The Holy Father’s Week

June 14-20, 2008
by Brother John Mullan, LC - Edit | Source:

Benedict XVI’s Key Messages This Week
June 14-20, 2008

The Church has the antidote to individualism:
“In a context that tends to give more and more incentives to individualism, the first service of the Church is that of educating in a social sense, in attention to neighbors, in solidarity and in sharing. The Church, charged as she is by her Lord with a spiritual mission that she continually renews, shows herself to be capable of exercising a positive influence even on the social level because she promotes a renewed humanity and open and constructive human relationships, in respect and in service, first of all to the least and the weakest.” (Homily in Santa Maria di Leuca, Italy, Saturday, June 14)

Christian compassion is based on supernatural hope: “Christian compassion has nothing to do with pietism, with welfarism. Rather it is synonymous with solidarity and sharing, and it is animated by hope. It is born from the words that Jesus speaks to the apostles: ‘As you go along preach that the kingdom of heaven in near.’ This is hope that is founded on the coming of Christ, that ultimately coincides with his Person and his mystery of salvation, as the title of the 4th Italian Ecclesial Conference in Verona recalled quite well: ‘The risen Christ, hope of the world.’” (Homily in Brindisi, Italy, Sunday, June 15)

Indifference is what does real damage on the international scene: “From this suggestive place, not far from Calimera – the city known as Italy’s ‘hello’ – I want therefore to renew the Christian message of cooperation and of peace between all peoples, especially between those nations who crown this sea, ancient cradle of civilization, and those of the Near and Middle East. I would like to renew this message in the words that I used two months ago at the United Nations in New York: ‘The action of the international community and its institutions, provided that it respects the principles undergirding the international order, should never be interpreted as an unwarranted imposition or a limitation of sovereignty. On the contrary, it is indifference or failure to intervene that do the real damage. What is needed is a deeper search for ways of pre-empting and managing conflicts by exploring every possible diplomatic avenue, and giving attention and encouragement to even the faintest sign of dialogue or desire for reconciliation.’” (Address before praying the midday Angelus, Brindisi, Italy, Sunday, June 15)

Political leaders have a duty to provide for the common good: “One of the fundamental duties of political leaders is, without a doubt, to provide harmony for their countrymen and a peaceful social situation, making efforts to put an end to tensions and unrest, which regularly cause conflicts, and to make prevail dialogue and respect for legitimate cultural diversity between social and ethnic groups, in order to build and unify the nation. Your country, like many others, particularly on the African continent, suffers because of the present economic situation, which affects numerous families who do not have the minimum to respond to their most fundamental needs. Every nation should seek economic and social stability, ceaselessly organizing their own resources, while respecting their own institutions. It is necessary to foster micro-projects which will commit men and women locally, as well as struggle effectively against illicit trade and against the phenomena of corruption. I invite all in Cameroon to have an ever more acute awareness of the common good.” (Address to the new ambassador of Cameroon to the Holy See, Monday, June 16)

St. Isidore of Seville was both active and contemplative: “In his personal life, [St. Isidore] experienced a permanent interior conflict, between the desire for solitude, to dedicate himself solely to meditation on the word of God, and the exigencies of charity toward his neighbors, for whose salvation, as bishop, he felt responsible. […] Isidore looks for the definitive confirmation of a correct orientation of life in the example of Christ and says: ‘Jesus the Savior offers us the example of the active life when, during the day he dedicated himself to offer signs and miracles in the city, but he showed the contemplative life when he withdrew to the mountain at night and dedicated himself to prayer’ (Differentiarum Lib II, 34, 134: PL 83, col 91B). In the light of the example of the divine Teacher, Isidore could conclude with this precise moral teaching: ‘Therefore, the servant of God, imitating Christ, must dedicate himself to contemplation without denying himself the active life. To behave otherwise would not be right. In fact, as we must love God with contemplation, so we must love our neighbor with action. It is impossible, therefore, to live without the presence of one and the other way of life, nor is it possible to love if one has no experience of one or the other’ (ibid., col 91C). I hold that this is the synthesis of a life that seeks the contemplation of God, dialogue with God in prayer and the reading of sacred Scripture, as well as action in the service of the human community and of one’s neighbor. This synthesis is the lesson that the great bishop of Seville leaves us, Christians of today, called to witness to Christ at the beginning of a new millennium.” (Catechesis during the general audience, Wednesday, June 18)

