In the communion of saints there is a close bond between us who still journey on this earth and so many brothers and sisters who have already reached eternity, Benedict XVI explained at the general audience when he reflected on the reality of death.
“Man has always been concerned for his loved ones who have died, and he has sought to give them a kind of second life through his attention, care and affection.”
Before the mystery of death we all, even unconsciously, “seek something that invites us to hope, a sign that brings us consolation, that opens a horizon before us, that offers us a future. The road of death, in reality, is a way of hope.”
“Only he who is able to recognize a great hope in death is able also to live a life that springs from hope. If we reduce man exclusively to his horizontal dimension, to what can be perceived empirically, life itself loses its profound meaning. Man needs eternity -- and every other hope, for him, is all too brief, is all too limited.”
As human beings, we have a natural fear of death and we rebel against its apparent finality. Faith teaches us that the fear of death is lightened by a great hope, the hope of eternity, which gives our lives their fullest meaning
God has so loved the world "that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16), The Holy Father said, “and in the supreme act of love -- in the Cross -- plunging into the abyss of death, He conquered it, He rose and He opened the doors of eternity also to us”.
It is precisely faith in eternal life that gives the Christian the courage to love our world even more intensely, and to work to build a future for it, to give it a true and lasting hope. VATICAN CITY, NOV. 2, 2011
“Those who believe in God-Love bear within them invincible hope, like a lamp to light them on their way through the night beyond death to arrive at the great feast of life”.
After praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter's Square the Pope reflected on the parable that speaks of 10 maidens invited to a wedding feast, a symbol of the Kingdom of Heaven and of eternal life (Mt 25:1-13). Five of those 10 maidens were admitted to the feast because when the bridegroom arrived they had brought the oil to light their lamps, whereas the other five were left outside because they had been foolish enough not to bring any. “What is represented by this "oil," an indispensable prerequisite for being admitted to the nuptial banquet?” The Holy Father questioned.
He explained that St Augustine and other ancient authors interpreted it as a symbol of love. “True wisdom is making the most of mortal life in order to do works of mercy, for after death this will no longer be possible.” He affirmed. “When we are reawakened for the Last Judgement, it will be made on the basis of the love we have shown in our earthly life (cf. Mt 25:31-46)”.
“And this love is a gift of Christ, poured out in us by the Holy Spirit”. VATICAN CITY, NOV. 7, 2011
Papal prayer intentions for November
The pope´s general intention is "that the Eastern Catholic Churches and their venerable traditions may be known and esteemed as a spiritual treasure for the whole Church."
His mission intention is focused on Africa: "That the African continent may find strength in Christ to pursue justice and reconciliation as set forth by the Second Synod of African Bishops."
Other papal messages and activities
It was the cross of Christ that was able to rescue nature from sin, the Pope stated at the traditional November Mass for the souls of bishops and cardinals who have died in the past year. “The new and eternal life is the fruit of the tree of the cross, “ he said “a tree that blossoms and bears fruit from the light of the sun of God."
"A beneficent force greater than that which moves the cycles of nature, a Good greater than that of creation itself: a love that proceeds from the 'heart' itself of God and that, while it reveals the ultimate meaning of creation, renews it and directs it toward its original and final goal." VATICAN CITY, NOV. 3, 2011
Benedict XVI created in Zambia the new Diocese of Kabwe, taking territory from Lusaka and Mpika. Salesian Father Clement Mulenga, 46, who was serving as the director of Lusaka's youth ministry office, was named the first bishop.
Archbishop Nicola Girasoli, was appointed apostolic nuncio to Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Dominica, Jamaica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Suriname, Guyana, and apostolic delegate in the Antilles.
The Pope has accepted the resignation of Auxiliary Bishop Teofil Wilski of the Diocese of Kalisz, Poland, who resigned for reasons of age. He appointed Bishop Wiktor Pawel Skworc of Tarnow, Poland, as metropolitan archbishop of Katowice.
Father Sebastian Tudu, 44, of the clergy of Dinajpur, Bangladesh,was appointed as bishop of that diocese. NOV. 3, 2011
“It will only be possible to live together harmoniously by striving after truth and justice, ... and by recognizing and respecting the sacred nature of all human life.” The Pope said when he received the letters of credence from Côte d'Ivoire's new ambassador, Joseph Tebah-Klah
"… I encourage your country to promote any initiatives that may lead to peace and justice. You must not be afraid to discover the truth behind all the crimes and violations committed against the rights of the people.” He said.
At the same time, the Pontiff praised the "great treasure" of diverse religions and ethnicities coexisting in the west African nation. VATICAN CITY, NOV. 4, 2011
The birthplace of Benedict XVI's maternal grandmother and great grandmother recognized the Pope as an honorary citizen.
They were born in Naz-Sciaves (Natz-Schabs, in German), in the Italian region of Alto Adige. ROME, NOV. 4, 2011
Three conditions for a priest to grow in conformity with Christ were recommended by the Pope as he celebrated vespers on Friday to mark the opening of the academic year at the pontifical universities.
“The minister of the Gospel is one who is drawn in by Christ, the Holy Father said, "who knows how to 'remain' with him, who enters into harmony, in intimate friendship, with him, that all be done 'as God wishes.'"
Next, Benedict XVI spoke of the priestly calling to be "administrators of the Mysteries of God 'not for personal gain but with a generous soul.'"
Finally, the Holy Father exhorted priests to live as servants, both in the sense of being role models for the faithful and as servants of the sacraments. VATICAN CITY, NOV. 7, 2011
On ZENIT's Web page:
Full text: www.zenit.org/article-33777?l=english
Violence is not the solution for problems, the Holy Father reiterated as he appealed for peace in Nigeria. An Islamist sect in northern Nigeria claimed responsibility for a series of attacks on Friday, including multiple suicide bombings. Six churches, including one Catholic parish, were targeted and at least 150 people were killed in the violence.
The Pope spoke of the attacks after praying the midday Angelus on Sunday with crowds in St. Peter's Square. VATICAN CITY, NOV. 7, 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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