The Holy Father´s Week: August 30, 2010

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

On the journey of our Christian life it is important to have "travel companions". Benedict XVI said during the general audience. "Each one should have a saint that is familiar to him, to whom he feels close with prayer and intercession, but also to imitate him or her."

   The Holy Father invited the faithful to know the saints better, "beginning with the one whose name you bear, by reading his life, his writings."

   "You can be certain that they will become good guides to love the Lord ever more and valid aids for your human and Christian growth." He continued.

   The Pope mentioned the saints he is united to in a special way: St. Joseph and St. Benedict, whose names he bears and St Augustine.

   "St. Augustine was a man who never lived superficially." he explained, "Thirst [for Truth], an anxious and constant search for Truth, is one of the underlying characteristics of his existence."

   "As I said commenting recently on a film on his life, in his anxious search, St. Augustine understood that it was not he who had found Truth, but that Truth itself, which is God, pursued and found him."

   In one of St Augustine's books a fundamental idea appears in the journey toward Truth: "Creatures must be silent so that there will be a silence in which God can speak."

   In our time: sometimes there is a sort of fear of silence, of reflecting on one's acts, on the profound meaning of one's life. "There is fear of seeking the Truth, or perhaps there is fear that the Truth will find us, will grip us and change our life, as happened to St. Augustine."

   "God will not fail to give Light so that one can see, and Warmth to feel the heart that loves us and that wants to be loved". The Holy Father ended, telling all, "also those in a difficult moment in their faith journey, those who do not participate much in the life of the Church, or those who live 'as if God did not exist' that they not be afraid of the Truth."  CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 25, 2010

Benedict XVI reflected on Christ’s humility during the Angelus at Castel Gandolfo.  In Luke 14:1, 7-14, Jesus, noting that the guests take the first places at table, tells a parable set at a wedding feast. Christ encourages the faithful to take the lowest place, the Pope said, "insisting on a decisive point having to do with humility: "Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted" (Luke 14:11).

   The deeper meaning of this parable makes us also think about man’s position in relation to God. Benedict XVI affirmed. The "last place" can, in fact, represent the condition of humanity degraded by sin, the condition from which the Incarnation of the only begotten Son alone can free it. He points to the humility he himself shall embody on the cross, the "lowest place in the world,"

   At the end of the parable Jesus suggests to the leader of the Pharisees that he not invite his friends, family or rich neighbors to his table but the poorest people and the marginalized, who are unable to pay him back (cf. Luke 14:13-14), so that the gift be gratuitous.

   In the end, the Pope noted, "the greatest recompense will be given by God, "who governs the world. … We offer him our service only to the extent that we can, and for as long as he grants us the strength" ("Deus Caritas Est," 35).

   The Holy Father also recalled the martyrdom of St. John the Baptist, "the greatest among the prophets of Christ, who knew how to deny himself to make room for the Saviour, and who suffered and died for the truth." He ended inviting to ask him and the Virgin Mary to "guide us along the way of humility to become worthy of the divine recompense". CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 29, 2010

Other papal messages and activities.

Golden rose to Our Lady in Argentina. Benedict XVI  sent a special envoy to the centenary celebrations for the Argentinean Diocese of Catamarca and gave the 11th Golden Rose of his pontificate to Mary at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Valley there. The image of the Virgin to receive the rose dates back to original Spanish missionaries of South America. The native population developed strong devotion to Our Lady in this representation, and over the years, various miracles have been attributed to her. VATICAN CITY, AUG. 23, 2010

Benedict XVI expressed his grief at the death of a retired bishop of Livorno, Italy, Alberto Ablondi, who was a protagonist in interreligious and ecumenical dialogue. He died Saturday at age 85. VATICAN CITY, AUG. 24, 2010

Benedict XVI offered a word of consolation to an Italian widower whose wife suffered from depression and killed herself and their two children. According to L'Osservatore Romano, at the end of the general audience, the bereaved man shared with the Pope "the great pain he has carried in his heart" over the past year. CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 25, 2010

Benedict XVI urged respect for life and human rights in Somalia, where a clash between government forces and Islamist insurgents has resulted in as many as 80 deaths. "My thoughts go to Mogadishu," the Pontiff said, "from where news continues to arrive of cruel violence and which yesterday became the scene of a new massacre. I am [united] with the families of the victims and of all those who, in Somalia, are suffering because of hatred and instability. I hope that, with the help of the international community, no efforts will be spared to re-establish respect for life and for human rights."

Benedict XVI sent a note to U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife to congratulate them for the birth of their fourth child. Samantha Cameron, 39, gave birth to a baby girl Tuesday while the family was on vacation in region of Cornwall. The couple's oldest son, Ivan died last year at 6 years old from complications related to cerebral palsy and severe epilepsy. They have two other children: Nancy, 6, and Arthur, 4. LONDON, AUG. 25, 2010

Pope's book on Crucifixion is ready. The director of the Vatican's publishing house says Vol. 2 of Benedict XVI's book "Jesus of Nazareth" will be on sale in many languages for the First Sunday of Lent. March 13. ROME, AUG. 25, 2010

On the 100th anniversary of the birth of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, founder of the Missionaries of Charity, Benedict XVI sent a message directed to the superior-general of the order, Sister Mary Prema.

   He said, "Having responded with trust to the direct call of the Lord, Mother Teresa exemplified excellently the words of St. John: "Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another. ... [I]f we love one another, God remains in us and his love is brought to perfection in us" (1 John 4:11-12)".

   "May this love continue to inspire you, Missionaries of Charity, to give yourselves generously to Jesus, to all those you see and serve, that is, to the poor, the marginalized, the abandoned". VATICAN CITY, AUG. 26, 2010

   On the 19th anniversary of Ukrainian Independence Day, the Holy Father sent a telegram to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. VATICAN CITY, AUG. 26, 2010

The Second Vatican Council and its implementation is the theme of this year's meeting of the "Ratzinger Schulerkreis," a group of the Pope's former students. The annual gathering of the study circle starts at Castel Gandolfo on Friday and lasts through Monday. Benedict XVI will participate in some of their discussions. ROME, AUG. 26, 2010

Love one another, especially the neediest persons, as God loves us, Benedict XVI urged Catholics in Argentina in a message sent on the occasion of a national collection for the needy. BUENOS AIRES, AUG. 27, 2010

We have a duty toward future generations -- to entrust them with the earth in a state in which they too can inhabit it., Benedict XVI affirmed. He reminded that Sept. 1 is the Day for Protecting Creation promoted by the Italian Episcopal Conference. The Orthodox Church shares the same date for the celebration. CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 29, 2010

Benedict XVI promised his prayers for the 33 Chilean miners trapped since Aug. 5. The Pontiff assured the miners of his "spiritual closeness and his continuous prayers, so that they maintain calm as they await a happy fulfillment of the work being done for their rescue."

   He said he commended them and their families to the intercession of St. Lawrence, patron of miners. CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 29, 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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