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Message for World Day of Peace: find inner peace in God

butte_mt_mary

Homily, Pope Benedict XVI, New Year Day, 2013

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

“May God bless us and make his face to shine upon us.” We proclaimed these words from Psalm 66 after hearing in the first reading the ancient priestly blessing upon the people of the covenant. It is especially significant that at the start of every new year God sheds upon us, his people, the light of his Holy Name, the Name pronounced three times in the solemn form of biblical blessing. Nor is it less significant that to the Word of God – who “became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn 1:14) as “the true light that enlightens every man” (1:9) – is given, as today’s Gospel tells us, the Name of Jesus eight days after his birth (cf. Lk 2:21).

It is in this Name that we are gathered here today. I cordially greet all present, beginning with the Ambassadors of the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See. I greet with affection Cardinal Bertone, my Secretary of State, and Cardinal Turkson, with all the officials of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace; I am particularly grateful to them for their effort to spread the Message for the World Day of Peace, which this year has as its theme “Blessed are the Peacemakers”.

Although the world is sadly marked by “hotbeds of tension and conflict caused by growing instances of inequality between rich and poor, by the prevalence of a selfish and individualistic mindset which also finds expression in an unregulated financial capitalism,” as well as by various forms of terrorism and crime, I am convinced that “the many different efforts at peacemaking which abound in our world testify to mankind’s innate vocation to peace. In every person the desire for peace is an essential aspiration which coincides in a certain way with the desire for a full, happy and successful human life. In other words, the desire for peace corresponds to a fundamental moral principle, namely, the duty and right to an integral social and communitarian development, which is part of God’s plan for mankind. Man is made for the peace which is God’s gift. All of this led me to draw inspiration for this Message from the words of Jesus Christ: ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God’ (Mt 5:9)” (Message, 1). This beatitude “tells us that peace is both a messianic gift and the fruit of human effort … It is peace with God through a life lived according to his will. It is interior peace with oneself, and exterior peace with our neighbours and all creation” (ibid., 2, 3). Indeed, peace is the supreme good to ask as a gift from God and, at the same time, that which is to be built with our every effort.

We may ask ourselves: what is the basis, the origin, the root of peace? How can we experience that peace within ourselves, in spite of problems, darkness and anxieties? The reply is given to us by the readings of today’s liturgy. The biblical texts, especially the one just read from the Gospel of Luke, ask us to contemplate the interior peace of Mary, the Mother of Jesus. During the days in which “she gave birth to her first-born son” (Lk 2:7), many unexpected things occurred: not only the birth of the Son but, even before, the tiring journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem, not finding room at the inn, the search for a chance place to stay for the night; then the song of the angels and the unexpected visit of the shepherds. In all this, however, Mary remains even tempered, she does not get agitated, she is not overcome by events greater than herself; in silence she considers what happens, keeping it in her mind and heart, and pondering it calmly and serenely. This is the interior peace which we ought to have amid the sometimes tumultuous and confusing events of history, events whose meaning we often do not grasp and which disconcert us.

The Gospel passage finishes with a mention of the circumcision of Jesus. According to the Law of Moses, eight days after birth, baby boys were to be circumcised and then given their name. Through his messenger, God himself had said to Mary – as well as to Joseph – that the Name to be given to the child was “Jesus” (cf. Mt 1:21; Lk 1:31); and so it came to be. The Name which God had already chosen, even before the child had been conceived, is now officially conferred upon him at the moment of circumcision. This also changes Mary’s identity once and for all: she becomes “the mother of Jesus”, that is the mother of the Saviour, of Christ, of the Lord. Jesus is not a man like any other, but the Word of God, one of the Divine Persons, the Son of God: therefore the Church has given Mary the title Theotokos or Mother of God.

