Magisterial Teachings

“If I listen to Him and walk with Him, I become truly myself. What counts is not the fulfillment of my desires, but of His will. In this way life becomes authentic.”

-Pope Benedict XVI (We Too Want to be able to See Jesus)

“The question posed by the rich man in the gospel: “Teacher, what good must I do to have eternal life?” (Matthew 19:16) is a perennial human question. Christ’s answer – to follow Him in doing the will of His father – is the key to the fullness of life which He promises.”

-Pope John Paul II (Address to the Bishops of Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, June 6, 1998)

“Dear Friends, the cross often frightens us because it seems to be a denial of life. In fact the opposite is true! It is God’s “YES” to mankind, the supreme expression of His love and the source from which eternal life flows.”

-Pope Benedict XVI (We Too Want to be able to See Jesus)

“At the message of the angel, she (Mary), received God’s word with faith. It was in faith that she consented to what God was accomplishing in her. By proclaiming her “fiat”, her “yes”, she recieved the gift of immense charity which led her to give herself entirely to God.”

-Pope Benedict XVI (We Too Want to be able to See Jesus)

“… the passion and Cross of Jesus cause fear, because they seem to be the negation of life. In reality, it is exactly the contrary! The cross is God’s “yes” to mankind, the highest and most intense expression of His love and the sourse from which flows eternal life.”

-Pope Benedict XVI (Day of the sick)

“The love story between God and man consist in the very fact that this communion of will increases in a communion of thought and sentiment, and thus our will and God’s will increasingly coincide. God’s will is no longer for me and alien will, something imposed on me from outside by the commandments, but it is now my own will, based on the realization that God is in fact more deeply present to me than I am to myself. Then self-abandonment to God increases and God becomes our joy.”

-Pope Benedict XVI

 

“Therefore, Mary believed; she entrusted herself to God; she entered with her own (will) into the Lord’s will, and thus it was that she truly took the most direct route on the road to Heaven. To believe, to entrust oneself to the Lord, to enter into His will: This is the essential course.”

-Pope Benedict XVI

 

“God’s words and His will are the only things that are truly urgent for our lives,”

-Pope Benedict XVI

 

 

POPE URGES TRUST IN GOD’S LOVING PROVIDENCE

IN DARK TIMES By David Kerr

Vatican City, Feb 1, 2012 / 03:55 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Christians should trust in the loving providence of God, even when going through dark periods in life, Pope Benedict XVI said in his Feb. 1 general audience.

“In prayer we must be able to bring before God our fatigue, the suffering of certain situations and of certain days, our daily struggle to follow him and to be Christians, and even the weight of evil we see within us and around us, because he gives us hope, makes us aware of his nearness and gives us a little light on the path of life,” he said.

Pope Benedict offered his reflections to thousands of pilgrims who gathered in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall.

His address continued an ongoing series on the subject of prayer and focused on the prayer of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, just prior to his arrest, passion and death.

Jesus’ Company
While Jesus previously withdrew from the crowds and his disciples to pray in the wilderness or on a mountain, the Pope noted that this time Jesus did not want to be alone and called Peter, James and John to be closest to him. They were the same disciples who were chosen by Jesus to be with him during his Transfiguration.

“This proximity of the three during prayer in Gethsemane is significant,” explained the Pope, because “their presence is an invitation to every disciple to draw near to Jesus along the way of the Cross.”

Christ’s Fear and Anguish

Christ’s anguish, the Pope said, is articulated in his words to the three disciples – “My soul is sorrowful even to death. Stay here and watch.” His statement is foreshadowed throughout the Old Testament, the Pope taught, highlighting the suffering of the prophets Elijah and Moses. They experienced the same emotion after “finding hostility, rejection, persecution” following God entrusting certain tasks to them.

In the case of Jesus, his words show that he was experiencing the “fear and anguish at that ‘hour’ … the ultimate profound solitude as God’s plan was being accomplished,” said the Pope.

Christ’s fear and anguish also “summarizes all the horror that man feels at the prospect of his own death, its inexorable certainty and the perception of the burden of evil which affects our lives.”

Praying on the Ground
Jesus then moves away from the disciples and lays on the ground. The Pope noted that Christ’s prostration is “a position for prayer which expresses obedience to the Father’s will, an abandonment of self with complete trust in Him.”

Similarly, this is a position assumed by monks when professing vows, or by bishops, priests and deacons at their ordination. It is also the position priests assume when they begin the service for Christ’s passion on Good Friday. As a posture it expresses “in prayer, even bodily, complete reliance on God,” said the Pope.

Christ then asks that, if possible, he be spared his impending ordeal. “Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want but what you want.”

Pope Benedict explained that this episode “is not just the fear and anguish of man in the face of death.” It is also the “distress of the Son of God Who sees the terrible accumulation of evil He must take upon Himself, in order to overcome it and deprive it of power.”

Revealing Passages

The Pope then highlighted three “revealing passages,” contained in this particular Gospel scene.

He first said that Jesus’ use of the Aramaic word “Abba,” which was used by children to informally address their fathers, expresses “Jesus relationship with God the Father, a relationship of tenderness, affection and trust.”

Jesus also teaches people about his Father’s omnipotence, the Pope noted, when he makes “a request in which, once again, we see the drama of Jesus’ human will in the face of death and evil.”