Catholic charitable institutions show authentic love for Christ: “[Catholic institutions] demonstrate that the love of Christ is no mere abstraction, but reaches out to every man and woman as it passes through real persons working in the Church's charitable institutions. The Gospel teaches us that Jesus cannot be loved in the abstract. Those who serve in Catholic hospitals, schools, social and charitable agencies respond to the concrete needs of others, knowing well that they are ministering to the Lord himself through their particular acts of charity.” (Address to the bishops of Pakistan, Thursday, June 19)

The Middle East needs respect for fundamental rights, including religious liberty: “With gratitude and relief we have followed recent developments in Lebanon, which has returned to the path of dialogue and mutual understanding. I express again the desire that Lebanon be able to respond with courage to its vocation to be for the Middle East and the whole world a sign of the effective possibility of peaceful and constructive coexistence among men. […] I appeal to leaders of nations to offer the Middle East, and in particular the Holy Land, Lebanon and Iraq, the much yearned for peace and social stability in respect of the fundamental rights of the person, including a true religious liberty. Peace is the only way to address as well the grave problem of refugees and to halt emigration, in particular, that of Christians, which profoundly wounds the Eastern Churches.” (Address to agency that coordinates funding to Eastern Catholic Churches, Thursday, June 19)

Catholic radio stations have a special apostolic mission: “The words you transmit reach countless people, some of whom are alone and for whom your word comes as a consoling gift, some of whom are curious and are intrigued by what they hear, some of whom never attend church because they belong to different religions or to no religion at all, and others still who have never heard the name of Jesus Christ, yet through your service first come to hear the words of salvation. This work of patient sowing, carried on day after day, hour after hour, is your way of cooperating in the apostolic mission. If the many forms and types of communication may be seen as a gift from God to help individuals and all humankind to develop, then radio, through which you exercise your apostolate, brings words and music to people in order to inform and to entertain, to announce and to denounce, but always respecting the truth and with the clear aim of educating in truth and hope. Jesus Christ gives us the truth about man and the truth for man and, on the basis of that truth, a hope for the present and future of humanity in the world.” (Address to participants in symposium on Catholic radio, Friday, June 20) 

Some activities of the Holy Father

Saturday, June 14: Pope Benedict began a two-day pastoral visit to the coastal cities of Santa Maria di Leuca and Brindisi in the southwestern Italian region of Apulia.

Sunday, June 15: The Holy Father prayed the Angelus with faithful gathered in the city of Brindisi.

Monday, June 16: The Pope received Antoine Zanga, the new ambassador of Cameroon to the Holy See.

Wednesday, June 18: The Pope held his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square, in which he dedicated his catechesis to the figure of St. Isidore of Seville. He also received in audience a group of four Holocaust survivors who wanted to express their gratitude to the Church for saving their lives during World War II.

Thursday, June 19: Pope Benedict received bishops from Pakistan, who were in Rome their five-yearly visit to the Vatican. He also received in audience participants from the Vatican agency that coordinates funding to Eastern Catholic Churches.

Friday, June 20: The Pope received participants in a symposium titled “The Identity and Mission of Catholic Radio Today.” The symposium was organized by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and is under way through Saturday. 

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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Published by: Julio
Date: 2009-01-01 10:00:00

Published by: Julio
Date: 2009-01-01 10:00:00

Published by: Julio
Date: 2009-01-01 10:00:00

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