Posts filed under: pope benedict

I was called by a journalist who said she had just heard that white smoke had gone up in Rome and wanted to hear from me whether I knew anything more specific. “No,” I answered truthfully, “I know nothing.” Then I turned on the television and heard it there, like everybody else.

Then in fact the name Ratzinger was mentioned! I must quite honestly say that at that moment I was rather disheartened. It was a great challenge, an enormous task for him, I thought, and I was seriously worried. I saw neither the pomp nor the beauty of it, but only the challenge of this office, which now demanded everything of him, and the burden it meant for him. And I was sad that now he would probably have no more time for me. So that evening I went to bed rather depressed. Throughout that evening and then again well into the following afternoon the telephone rang nonstop, yet now it did not matter to me at all. I simply did not answer. “Nuts to you”, I thought to myself!

I did not call him, either. I told myself I would not reach him now anyway, so many people were around him at the moment who all wanted something from him. He called then the next morning, or rather: he tried to call me, but because the telephone in my house was ringing constantly and getting on my nerves, I did not answer it. “Keep on ringing, you can ring without me, too”, I thought, while it may have been my brother calling! At some point, Frau Heindl, my housekeeper, answered the telephone, and so he had her on the line first and not me.

She was naturally somewhat shocked that this stubborn caller was none other than the Pope. […] On the telephone, he already seemed quite calm again. At the moment of his election, however, he told me, it had struck him like a bolt of lightning. It was so unforeseeable, it came so suddenly in the voting, that the working of the Holy Spirit was obvious. He then surrendered quickly to him, because he, too, recognized God’s will in it.

— Msgr. George Ratzinger (from his new My Brother the Pope)

The journey after conversion is still a journey of conversion.

— Pope Benedict XVI

Any answers that do not finally lead to God are insufficient.

— Pope Benedict XVI

Help each other to live and to grow in the Christian faith so as to be valiant witnesses of the Lord. Be united, but not closed. Be humble, but not fearful. Be simple, but not naive. Be thoughtful, but not complicated. Enter into dialogue with others, but be yourselves.

— Pope Benedict XVI, Genoa, Italy, May 18, 2008  (via mindfulchatterjude)

What the Pope told New York's bishops yesterday

Jesus, who loves us very much, is truly present in the tabernacles of all the churches around the world, in the tabernacles of the churches in your neighborhoods and in your parishes. I ask you to visit him often to tell him of your love for him.

— Pope Benedict XVI

Faith does not just mean accepting a certain number of abstract truths about the mysteries of God, of man, of life and death, of future realities. Faith consists in an intimate relationship with Christ, a relationship based on love of him who loved us first (1 John 4:11).

— Pope Benedict XVI

What, then, is prayer? It is a cry of love directed to God our Father, with the will to imitate Jesus our brother. Jesus often went off by himself to pray. Like Jesus, I too can find a calm place to pray where I can quietly stand before a Cross or a holy picture in order to speak to Jesus and to listen to him. I can also use the Gospels. That way, I keep within my heart a passage which has touched me and which will guide me throughout the day. To stay with Jesus like this for a little while lets him fill me with his love, light and life! This love, which I receive in prayer, calls me in turn to give it to my parents, to my friends, to everyone with whom I live, even with those who do not like me, and those whom I do not appreciate enough. Dear young people, Jesus loves you. Ask your parents to pray with you! Sometimes you may even have to push them a little. But do not hesitate to do so. God is that important!

— Pope Benedict XVI (to African youth)

Jesus is the poor king among the poor, meek among those who desire to be meek. In this way he is the king of peace, thanks to the power of God, who is the power of goodness, the power of love. He is a king who cuts off the chariots and war horses, who breaks the bows of war; a king who realizes peace on the Cross, joining earth and heaven and building a bridge of brotherly love among all people. The Cross is the new bow of peace, the sign and the instrument of reconciliation, of forgiveness, of understanding, the sign that love is stronger than any violence and oppression, stronger than death: evil is conquered by good, by love.

— Pope Benedict (October 26, 2011)

Africa has great problems and difficulties, like all humanity has great problems. If I think about my youth, it was a completely different world than that of today, so much so that I sometimes think I’m living on a different planet from when I was a young man! Humanity finds itself in an ever more rapid process of transformation, and for Africa this process over the last 50-60 years, moving from independence after colonialism up to today, has been very demanding. Naturally, it’s a very difficult process with great problems that haven’t yet been entirely resolved.

Nevertheless, there’s a freshness, a ‘yes’ to life, in Africa, a youthfulness that’s full of enthusiasm and hope. There’s a sense of humor, a joy. It shows a freshness, too, in the religious sense. There’s still a metaphysical perception of reality, meaning reality in its totality with God. There’s not a rigid positivism, that restricts our life and makes it a little arid, and also turns off hope. I would say there’s a fresh humanism in the young soul of Africa, despite all the problems that exist. There’s a reserve of life and vitality for the future that we can count upon.

Pope Benedict XVI (yesterday, beginning his trip to Benin)

Will the Pope visit Mexico and Cuba next year?

A very rare public hint. Usually these things aren’t announced by the Vatican until all the plans are completely set on both sides. Wonder what it means. Read the rest!

A new US nuncio!

Finally! Pope Benedict just named Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, an Italian (obviously), as his nuncio to the US. We had been without one since July.

The nuncio has a complicated job. Not only is he the Holy See’s ambassador to the United States, he’s also in charge of overseeing the extraordinarily complex process of funneling recommendations for new bishops to the Pope for his choice. (Traditionally, the nuncio sends a list of three names to Rome for the Pope to choose from one of them, though the Pope can of course ask for a new list, as happens occasionally.)

So if you’re in Fresno, Salina (KS), Baker (OR), Pensacola-Tallahassee, Steubenville, or Tyler (TX), you’re waiting for a new bishop and this can speed up the process!

But everyone’s eyes are even more on Denver, Baltimore, and Indianapolis, which are waiting on new archbishops.

We cannot remain silent about the existence of evil. We see it in so many places in this world; but we also see it – and this scares us – in our own lives. Truly, within our hearts there is a tendency towards evil, there is selfishness, envy, aggression. Perhaps with a certain self-discipline all this can to some degree be controlled. But it becomes more difficult with faults that are somewhat hidden, that can engulf us like a thick fog, such as sloth, or laziness in willing and doing good.

Again and again in history, keen observers have pointed out that damage to the Church comes not from her opponents, but from uncommitted Christians.

So how can Christ say that Christians, presumably including these weak Christians, are the light of the world? Perhaps we could understand if he were to call out to us: Repent! Be the light of the world! Change your life, make it bright and radiant! Should we not be surprised that the Lord directs no such appeal to us, but tells us that we are the light of the world, that we shine, that we light up the darkness?

Dear friends, Saint Paul in many of his letters does not shrink from calling his contemporaries, members of the local communities, “saints”. Here it becomes clear that every baptized person – even before he or she can accomplish good works – is sanctified by God. In baptism the Lord, as it were, sets our life alight with what the Catechism calls sanctifying grace. Those who watch over this light, who live by grace, are holy.

Pope Benedict XVI at last night’s Prayer Vigil with Young People in Germany

(photos from here)

Pope to German Jewish leaders: "Hitler was a pagan idol"

Naturally I cannot describe in only a few words the intense moments we experienced.

Pope Benedict XVI, speaking yesterday about WYD 2011
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