The Holy Father´s Week: November 8, 2010

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


Europe must open itself to God, must come to meet him without fear. Benedict XVI asserted in the Mass he celebrated in the Plaza del Obradoiro in Santiago de Compostela. "God is the origin of our being and the foundation and apex of our freedom, not its opponent,"


   "We need to hear God once again under the skies of Europe," the Pope affirmed. May this holy word “be spoken in a holy way. And we must hear it in this way in ordinary life, in the silence of work, in brotherly love and in the difficulties that years bring on."


   "One cannot worship God without taking care of his sons and daughters," he said. "And man cannot be served without asking who his Father is and answering the question about him."


   "The Europe of science and technology, the Europe of civilization and culture, must be at the same time a Europe open to transcendence and fraternity with other continents, and open to the living and true God, starting with the living and true man." he affirmed.


   "This is what the Church wishes to contribute to Europe: to be watchful for God and for man, based on the understanding of both which is offered to us in Jesus Christ." SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, Spain, NOV. 6, 2010


On ZENIT's Web page:Full text: www.zenit.org/article-30873?l=english


At the dedication Mass of the Church of the Sagrada Familia (Holy Family) in Barcelona, which he also designated a basilica the Holy Father reflected that in this masterpiece, "Gaudí, by opening his spirit to God, was capable of creating in this city a space of beauty, faith and hope which leads man to an encounter with him who is truth and beauty itself."


   He "accomplished one of the most important tasks of our times: overcoming the division between human consciousness and Christian consciousness, between living in this temporal world and being open to eternal life, between the beauty of things and God as beauty."


   "As we consecrate the altar of this church, which has Christ as its foundation, we are presenting to the world a God who is the friend of man and we invite men and women to become friends of God. This is what we are taught in the case of Zacchaeus, of whom today's gospel speaks (Lk 19:1-10)," the Holy father explained, "if we allow God into our hearts and into our world, if we allow Christ to live in our hearts, we will not regret it: we will experience the joy of sharing his very life, as the object of his infinite love".


   "Let us strive together to show the world the face of God who is love and the only one who can respond to our yearning for fulfillment. This is the great task before us: to show everyone that God is a God of peace not of violence, of freedom not of coercion, of harmony not of discord."


   It's not enough to advance as a society in the technical, social and culture spheres if society doesn't also make similar "moral advances," Benedict XVI said.


   "I ask God that in the land of Catalonia new witnesses of holiness may rise up and flourish, and present to the world the great service that the Church can and must offer to humanity: to be an icon of divine beauty, a burning flame of charity, a path so that the world may believe in the One whom God has sent." (cf. Jn 6:29). BARCELONA, Spain, NOV. 7, 2010



Other Papal messages and activities

Benedict XVI prays for Iraqi victims and is pleading for peace. Some 58 people were killed, among them three priests, when gunmen stormed the Eucharistic celebration on Sunday in Baghdad's Church of Our Lady of Salvation. Another 75 were wounded. BAGHDAD, Iraq, NOV. 2, 2010



"Sanctity, to imprint Christ in oneself, is the objective of a Christian's life," the Holy Father affirmed. "And we experience in advance the gift of the beauty of sanctity every time we take part in the Eucharistic liturgy, in communion with the 'immense multitude' of the blessed, who in heaven eternally acclaim the salvation of God and of the Lamb."


   Benedict XVI reflected on the Solemnity of All Saints and on the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls) before praying the Angelus in St. Peter's Square.
"Although separation from earthly affection is certainly painful," he said, "we must not be afraid of it, because when it is accompanied by the prayer of suffrage of the Church, it cannot break the profound bonds that unite us to Christ." VATICAN CITY, NOV. 2, 2010



The Pope encouraged Christians to look toward Christ for help in cleaning out their consciences.  During his general audience the Holy Father reflected on the figure of the medieval French Carthusian nun, Sr. Marguerite d'Oingt.


   She worked "to make her life every day marked by confrontation with the words and actions of Jesus, with the book of his life." He explained, "And she did this so that Christ's life would be imprinted in her soul in a stable and profound way, until she was able to see the book in her interior, that is, until contemplating the mystery of God Trinity." VATICAN CITY, NOV. 3, 2010


"It is by living "charity in truth" that we will be able to offer a more profound look to understand the great social questions and indicate some essential perspectives for their solution in a fully human sense."


   Benedict XVI stated in a message sent to Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice in Peace, on the occasion of that dicastery's plenary assembly that more centers to study and diffuse the Church's social doctrine are needed. He said "Only with charity sustained by hope and illumined by the light of faith and reason, is it possible to achieve objectives of man's integral liberation and universal justice". VATICAN CITY, NOV. 4, 2010



"The smallest force of love is greater than the greatest destructive force". The Holy Father said during the Mass in St. Peter's Basilica celebrated for the repose of the souls of cardinals and bishops who died during this year. He affirmed that God is close to us and wants us to feel the presence of his love in our lives. God does not manifest his omnipotence in punishment, but in mercy and in forgiveness


   "Eternal life was opened to us by Christ's Paschal Mystery and faith is the way to reach it." He added, "And precisely by faith in the superabundant love that has been given to us in Christ Jesus, we know that even the smallest force of love is greater than the greatest destructive force and can transform the world." VATICAN CITY, NOV. 4, 2010
 


On the occasion of the inauguration of a seminary in Cuba, the Pope sent a message to cardinal Jaime Ortega, archbishop of Havana, entrusting the whole community of that teaching institution to the protection of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, who under the title of Our Lady of Charity of Cobre is invoked with fervor in that nation. VATICAN CITY, NOV. 5, 2010



Benedict XVI received the bishops of Brazil who are in Rome for their five-yearly "ad limina" visit. He underlined the essential role of consecrated life in the Church. The Holy Father affirmed that consecrated life can never be lacking or die in the Church, because "It was desired by Jesus himself as irremovable part of his Church."


