Monday, 9 November 2009

Pope Benedict specifically addresses Bishops and Priests: From his homily at Brescia yesterday...

"Dear friends - and I say this especially to you brothers in the episcopate and the priesthood - how can we not see that the question of the Church, its necessity in the plan of salvation and its relationship with the world, even today remains absolutely central? Indeed, the development of secularisation and globalisation have made it even more radical in confronting forgetfulness of God, on the one hand, and non-Christian religions, on the other? Paul VI's reflection on the Church is even more valuable now that ever before, as an example of his love for her, inseparable from that for Christ."

Pope Benedict then quoted from Papa Montin's encyclical 'Ecclesiam suam:
" 'The mystery of the not simply an object of theolocical knowledge, it is a fact to be lived in........ in which even before it is a clear notion, the faithful soul can have almost ingrained experience, '(ibid.,p229,n.178). This presupposes a strong inner life, which is 'the great source of the Church's spirituality, its own way to receive the radiation of the Spirit of Christ, a radical, irreplaceable expression of its religious and social activities, inviolable defence and resurgent energy in its difficult contact with the secular world' (ibid.p.231,n.179).

"In this Year for Priests I would like to emphasise how this involves and interests priests in particular, for whom Paul VI reserved a special affection and concern.
Pope Benedict then drew the attention of priests and seminarians to what Pope Paul had written in his encyclical on priestly celibacy: " 'the consecrated virginity of sacred ministers both expresses the virginal love of Christ for the Church and the virginal and supernatural fecunity of this marriage' (Sacerdotalis Caelibatus,26)

The Holy Father then cited a speech given by his predecessor to students at the Lombard Major Seminary on December 7 1968; He noted that "while the difficulties of the post-conciliar period were increased by the ferment of youth, " Pope Paul had said that " 'many expect dramatic gestures from the Pope, forceful and decisive action. The Pope does not believe that he must follow another line that is not one of confidence in Jesus Christ, for Whom the Church is more dear than anyone else. He will calm the storm....It is not about waiting inertly but of watchful waiting in prayer. This is the condition that Jesus has chosen for us, so that he can operate fully. Even the Pope needs to helped by prayer.' " (Teachings VI, 1189)

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