The first reading reminds us that peace is a gift from God and is linked to the splendour of the face of God, according to the text from the Book of Numbers, which hands down the blessing used by the priests of the People of Israel in their liturgical assemblies. This blessing repeats three times the Holy Name of God, a Name not to be spoken, and each time it is linked to two words indicating an action in favour of man: “The Lord bless you and keep you: the Lord make his face to shine upon you: the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace” (6:24-26). So peace is the summit of these six actions of God in our favour, in which he turns towards us the splendour of his face.

For sacred Scripture, contemplating the face of God is the greatest happiness: “You gladden him with the joy of your face” (Ps 21:7). From the contemplation of the face of God are born joy, security and peace. But what does it mean concretely to contemplate the face of the Lord, as understood in the New Testament? It means knowing him directly, in so far as is possible in this life, through Jesus Christ in whom he is revealed. To rejoice in the splendour of God’s face means penetrating the mystery of his Name made known to us in Jesus, understanding something of his interior life and of his will, so that we can live according to his plan of love for humanity. In the second reading, taken from the Letter to the Galatians (4:4-7), Saint Paul says as much as he describes the Spirit who, in our inmost hearts, cries: “Abba! Father!” It is the cry that rises from the contemplation of the true face of God, from the revelation of the mystery of his Name. Jesus declares, “I have manifested thy name to men” (Jn 17:6). God’s Son made man has let us know the Father, he has let us know the hidden face of the Father through his visible human face; by the gift of the Holy Spirit poured into our hearts, he has led us to understand that, in him, we too are children of God, as Saint Paul says in the passage we have just heard: “The proof that you are sons is that God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts: the Spirit that cries, ‘Abba, Father’” (Gal 4:6).

Here, dear brothers and sisters, is the foundation of our peace: the certainty of contemplating in Jesus Christ the splendour of the face of God the Father, of being sons in the Son, and thus of having, on life’s journey, the same security that a child feels in the arms of a loving and all-powerful Father. The splendour of the face of God, shining upon us and granting us peace, is the manifestation of his fatherhood: the Lord turns his face to us, he reveals himself as our Father and grants us peace. Here is the principle of that profound peace – “peace with God” – which is firmly linked to faith and grace, as Saint Paul tells the Christians of Rome (cf. Rom 5:2). Nothing can take this peace from believers, not even the difficulties and sufferings of life. Indeed, sufferings, trials and darkness do not undermine but build up our hope, a hope which does not deceive because “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us” (5:5).

May the Virgin Mary, whom today we venerate with the title of Mother of God, help us to contemplate the face of Jesus, the Prince of Peace. May she sustain us and accompany us in this New Year: and may she obtain for us and for the whole world the gift of peace. Amen!

Year of Faith: Read the Catechism in a Year…

An easy way to study and reflect on the Catechism of the Catholic Church for this Year of Faith

For this Year of Faith, Pope Benedict has encouraged you to study and reflect on the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Well, here’s an easy way to do it. Simply subscribe to this List and – starting October 11, 2012 – you’ll start getting a little bit of the Catechism emailed to you every morning. Read that little bit every day and you’ll read the whole catechism in a year.

Pope Beer! — “Ensouled” with Gregorian Chant from Ghetto Blaster on Full Moon…

A number of commemorative souvenirs have been produced to mark Pope Benedict XVI's four-day visit to Germany. One brewery in Berlin has gone as far as creating a special beer in his honor. But no ordinary brew would do: This beer was serenaded by Gregorian chants by the light of the new moon.

Here’s a nice change-up story on Pope Benedict XVI state visit to Germany.

And I might add, a far superior use of moon-glow as compared to Lunatics like this fellow proclaiming there is no God. Now, who wants to bet a sixer’ of PB that this guy is a priest within 10 years? Heck, he even looks like Jesus… 

From Spiegel Online:

A number of commemorative products have been feverishly produced in anticipation of Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Germany this week. Souvenir vendors will hawk pope candles, postcards, t-shirts and other items to his followers at events around the country. Select bakeries are even reportedly creating special bread in honor of the Holy Father. But in Berlin, where Benedict arrived on Thursday, the pope has had a beer made in his name.

