Mind Of Pope Benedict Xvi 01092010

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  • Thanks, Chris. So tonight our topic is the Mind of Pope Benedict XVI.
  • I think for many of us, when we hear the word “pope”, the first name that comes to mind is still “John Paul II”. Most everyone in this room was born under his papacy. Many of us were greatly influenced by him, finding in him a voice of reason and calm when we didn’t find such a voice in the culture or, sadly, many of our parishes. I remember quite well when he died and the absence I felt during that time when there was no pope. And then Cardinal Ratzinger appeared on that balcony at the Vatican and we learned that we had a new pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI. Many thought he would be a transitional pope, that he wouldn’t do much or leave a mark. But it has already been 5 years. How many of us have been paying attention to what this great theologian has been saying these past five years? I know the answer for me is “not enough”. So what I thought we would do tonight is spend the hour looking together at some of the big themes Pope Benedict has been emphasizing during his papacy about what it means to be human, to be Christian, and to be the Church.
  • I’ve broken the talk into two main parts. In the first part, I will give you a brief biographical sketch of Pope Benedict. Many of you know the basic story, so I’m not going to dwell on those details. Instead I want to emphasize some of the key influences on Pope Benedict’s mind, that have shaped how he experiences reality and thus sees the world. In the second part, we will look at just shy of a dozen themes from his papacy. Let me be upfront that this is going to be like drinking from a firehouse. I am going to throw a lot at all of you. We could spend a whole hour diving into any one of these topics, and if there is interest, we might just do that later in the year. So don’t worry if this feels a bit overwhelming. I’ve tried to capture each theme with a memorable phrase. Consider tonight a chance to sample what Pope Benedict has to offer. The slides will be posted on the website. Download them. Look up some of the speeches and writings in which the quotes appear and dig in more deeply.
  • Pope Benedict was born in 1927 on Holy Saturday and was baptized that same day. In his memoirs, he reflects on what a privilege it was to be one of the first to receive the new waters of Easter. I think this offers a glimpse of what we will see in Part 2. For Benedict the liturgy has never been a chore or task to complete. It has always been a moment of encounter with Christ. He entered the seminary during WWII and most of you know how his education was disrupted by that war. His classmates were conscripted into the Nazi army. What is interesting though is that the Pope seems to look back on his seminary days with a certain fondness. He has no kind words for the Nazis and recounts how his family recognized from the beginning their evil. But it is clear that he met seminarians and studied with teachers he wouldn’t have otherwise if it weren’t for the Nazis relocating him and his classmates at various times. It’s also interesting that he speaks not just of what he studied theologically during this time. For the Pope, his exposure to literature, art and music was integral to his development as a priest. He becomes a theology professor and clearly relishes the role. He attracts some attention and, like Pope John Paul II, serves as an advisor to a Cardinal at Vatican II. He is made a bishop and a Cardinal in 1977. From near the beginning of John Paul II’s papacy, JPII tries to bring him to Rome. In 1981, he agrees to become Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. He serves in that role, despite several times wanting to retire, until JPII’s death and his election as pope in 2005.
  • With that brief sketch, let’s highlight some of the major influences on Pope Benedict. One has to begin with St. Augustine. There is probably no other saint or thinker of the Church that the pope quotes more regularly. If JP II will be known as the modern philosopher pope who re-presented for modern ears the wisdom of St. Thomas Aquinas, Pope Benedict will be known as the modern theologian pope who re-presented for modern ears the wisdom of St. Augustine. The influence begins at a very early stage. In his memoirs, Pope Benedict recounts how he found St. Thomas’s theology stiff and cold, whereas St. Augustine’s lively and attractive. Now this isn’t a pope who is dismissive of St. Thomas, but the quote I have on the slide, I think, summarizes why the pope has a preference for St. Augustine. In St. Augustine, Pope Benedict saw a man who struggled with all the great questions and dramas of humanity and was open enough to the reality of his experience that it led him to the only satisfying answer to his longing for infinitude: Christ. Pope Benedict’s wrote his first dissertation on St. Augustine’s doctrine of the Church, as part of a contest of sorts. The best paper on the subject would receive immediate consideration as a doctoral thesis and Pope Benedict’s was the one deemed the best.
  • I think he also sees some common threads between his life and St. Augustine’s. St. Augustine didn’t want to become bishop. He wanted to retire to a semi-monastic life of prayer and study. Instead, he became bishop of Hippo and he put his learning to the service of the Church as a shepherd. Similarly, Pope Benedict did not want to become pope, but to retire to teaching and writing books. Instead, as pope, he’s seeking to put his learning at the service of the universal Church as the pontiff. If you need further evidence of St. Augustine’s influence on Pope Benedict, just take a look at the statements issued at the introduction of his first two encyclicals. They are either dedicated to him or explicitly stated to be indebted to St. Augustine’s theology.
  • The next major influence on Pope Benedict’s life that I want to mention is Romano Guardini. Guardini was an Italian-German priest who lived during the first half of the 20th century. His name isn’t familiar to many of us, but he was an incredibly influential man in his time and he influenced many, including Pope Benedict. In his memoirs, the Pope recounts about his opportunity to hear Guardini personally, but I think the best testimony to Guardini’s influence on Pope Benedict is to look at how he shaped the pope’s writings. Many of the pope’s major works expressly owe their inspiration to works of Guardini. The Pope’s Jesus of Nazereth is dedicated to and inspired by Guardini’s work, The Lord. The Pope’s Introduction to the Spirit of the Liturgy tries to examine after Vatican II the question of liturgy in a way similar to Guardini’s Spirit of the Liturgy written before the council. Even the Pope’s Introduction to Christianity owes a debt to Guardini’s Essence of Christianity. Similarly, I think Pope Benedict saw some similarities to St. Augustine in Guardini, namely that Guardini suffered a crisis of faith and was restored to faith by taking the truth of his experience of his humanity seriously. I think the Pope shares the attitude expressed in the Guardini quote on the slide. The Catholic has nothing to fear from experience or reality, for the truth of our experience and of reality can only lead us ultimately to Christ, the One who is truly real.
