The Holy Father´s Week: September 6, 2010

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

"The receiver of supernatural gifts never boasts, does not exhibit them and, above all, shows total obedience to ecclesial authority." The Holy Father said at the general audience in Castel Gandolfo. "Every gift distributed by the Holy Spirit, in fact, is destined for the edification of the Church, and the Church, through her pastors, recognizes their authenticity."

   Benedict XVI presented the example of St. Hildegard of Bingen, a nun and mystic who lived in Germany in the 12th century. "In those centuries of history that we usually call medieval, several women are outstanding for their holiness of life and the richness of their teaching," he noted. "One of the outstanding women of the Middle Ages, Hildegard used her spiritual gifts for the renewal of the Church and the spread of authentic Christian living."

   "Hildegard reminds us of the contribution which women are called to make to the life of the Church in our own time." CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 1, 2010

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On the 200th anniversary of Pope Leo XIII's birth, the Holy Father celebrated the Eucharist in his birthplace, Carpineto Romano.

   "In the Gospel passage, taken from St. Luke, Jesus himself declares with frankness the three conditions necessary to be his disciples", the Holy Father said in his homily. "to love him more than any other person and life itself; to carry one's own cross and follow him; to give up all one's belongings".

   Absolutely nothing must come before the love of God and of Christ, and this was Pope Leo XIII's first and principal quality. He was above all a man of great faith and profound devotion, which, as Benedict XVI  observed, "always remains the basis of everything, for every Christian, including the Pope."

   Among his many encyclicals and apostolic letters there are those of a specifically spiritual character, dedicated above all to the growth of Marian devotion, especially through the rosary, and documents on Christ the Redeemer, on the Holy Spirit, on consecration to the Sacred Heart, on devotion to St. Joseph and on St. Francis of Assisi.

   He is best known for his contribution to the Church's social doctrine with his 1891 encyclical "Rerum Novarum,"

   "In an age of bitter anti-clericalism and of volatile demonstrations against the Pope, Leo XIII knew how to guide and support Catholics along the path of constructive participation, rich in contents, firm about principles and capable of openness."

   Benedict XVI noted that immediately following the 1891 encyclical, "there was a real explosion of initiatives in Italy and other countries: associations, rural and artisan banks, newspapers … a vast 'movement.'"

   "Thus," he said, "a very old but wise and farseeing Pope was able to introduce into the 20th century a rejuvenated Church, with the right attitude to face the new challenges."  With his magisterium, Benedict XVI explained, Pope Leo XIII represented "a Church capable of dealing with the great contemporary questions without complexes."  CARPINETO ROMANO, Italy, SEPT. 5, 2010

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The Pope offered a counter-current proposal to the youth. At the Angelus in Castel Gandolfo, he explained that his message for World Youth Day "Planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith" – is a proposal "resolutely counter-current."

   "Indeed," the Pontiff observed, "who today proposes to young people to be 'planted' and 'firm'? Rather, uncertainty, mobility, volubility are exalted … all aspects that reflect a culture that is indecisive in regard to basic values, principles on the basis of which one's life is oriented and regulated."

   He proposed that a young person "is like a tree that is growing: To develop well, he needs deep roots that -- when there comes a storm with strong winds -- keep him firmly planted in the soil."

   "A relationship of deep trust, of authentic friendship with Jesus is able to give to a young person what he needs to deal well with life: serenity and interior light, a capacity to think positively, generosity of soul toward others, availability to give oneself for the good, justice and truth."

   "And this faith doesn't occur in isolation, the Holy Father clarified."[I]f no man is an island, much less is a Christian, who in the Church discovers the beauty of faith shared and witnessed together with others in fraternity and the service of charity."

   The Pontiff concluded by entrusting to Our Lady the path of preparation for World Youth Day 2011, to be held in Madrid next August. CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 5, 2010

Other papal messages and activities

Papal prayer intentions for September. Benedict XVI will be praying in September for authentic social progress and an end to bloody conflicts and wars.

   His general prayer intention is: "That in the least developed regions of the world the announcement of the Word of God brings renewal to the hearts of all, prompting them to be protagonists of an authentic social progress."

   The apostolic intention is: "That, opening one's heart to love, there will be an end to so many wars and conflicts that continue to spill blood throughout the world." VATICAN CITY, AUG. 31, 2010

Benedict XVI sent a message on the occasion of an Asian Catholic laity conference. "The theme chosen for the Congress -- Proclaiming Jesus Christ in Asia Today -- is most timely" he affirmed, "and I am confident that it will encourage and guide the lay faithful of the continent in bearing joyful witness to the Risen Lord and to the life-giving truth of his holy word."

   "Asia's Catholics are called to be a sign and promise of that unity and communion -- communion with God and among men -- which the whole human family is meant to enjoy and which Christ alone makes possible." The Pope said.

   "Those who have found in Jesus the truth, joy and beauty which give meaning and direction to their lives will naturally desire to bring this grace to others." He continued, "Undaunted by the presence of difficulties, or the enormity of the task at hand, they will trust in the mysterious presence of the Holy Spirit who is always at work in the hearts of individuals, in their traditions and cultures, mysteriously opening doors to Christ as "the way, and the truth and the life" (Jn 14:6), and the fulfilment of every human aspiration." VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 1, 2010

Christ is the one who gives the strength to take on causes that dignify man and make great peoples, Benedict XVI today told young people, affirming to them that it is worthwhile to give oneself to such a mission.

   The Pope made this call to youth at the end of the general audience in Castel Gandolfo. "Dear young people, taking up again after the vacations your usual daily activities, spread with your testimony the light of God in every environment," he said. CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 1, 2010

Benedict XVI met with President Simon Peres of Israel at Castel Gandolfo. Their dialogue included a discussion on negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

   The Vatican reported that the Pope and Peres spoke about the "condemnation of all forms of violence" and they emphasized the "necessity of guaranteeing better conditions of life to all the peoples of the area." CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 2, 2010

"Fidelity to tradition and openness to the future" Was the conclusion of the annual meeting discussions of the Ratzinger's former students.  Archbishop Kurt Koch was the principal speaker for the meeting. Benedict XVI participated in some of the discussions.  VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 2, 2010

"Friendship with Jesus is able to give to a young person what he needs to deal well with life: serenity and interior light, a capacity to think positively, generosity of soul toward others, availability to give oneself for the good, justice and truth."

   The desire for "a more meaningful life" is actually a sign that God created us, "and that we bear his 'imprint.” Benedict XVI says in his message for next August's World Youth Day. The message contains several references to his experience as a young man.

   "Part of being young is desiring something beyond everyday life and a secure job, a yearning for something really truly greater," he said. "Is this simply an empty dream that fades away as we become older? No! Men and women were created for something great, for infinity. Nothing else will ever be enough." VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 3, 2010

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Chilean miners received a rosary blessed and sent them by the Pope. Cardinal Francisco Errázuriz celebrated Mass on Thursday near the Chilean mine where 33 men have spent almost a month trapped 700 meters below ground. COPIAPO, Chile, SEPT. 3, 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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