ’s love, persons whose hearts Christ has conquered with his love, awakening them with a love of neighbor”
Sister Nirmala Joshi is preaching the retreat to some 450 ministers, including five cardinals and more than 60 bishops, from 29 nations. TAIPEI, Taiwan, SEPT. 7, 2009

“Do not be discouraged! Benedict XVI said to Brazilian Bishops in Italy for their five yearly visit. Remember that the proclamation of the Gospel and adherence to Christian values, as I stated recently in the encyclical "Caritas in Veritate" "is not merely useful but essential for building a good society and for true integral human development."
Brazil has some 145.5 million Catholics, about 80% of the nation's population. However, there are less than 17,000 priests (both diocesan and religious), meaning that each priest must be responsible for almost 9,000 Catholics.
The Pontiff acknowledged the marked shortage, but recalled that even in this context, "the adequate formation of those who are called to serve the people of God is truly essential."

Benedict XVI has approved the beatification of five people in October and November, one of whom will be beatified in his former diocese of Regensburg. VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 8, 2009

UN Officials visit Benedict XVI. The Pope met privately with the deputy secretary-general of the United Nations, who is in Rome for a two-day conference on violence against women. VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 9, 2009

The Pope will be visiting the Czech Republic at the end of the month. He mentioned his 13th foreign apostolic journey today at the end of the general audience, in greetings to a group from Krnov and Prague. VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 9, 2009

Nature is expression of God’s love for mankind, the Pope says. "Today more than ever, people must be helped to see in creation something more than a simple source of wealth or exploitation in man's hands." He received a group of sponsors of the Holy See's Pavilion at the 2008 Zaragoza Expo, an international exposition held in Spain last year on the theme, "Water and Sustainable Development." CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 10, 2009

Benedict XVI has given his support to U.N. efforts to promote literacy, noting that along with hunger, poverty and disease, illiteracy is one of the major obstacles to development. He affirmed this in a note sent through his secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, on the occasion of International Literacy Day, celebrated Sept. 8. VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 11, 2009

Panamanian President invites Pontiff for a visit while in an audience with the Pontiff at Castel Gandolfo today. CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 11, 2009

Benedict XVI ordained five Italian bishops in St. Peter's Basilica, and urged them to be servants that exemplify fidelity, prudence and goodness. In the homily of the ordination Mass, the Holy Father underlined the role of the bishop, and all priests, as "servant."
It is the "most profound nucleus of Jesus Christ's mission" and the "true essence of his priesthood," he said, to serve and "give yourselves" for God. VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 13, 2009
Full text:

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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