The organic pilsner, called Papst Bier, or “pope beer,” was brewed at the Brauhaus Südstern, just a stumble away from the German capital’s papal diplomatic mission, the Apostolic Nunciature, where Benedict will stay overnight after visiting parliament and addressing a stadium full of pilgrims on Thursday.
According to Helmut Kurschat, whose brewery is the only one in Berlin’s traditionally alternative Kreuzberg district, the special tipple is meant to be a sign of neighborliness.

“The Apostolic Nunciature is just 60 meters from our brewery,” he told daily Süddeutsche Zeitung. “It made sense to brew a special pope beer.”

Gregorian Chants from a Ghetto Blaster

But a standard brewing process wouldn’t do for the Holy Father. Brewers “ensouled” their creation by playing Gregorian chants with a ghetto blaster on the night of a new moon, 54-year-old Kurschat said. The result is a “pleasant, hoppy pilsner with a natural finish,” he says.

The brewery has invited beer enthusiasts to raise a glass “in a peaceful demonstration of good taste” to the pope in their beer garden, from where they will be able to observe the massive media and security furor surrounding the Catholic leader. The playful invitation refers to a number of demonstrations expected throughout the city during the papal visit, part of the reason police have been placed on high alert.
A heavy police presence has turned the neighborhood around the papal mission in the neighboring Neukölln district into a high-security zone, complete with barriers and parking bans. Meanwhile residents around the Apostolic Nunciature have been forbidden to open their windows or set foot on their balconies. They will also have to show identification before they are allowed to enter their homes.

Meanwhile security around the Olympic Stadium, where the pope will celebrate mass before a large crowd, has also been tightened considerably. After he addresses politicians in the Bundestag, Benedict will travel to the stadium to be greeted by choirs and trumpets. There he will say mass for some 70,000 followers before heading to the Apostolic Nunciature to rest up for the next three days of his Germany trip.

kla — with wires

The Satanic Bumblebee — Conrad Black on the Church and her enemies…

Catholicism, and the Oceans, Will Survive

2010 was a year of turmoil, and of triumph.

 

By Conrad Black — National Review Online

The year now ending has been one of immense alarm followed by serenity’s sudden rushes to the head. It is hard now to remember the hysteria generated by the tawdry and often appalling scandal of clerical abuse of young men in the Roman Catholic Church, between February and July. The New York Times appeared to be offering free visits to New York with city tours of all boroughs, capped by five-course dinners in five-star restaurants, for anyone who could recall an indiscreet clerical hand on the knee from decades before. I repeat it is a grievous problem and there were many disgusting and shameful incidents, compounded by excessive episcopal indulgence in many cases. These facts do not alter or diminish the fidelity, dedication, and self-discipline of the 99 percent of Roman Catholic religious personnel who have served through living memory throughout the world with unblemished devotion, nor blight the education and care they gave to an approximately equal percentage of the scores of millions of children confided to them.

All bad news for the Roman Catholic Church brings that Church’s enemies swarming out like hornets whose nest has just been squirted with a garden hose. To the litigators, the editorial mudslingers, the deep, thick, serried ranks of militant skepticism, Rome is a Satanic bumblebee which infests the brave, aging secular world of utilitarian progress and the methodical human march toward a plenitude of knowledge. Earlier this year, they thought they saw the end, at last, of Rome’s ghastly, tenebrous, saturnine magisterium that defies all laws of nature and reason by not simply crashing to the ground as the endlessly proclaimed laws of rational aerodynamics require. They were, as always, mistaken.

