The Holy Father´s Week: March 15, 2010

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

On St. Bonaventure's concept of history. During the general audience the Pope considered for a second week the saint about whom he did his second doctoral dissertation: Bonaventure.
In his defence of the newness of the Franciscan charism, St. Bonaventure “developed a remarkable theology of history and progress, based on the definitiveness of the Christ event and its enduring fruitfulness in the history of the Church. He insisted that Christian revelation will not be surpassed in history, and that the future fulfilment of God's plan remains the object of our Christian hope.”
“Bonaventure made Christ the centre of his theology; his writings invite us to welcome Christ's word into our hearts and thus to experience the joy of God's eternal love.”
The Church is not immobile, fixed in the past such that novelties can not arise in her, Benedict XVI said.  The uniqueness of Christ means that there will be novelties and renewal within the Church in every period of history. 
“Dear friends, let us take up the invitation addressed to us by St. Bonaventure, the Seraphic Doctor, and let us enter the school of the divine Teacher: We listen to his Word of life and truth, which resounds in the depth of our soul. Let us purify our thoughts and actions, so that he can dwell in us, and we can hear his divine voice, which draws us toward true happiness.” VATICAN CITY, MARCH 10, 2010

Jesus reveals God as a Father of mercy, who continues to love and pursue us even when we rebel or relate to him immaturely, the Holy Father affirmed during the Angelus at St. Peter’s Square.
Speaking about the parable of the prodigal son, he highlighted the "opposite ways" in which the two sons of the parable behave toward their father, representing "two immature ways to relate to God: rebellion and infantile obedience."
"Only through experiencing forgiveness, recognizing ourselves as loved by a gratuitous love -- that is greater than our misery, but also greater than our justice -- we finally enter into a truly filial and free relationship with God." He explained.
The Holy Father concluded by inviting his listeners: "Let us see ourselves in the two sons, and above all let us contemplate the heart of the Father. Let us throw ourselves into his arms and let ourselves be regenerated by his merciful love." VATICAN CITY, MARCH 14, 2010

Other papal messages and activities.

Without charity work, society cannot last long, since even in the most just society, love will always be necessary. Benedict XVI affirmed this when he addressed some 7,000 employees and volunteers of Italian civil protection services gathered in Paul VI Hall. He explained that "Love of neighbour cannot be delegated," and "the state and politics, even with their necessary concern for well-being, cannot replace it." VATICAN CITY, MARCH 8, 2010

Benedict XVI's visit to Barcelona and Santiago de Compostela in Spain this year was somewhat unexpected and "last minute," given the preparation entailed in such events. Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, stated that this shows two "fascinating" goals that the Pope has decided to highlight: furthering the dialogue between art and faith and underlining the Christian roots of Europe. VATICAN CITY, MARCH 8, 2010

Father Matteo Ricci´s profound love for the Chinese, for their history, their culture and religious tradition made "his apostolate original, and we could say, prophetic." The Holy Father affirmed in a telegram he sent on the 400th anniversary of the death of this apostle of China. The Pontiff stressed the "innovative and peculiar capacity "of the Jesuit, by which he sought "harmony between the noble and ancient Chinese civilization and the novelty of Christianity." MACERATA, Italy, MARCH 9, 2010

The Pope remembered the victims of Monday's earthquake in Turkey requesting that the international community be generous in the aid effort.
The Holy Father also expressed his sympathy for the victims of a killing spree near the city of Jos, Nigeria, in which at least 200 people, most of them Christians, have been murdered. VATICAN CITY, MARCH 10, 2010

 Benedict XVI blessed a torch in honor of St. Benedict. The torch initiative was born in 1964, when Pope Paul VI proclaimed St. Benedict the patron of Europe. It will be brought to Cassino for the weeklong celebration of Europe's patron. VATICAN CITY, MARCH 10, 2010

"It is necessary to turn to the Confessional". Christ  entrusts himself to the priest in the sacrament of reconciliation “so that men will have the experience of the embrace with which the Father receives the prodigal son, restoring him the filial dignity and reconstituting him fully heir.” The sacrament of confession should not only be at the center of pastoral concerns, but it should also be a method to carry out a "dialogue of salvation" with the faithful, the Pope said upon receiving in audience participants in the annual course on the internal forum promoted by the Apostolic Penitentiary, which is under way in the Vatican through Friday. VATICAN CITY, MARCH 11, 2010

Benedict XVI expressed condolences for the death of the Grand Imam of al-Azhar Mosque and Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar University in Cairo, Muhammad Sayyid Tantawy. The sheikh died Wednesday of a heart attack at age 81. VATICAN CITY, MARCH 11, 2010

Two Auxiliaries named for Dallas, Texas. Benedict XVI named Father Douglas Deshotel, 58, vicar general of the Dallas Diocese, and Monsignor Mark Seitz, 56, a pastor in that same diocese, as auxiliary bishops in that city. DALLAS, Texas, MARCH 11, 2010

The Pope received in audience the participants in the International Theological Conference "Fidelity of Christ, Fidelity of the Priest," organized by the Congregation for Clergy. When a priest sees himself as nothing more than a "social agent," he runs the risk of betraying the priesthood itself, Benedict XVI said.  VATICAN CITY, MARCH 12, 2010

The Pope will spend May 2 in Turin, Italy to see the Holy Shroud exposition. VATICAN CITY, MARCH 12, 2010

The second part of Benedict XVI's "Jesus of Nazareth," is expected to be published this spring. ROME, MARCH 12, 2010

The correspondence of a Croatian cardinal, Blessed Aloysius Stepinac, martyred in 1960 was made into a book and presented to the Pope. The Pontiff called the initiative "extraordinary" as he received the book containing 180 letters written during the period of the cardinal's imprisonment by the Communist authorities in former Yugoslavia. VATICAN CITY, MARCH 12, 2010

Benedict XVI visited a Lutheran church in Rome with the purpose of promoting unity by emphasizing the ways in which Catholics and other Christians bear common witness to Christ. Citing St. Paul, he invited his listeners to advance along the way of Christ together, everyone "for each other" and "in tribulation consoling each other with the consolation by which we are consoled by God." ROME, MARCH 14, 2010

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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