   He proposed a "general commitment in the vocational pastoral program." VATICAN CITY, NOV. 5, 2010 



The conversion of each member of the Church to God is the "first and most urgent need in the Church" at all times. Benedict XVI affirmed in a message on the 400th anniversary of the canonization of St. Charles Borromeo.


   "In times darkened by numerous trials for the Christian community, with doctrinal divisions and confusions, with the tarnishing of the purity of the faith and of customs and with the bad example of several sacred ministers, Charles Borromeo did not limit himself to deplore or condemn, or simply hope for change in others, but he began to reform his own life," the Pontiff said in the message he sent to the archbishop of Milan.


   Specifically, he abandoned riches and comforts and filled his life with prayer, penance and loving dedication to his people, and he lived poverty, humility and chastity in a heroic way, in a constant journey of ascetic purification and Christian perfection, said the Pontiff. "Wherever the intense experience of love exists, the profound face of God is revealed who attracts us and makes us his own." VATICAN CITY, NOV. 5, 2010



Benedict XVI appointed Bishop Thaddeus Cho Hwan-Kil, 56, auxiliary and diocesan administrator of the Archdiocese of Daegu, South Korea, as archbishop of the same diocese.


   He also appointed 14 new consultors for the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Sacraments. VATICAN CITY, NOV. 5, 2010



Benedict XVI embarked on his brief two-day visit to Spain this weekend with an appeal to the country to build its present and future on the foundations of freedom, justice, and the "authentic truth" of the person. He will go to Santiago de Compostela on the occasion of the Compostelian Jubilee Year and later to Barcelona where he will consecrate the temple of the Holy Family, work of the brilliant architect Antoni Gaudí. SPAIN, NOV.6, 2010


 
Benedict XVI said he is visiting Santiago de Compostela "as a pilgrim" and to confirm the faithful in their faith. "In his deepest being," the Pope reflected, "man is always on a journey, ever in search of truth. The Church shares this profound human desire and herself sets out, accompanying humanity in its yearning for complete fulfillment."


   The Pontiff said that the Church is also on a journey, which, "through faith, hope and love, leads her to become a transparent sign of Christ for the world. This is her mission and her path: to be among men and women an ever greater presence of Christ."


   In his address at the welcoming ceremony, the Holy Father encouraged both Spain and Europe to "build their present and to project their future on the basis of the authentic truth about man, on the basis of the freedom, which respects this truth and never harms it, and on the basis of justice for all, beginning with the poorest and the most defenseless."


   He also made an appeal for "a Spain and a Europe concerned not only with people’s material needs but also with their moral and social, spiritual and religious needs," noting that these are the "genuine requirements of our common humanity." SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, Spain, NOV. 6, 2010



Several hundred young people welcomed the Holy Father. The square in front of the Cathedral of Barcelona vibrated Saturday evening with the cheering of thousands as Benedict XVI's car arrived at the archbishop's residence. The Pope arrival  at the El Prat Airport, where, exiting the plane, he greeted those present and was briefly welcomed by officials.


   The Pope's car passed in front of the cathedral along a corridor through the crowds, which also stood just a few meters from the archbishop's residence, where the Holy Father spent the night.


   The doors to the balcony immediately opened and a smiling Benedict XVI appeared greeting and giving his blessing to all. BARCELONA, Spain, NOV. 7, 2010



Christ has taught us "that the entire Church, by hearing and putting his word into practice, becomes his family. And he has exhorted us to be a seed of fraternity which, sown in every heart, nourishes hope." The Holy father said before praying the Angelus together with those gathered at the Church of the Sagrada Familia (Holy  Family).


   "Gaudí, through his work, sought to bring the Gospel to everyone. For this reason, he conceived of the three porticos of the exterior of the church as a catechesis on the life of Jesus Christ, as a great Rosary, which is the prayer of ordinary people, a prayer in which are contemplated the joyful, sorrowful and glorious mysteries of our Lord."


   He "also designed and financed from his own savings the creation of a school for the children of the workers and of the poorest families of the neighbourhood, which was at that time a outlying suburb of Barcelona. He brought concrete reality to the conviction, saying: "The poor must always find a welcome in the Church, which is an expression of Christian charity"."


   Reflecting on the family, the Pontiff called it the "hope of humanity." He noted that Christ, "under the watchful care of Joseph and Mary, in the silence of the home of Nazareth, taught us without words of the dignity and the primordial value of marriage and the family." BARCELONA, Spain, NOV. 7



"For the Christian, every man and woman is a true sanctuary of God, and should be treated with the highest respect and affection, above all when they are in need." Benedict XVI said at a stop he made at a Catholic charity that dedicates itself to the care of persons with handicaps. Turning to the children present, Benedict XVI gave thanks to God for their lives, which he said are "so precious in [God's] eyes." He added, "I assure you that you have a special place in the Pope’s heart. I pray for you every day and I ask you to help me by means of your prayers so that I may faithfully fulfill the mission entrusted to me by Christ." BARCELONA, Spain, NOV. 7, 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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