The long-promised ecclesiastical fall of Rome was to be celebrated, like a spectacular crash at the great Farnborough Air Show, by the fiasco of Pope Benedict’s madly insouciant visit to Godless Britain to beatify the already Venerable Doctor John Henry Cardinal Newman in September. The allegedly dogmatic pope supposedly combined all the dislikes of the British caricaturist, commentator, and pub bore: Germanic, authoritarian, sophistical, pompous, superstitious, and curial. In the first half of 2010, the pope was reviled as complicit in the crime of hiding the molestations, and even as an ex-Nazi and a ruthless dogmatist. In his British visit, though, Benedict was seen as intellectually courageous, the quietly spoken wise man. He was apologetic for the Church’s failings, solicitous of its victims, indomitable in the championship of Christian faith, and reverently admiring of Newman, a quintessential Englishman and one of the intellectual giants and greatest English prose stylists of the 19th century. The pope did not put a Prada-clad foot wrong. Leftist pundits who had predicted huge outpourings of hostility were completely silenced, as the pope came and went in an ambiance of reciprocated good will in which all, including Queen Elizabeth, the prime minister, and the archbishop of Canterbury joined.

Benedict was finally recognized as a Nazi resister whose cousin was liquidated because of a mental defect, and who deserted the German Army; and as a great scholar devoted to the reconciliation of faith and reason, who has been decisive and effective and unsung in combating child abuse in the Church for 30 years and had largely eliminated it before it was fanned into a conflagration this year. It was like Edward VII’s visit to Paris in 1903, when he arrived to shouts of “perfidious Albion” and left a week later to choruses of “Long live the King!” Benedict appealed to the strong British appreciation of the underdog, the undemonstrative man of principle. As the year ends, these qualities are again demonstrated by the pope’s refusal to tolerate the ordination of bishops by China’s puppet Catholic Patriotic Association, the People’s Republic’s enactment of Napoleon’s famous dictum that “the people must have their religion and the state must control it.” China antedates the Roman Catholic Church, but Communist China does not, and this usurpation, like all its precedents in church history, will be a complete failure.

By the time of the pope’s British trip, the swords of the worldwide Catholic-baiters had already been blunted by the sudden surge of alarm over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. For several months, War of the Worlds horrors of the destruction of the world’s oceans, the end of the shrimp industry, the irreversible sliming of the entire Gulf and Atlantic coastlines of America, had shouldered and bullied into the back of the public mind the cherished prospect of the exposure of the Roman Church as a racket of pedophiles and predatory Sodomites. Of course, the oil spill was a terribly serious problem too. But in the one case as in the other, there was a determined effort, halting at first, hampered by bumbling and by an urge to downplay and deny, but soon indomitably determined and focused, to address the causes of the problem and stop it, and then to put things right as much and as quickly as possible and prevent repetition. It is not obvious why the swift and dramatic progress in both crises came as such a surprise, and to many, even apparently, as a disappointment.

In the most imperfect days of the Church’s very human history as the custodian of the Christian message and mission, it plumbed much greater depths of depravity than these. The modern media seem to believe it can make or break anything, sacred or profane. The irrational hysteria over the oil spill must have contained a backlash from the rout of the Global Warming Terror. The mad Copenhagen Conference proposal to commit the advanced world to $100 billion in annual Danegeld to the world’s 77 designated poor countries — including the chief carbon-emissions-footprint offender of them all, China — was finally dismissed as nonsense, as was much of the “settled science” Al Gore had invoked to make himself a green centimillionaire and a Nobel laureate.

The Church’s enemies forgot that it does not have adherents because of its personnel, but because it is an ark of faith. The atheists, though often articulate and courageous and knowledgeable, and heavy-laden with the ammunition provided by the fatuity and hypocrisy of much Christian history, can never deal with the insuperable evidence of spiritual forces, miracles, and any ecclesiastical concept of grace. Nor can they surmount the challenge of man’s inability to grasp the infinite, the absence of an end and beginning of space or time. In these vast areas, notions of the supernatural and the deity will always circulate, no matter how great dissent may be. And no one, and certainly not a rag-tag of sacerdotal perverts, will displace Rome from its 2,000-year primacy in this sphere. Even more fundamentally, the ecology of the world has survived paroxysms of destruction such as World War II, when endless oil spillages and pollutions of the air and water were inflicted on the world for over five years. The world and its institutions are racked by the consequences of human failings, but they have what life and its primary modes of organization must have to go on. This is the trite but salutary lesson of 2010, and isn’t a bad Christmas message.

