The Holy Father´s week: February 14, 2011

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

The Pope called reflected on St Peter Canisius and called him the catechist of the centuries at today's general audience. He recounted the example of this saint's enduring influence and said even his father's generation still referred to the catechism as the Canisius.

   The saint composed three catechisms between 1555 and 1558, each for a particular audience. Hundreds of editions succeeded one another until the 1900s.

   However, the Pontiff asserted, the saint's "significant contribution to catechesis is second only to the example for us of his disciplined Christ-centered spirituality, finding in the liturgy, daily prayer and devotion to the heart of Jesus the strength and inspiration to carry out well his innumerable tasks."

   At the heart of that spirituality was Peter Canisius' devotion to prayer. "Amid the thousands of activities and the many distractions that surround us, it is necessary to find moments of recollection before the Lord every day to listen to him and to speak with him." The Holy Father affirmed.

   "Christian life does not grow if it is not nourished by participation in the liturgy, particularly in Sunday's holy Mass, and by personal daily prayer, by personal contact with God," he asserted. VATICAN CITY, FEB. 9, 2011

The Pope made an appeal for a more just and solidary society before reciting the Angelus together with those gathered in St. Peter's Square, as he lamented the death of 4 Gypsy children who were killed on the outskirts of Rome when their makeshift shelter burned to the ground. 

   The Pope reflected on Jesus's  words: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets: I have not come to abolish them but to bring about their full completion." And made the question: In what does this "fullness" of the Law of Christ consist? And what is this "superior" justice that he demands?

   "The newness of Christ ", the Pontiff explained, "essentially consists in the fact that he "fulfills" the commandments with the love of God, with the power of the Holy Spirit who lives in him. And we, through faith in Christ, can open ourselves to the action of the Holy Spirit, who makes us capable of living divine love."

   "Thus," he said "every precept becomes true as a demand of love, and they all are summed up in a single commandment: Love God with your whole heart and love your neighbor as yourself."

   "In the face of this demand, for example," he affirmed "the sad case of the four Roman children who died last week on the outskirts of this city when their shack caught fire, makes us ask ourselves whether or not are a more solidary and fraternal society, more consistent in love, that is, more Christian, might not have been able to prevent such a tragic event"

   "And this question applies to many other sad events," he said "known and unknown, that  occur daily in our cities and our countries."

   "Jesus is the very Son of God who descended from heaven to take us to heaven, to the height of God, along the path of love. Indeed, he himself is this way: we must do nothing other than follow him, to put God's will into practice and enter into his Kingdom, in the eternal life."

   He noted that the Virgin Mary entrusted her entire life to that wisdom. "This is why we call her "Speculum justitiae" (Mirror of Justice). Let us entrust ourselves to her that she might guide our steps in fidelity to the Law of Christ." VATICAN CITY, FEB. 13, 2011

Other papal messages and activities

Education and formation "constitute one of the most urgent challenges that the Church and her institutions are called to address". The Pope said upon receiving in audience members of the Congregation for Catholic Education. To educate is an act of love, exercise of "intellectual charity," which requires responsibility, dedication, consistency of life.

   Though urgent, the task of educating is getting ever more difficult, the Pontiff warned, because of the culture that "makes relativism its creed." VATICAN CITY, FEB. 7, 2011

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At the end of the general audience, Benedict XVI greeted a group of bishops who are participating in a fellowship event sponsored by the Catholic lay Focolare Movement.  Some 75 bishops and cardinals from 40 nations have come to the event. The theme of the meeting is "Rediscovering God’s Plan Today."

   The Holy Father recalled Tuesday's liturgical memorial of St. Jerome Emiliani, founder of the Somaschi, and of St. Josephine Bakhita, "a daughter of Africa who became a daughter of the Church."

   In his traditional greeting to youth, the sick and disabled and the newlywed, he said:  "May the courage of these faithful witnesses of Christ help you, dear young people, to open your heart to the heroism of holiness in every day existence". "May it sustain you, dear sick, in persevering patiently to offer your prayer and your suffering for the whole Church. And may it give you, dear newlyweds, the courage to make your families communities of love, marked by Christian values." VATICAN CITY, FEB. 9, 2011

In a message for the 48th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, which will be celebrated May 15 on the theme of "Proposing Vocations in the Local Church".

   The Pope said that every Christian community, every member of the Church, needs consciously to feel responsibility for promoting vocations. Benedict XVI encouraged helping youth "to grow in familiarity with the Sacred Scriptures and thus to listen attentively and fruitfully to the Word of God; to understand that entering into God's will does not crush or destroy a person, but instead leads to the discovery of the deepest truth about ourselves; and finally to be generous and fraternal in relationships with others, since it is only in being open to the love of God that we discover true joy and the fulfillment of our aspirations." VATICAN CITY, FEB. 10, 2011

On ZENIT's Web page:Full text:

This year's Lenten retreat for the Pope and the Roman Curia will focus on the theme "The light of Christ in the heart of the Church: John Paul II and the theology of the saints."

   Discalced Carmelite Father François-Marie Lethel, a french Carmelite with expertise in the theology of saints will be the preacher. Pope John Paul II's beatification is May 1. VATICAN CITY, FEB. 10, 2011

Benedict XVI named an apostolic nuncio to Slovenia, Archbishop Juliusz Janusz, 66. He will also have the responsibility of apostolic delegate in Kosovo. VATICAN CITY, FEB. 10, 2011

World Youth Day organizers released the provisional schedule for the Aug. 16-21 gathering, which includes papal events for the second half. In addition to the main events for World Youth Day, Benedict XVI will meet with college professors, the disabled, seminarians, religious sisters and volunteers. He will also meet with the seminarians who will participate in World Youth Day and will celebrate a Mass for them in the Cathedral of La Almudena. MADRID, FEB. 10, 2011

Continue to go out to all the world to bring to everyone the communion that is born from the heart of Christ! Benedict XVI said upon greeting the priests and seminarians of the Fraternity of St. Charles on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the foundation of the community. VATICAN CITY, FEB. 13, 2011

The Holy Father expressed his gratefulness to all those who dedicate their energies to the formation of priests and the reform of the priestly life when he addressed the priests and seminarians of the Fraternity of St. Charles on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the foundation of the community. VATICAN CITY, FEB. 13, 2011

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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