Most importantly, said the Pope, we see that ultimately Christ’s “human will adheres fully to the divine will.” In doing so “Jesus tells us that only by conforming their will to the divine will can human beings achieve their true stature and become ‘divine.’”

Pope Benedict said that if Christians pray the Our Father and ask that God’s will is done, “a little of heaven” is brought to earth as a “place where love, goodness, truth and divine beauty are present” but “only if the will of God is done.”

He concluded by telling the pilgrims that in daily prayer they “must learn to have greater trust in Divine Providence, to ask God for the strength to abandon our own selves in order to renew our ‘yes,’ to repeat to Him ‘your will be done,’ to conform our will to His.”

 

“VATICAN CITY – Christians find fulfillment not by using power or force to realize their own wishes, but by being submissive to God’s will and serving others, Pope Benedict XVI said.

Many in the world today are surrounded by people or things that threaten to become the guiding force in their lives, therefore, “it’s necessary to have hierarchy of values in which the tip priority is God,” the pope said during his weekly general audience in the Paul VI hall June 27.

It was his last general audience before the pope was to leave July 3 for vacation at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, south of Rome. The weekly general ausience was scheduled to resume Aug. 1.

In his catechesis, the pope contninued his series of talks on prayer in the letters of St. Paul, looking this time at the Letter to the Philippians.

People often look for “self-actualization in power, domination and in powerful means,” creating a tower of Babel in a quest to be godlike, said the pope. Such pursuits reflect the sin of Adam, who sought to put himself ahead of God.

Jesus, instead, showed that true exaltation and victory come with absolute abasement and humility – being a servant to others and obeying God’s will, even to the point of being killed on the cross, the pope said.

By becoming fully human and obeying God, he said, Jesus gave humanity back the dignity it had lost with Adam’s disobedience.

“As Jesus’ exaltation took place through his abasement, so in our lives and in our prayer we discover that, by lowering ourselves in humility and love, we are lifted up to God.”

“The incarnation and the cross remind us that complete fulfillment comes in conforming the human will to the Father’s, in emptying oneself with God’s love and charity, thereby becoming truly capable of loving others,” he said.

Noting the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, which was June 29, the pope asked pilgrims in Rome to visit the saints’ tombs as a way of “deepening your love for Christ’s church, founded on the apostles.”

At the end of the audience, attended by an estimated 7,000 pilgrims and visitors, the pope reminded his listeners to use their summer holidays for helping others and themselves.

He told young people to do something that would lead to “useful social and religious experiences,” and encouraged newlyweds to grow in their love and “deepen your mission in the church and society.

- By Carol Glatz (Catholic News Service)

Reflecting on The Mystery of The Divine Call

VATICAN CITY, 5 March 2011 (VIS) – Yesterday afternoon, in keeping with an annual tradition, the Holy Father visited the Major Roman Seminary for the occasion of the feast of its patroness, Our Lady of Trust.

In the major chapel of the seminary, the Pope presided at a “ledtio divina” for all seminarians in the diocese of Rome, focusing on the Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians.

Commenting on the word “call” or “vocation” as used by St. Paul, Benedict XVI highlighted how “Christian life begins with a call and is itself always a response, until the end.” In this context he affirmed that “the image of the Annunciation to Mary represents much more than that single evangelical episode: …it contains the whole mystery of Mary, her entire story, her very being. At the same time it speaks of the Church, of her eternal essence, and of each individual believer in Christ, of each Christian soul which receives the call.”

“The Lord”, he went on, “has called each of us; each is called by name. God is so great that He has time for each of us. He knows me, He knows each of us by name, personally. …I believe that we must meditate on this mystery again and again: God, the Lord, has called me, He knows me and awaits my response as He awaited Mary’s response, as He awaited the response of the Apostles”.

Turning then to consider the Lord’s humility, about which St. Paul speaks in his Letter to the Philippians, the Pope said, “the God Who came down to me, Who was so great as to become my friend and to suffer for me, Who died for me: this is the humility we must learn, the humility of God. It follows that we must always see ourselves in the light of God, so as to appreciate how great it is to be loved by Him and, at the same time, to see our own smallness, our poverty, and thus rightly comport ourselves not as masters but as servants.”

After then highlighting how “the call of God is also a call in community, an ecclesial call”, the Holy Father explained that “the Holy Spirit creates the body and unites us as a single body. …In this way we are in union with Christ, accepting the corporeity of His Church, of the Spirit which is incarnated in the body”.

“We also have to bear in mind how beautiful it is to be part of a company, …having friends in heaven and on earth, experiencing the beauty of this body, being happy that the Lord has called us into a single body and given us friends all over the world.”

In closing, Pope Benedict XVI reflected on “the importance of always seeking communion in the one Christ, the one God”.

“The unity of the Church”, he concluded, “is the result of harmony, of a shared commitment to act like Jesus, by virtue of His spirit. … In order to conserve unity of spirit, it is necessary to mould our own behavior on the humility, sweetness and magnanimity to which Jesus bore witness in His Passion. Our hands and heart must be tied by the bond of love which He accepted for us, making Himself our servant.”

 

“With her “yes” she (Blessed Virgin Mary) opened the door of our world to God himself; she became the living Ark of the Covenant, in whom God took flesh, became one of us, and pitched his tent among us.”

- Pope Benedict XVI