Al Qaeda threat to murder Pope foiled in London

Pope Benedict XVI Blessing of the Host

SOURCE: Debka/file

Scotland Yard arrested five Algerian men at dawn Friday, Sept. 17 following intelligence of a potential terrorist threat to Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to London. The Counter-Terror Command ordered the arrests at business premises in central London and homes in Muslim areas of East and North London where searches continue. The five suspects aged from 26 to 50 are not British nationals and were employed by a private street cleaning service. They are suspected of “the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism Act 2000. A papal spokesman said the pontiff was calm and his UK schedule would remain unchanged.
No further information is available from official sources in London. The reports indicate that the five Algerians reached their London rendezvous overnight to prepare for their operation – apparently to assassinate the pope. There, they may have been given their weapons or explosives. The UK Counter-Terror Command appears to have acted in the nick of time to prevent the attack shortly after receiving intelligence.
After the arrests the security arrangements for his visit were reviewed, particularly with regard to crowd access and his continued use of the Popemobile which is bulletproof. English and Scottish police spent months planning the security arrangements for the pope’s visit, including safe transport and crowd control.

The Pope spent the day visiting Catholic schools in London and is scheduled to address two houses of parliament later Friday.
Security controls and heavily armed guards patrol the streets around Westminster, Buckingham Palace, 10 Downing Street and Whitehall.
Earlier Friday, Jonathan Evans, head of MI5, the British domestic security service, warned that the UK faces a wave of terrorist attacks from a new generation of al Qaeda and Irish Republican militants.

In his first public speech in three years, he said it is only “a matter of time” before Britain is the victim of an attack from extremists based in Somalia. After briefing the British premier David Cameron, the MI5 chief said there remains “a serious risk of a lethal attack taking place.”

He called for anti-terror controls and measures to be kept in place as he had “no reason to believe the position would significantly improve in the immediate future.”

How the spirits of the just are made perfect — The Litany of Humility

The readings of Holy Mass today were on humility… In his weekly Angelus, Pope Benedict XVI said, “Christ did not limit himself to taking just the lowest place at the table, Jesus, taught the Pope, repeatedly offers humanity “a model of humility and of free giving” and showed the world “radical humility” by accepting the Cross.””

Blessed be God forever…

THE LITANY OF HUMILTY

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart,

Hear me.

From the desire of being esteemed,

Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being loved…

From the desire of being extolled …

From the desire of being honored …

From the desire of being praised …

From the desire of being preferred to others…

From the desire of being consulted …

From the desire of being approved …

From the fear of being humiliated …

From the fear of being despised…

From the fear of suffering rebukes …

From the fear of being calumniated …

From the fear of being forgotten …

From the fear of being ridiculed …

From the fear of being wronged …

From the fear of being suspected …

That others may be loved more than I,

Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be esteemed more than I …

That, in the opinion of the world,

others may increase and I may decrease …

That others may be chosen and I set aside …

That others may be praised and I unnoticed …

That others may be preferred to me in everything…

That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should…

Helpful — Compendium of Pope Benedict XVI’s Addresses in Portugal

The Restless Friar put this helpful compendium together:

Compendium of Pope Benedict XVI’s Addresses in Portugal

The Holy Father has just concluded his four day trip to Portugal, honoring Our Lady of Fatima and commemorating the ten year anniversary of the beatification of Saints Jacinta and Francisco Marto. Here is a Compendium of the various addresses he gave during the trip:

May 11, 2010:

May 12, 2010:

May 13, 2010 – Feast of Our Lady of Fatima:

May 14, 2010:

END OF POST/SOURCE: Psalm 46:11 — A Journey To Truth