  • Finally, I think it is worth mentioning the journal of Communio. Communio is a federation of international theological journals that Pope Benedict helped start and it is still in existence today. It is worth mentioning for several reasons, not the least of which is that it gives some history to how the pope came to know so many of the luminaries of modern Catholic theology. The effort grew out of the interactions of many of these theologians when they served together on Pope Paul VI’s International Papal Theological Commission. The effort was led by Balthasar and it had a very clear purpose. [Read quote] At that time, theology was dominated a lot by ecclesial ideology. Balthasar and Pope Benedict set out to develop a forum and community devoted to doing theology without such baggage. Arguably, this is one of the key moments in the birth of the ressourcement movement in theology and it suggests an approach that he still follows .
  • Before we start looking at the themes of Pope Benedict’s papacy, I thought it is worth looking at what people are saying about it. The quotes on this slide are from Sandro Magister, one of the most respected journalists that cover the Vatican. I think his quotes are fascinating. [Read parts of first quote] First, he reports that for all the rockstar appeal of JPII, Pope Benedict is attracting larger audiences. And those who come have come to listen. They expect to learn something from this man that is important for their lives. The second quote I think aptly summarizes the pope’s focus. [Read the quote] He wants us to know Christ and not make Christianity into an ideology or a moralism. As such, he is calling us to understand more deeply what it really means to be human, to be a Christian and to be the Church.
  • So now let’s look at some of those themes. Again, this will be like drinking from a fire hose. Do not worry if you feel a bit overwhelmed. Instead take these topics as an invitation to further meditation and a chance to explore more deeply what the pope has been saying and how it applies to your life.
  • The first theme I want to address is “Christianity is an Event”. I offer up two quotes. The first comes from Pope Benedict’s first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est. It is often said that the first encyclical of a pope provides a key to understanding much of that pope’s papacy. Thus, I think it is very telling that in the opening of his first encyclical the pope chooses to define what it means to be a Christian. And he says: [read quote] A few months before his election, he said something similar. Fr. Luigi Giussani was the founder of the lay movement Communion and Liberation. He died the same day that Pope John Paul II checked into the hospital shortly before his own death. Pope Benedict and Fr. Giussani had been good friends for many years and he decided to be the papal delegate to Fr. Giussani’s funeral. There he said: [read quote] Personally, of all the themes I am going to discuss, this one strikes me as the most important. The pope is reminding everyone that Christianity is all about Christ. Yet, it is striking how many people, Christians and non-Christians alike, mistake things that flow from Christianity for Christianity itself. How many people think of Christianity as an ideology rather than something rooted in fact? How many people treat Christianity as essentially a highly evolved moral code rather than a belonging to the One for whom we were made? The consequences of Christianity, the things that flow from Christianity, are good things. But if we forget their source, that they have life because of the Person of Christ, we run the risk of distorting how we live the faith and how others perceive it.
  • From my own life, I particularly relate to the comment that Christianity is not a packet of dogmas. Like many of you, I didn’t receive a solid catechism growing up and so I devoured everything I could read about what the Church taught as an adult. Unfortunately, there were times where I became so focused on dogma and theology that I became highly critical of anything or anyone who made a mistake in their understanding of the faith or didn’t recite back the theological phrasing I had learned. Now I don’t say any of this to suggest that it’s good when people teach things that are in error or that we should all smile and ignore it when they do. But at some point I observed myself in action and realized that, whatever my complaint about them might have been, I was becoming a bitter person. I wasn’t living with any of that joy that is supposed to mark the Christian life. Somewhere, I had disconnected the Church’s theology from the encounter with Christ and it had become something intellectual, something me-driven. For all my self-catechism in the dogmas of the faith, I had exposed my lack of catechesis in what it meant to live the faith. So the first theme: Christianity is an Event. If you haven’t pondered this before and asked yourself what is Christianity, I think it is worthwhile to meditate on what the pope has said on the subject.
  • The next theme that I’d like to discuss is the following: “God initiates”. The theme may seem obvious. After all, intellectually we all know that we are creatures, the created ones, not the Creator. But do we live with that understanding? I’ve used this simple example before about the fact that I am incapable of giving myself life. I have no capacity to will myself to be if God lets me not be. I am dependent on Him for every moment. So all of life is a gift and a genuine sign of his companionship with me. But do I live with that recognition or do I take my life for granted and begin to think that I am in more control than I am? Chesterton had a wonderful speculation about God and nature, suggesting that maybe the sun rises each day, or that next daisy looks like the last one, because God never tires of His creation. Making the sun rise again still fascinates him. The beauty of the millionth daisy still strikes him such that he does not tire of making another. We look at these things as routine and patterns. Whatever might be made of Chesterton’s speculation it does highlight how we can lose grasp on the understanding of all as gift from God. And that can even enter into the way that we approach the faith. How many of us slip into an unstated moralism, where we pray or go to church because we want to be a good person? How many of us slip into an unstated notion that we in fact save ourselves? For example, have you ever not gone to confession after committing a serious sin because you first wanted to make progress, to have some time elapse where you have “successfully” not committed that sin?
  • We all do these things. Simply, what they reflect is some lingering desire on our parts to be in control. The pope, however, repeatedly reminds us that, fundamentally, we are not in control. [Read the first quote] God had to create the path to Him by revealing Himself. None of us could have found Christ through our own efforts. He seeks us out. Even baptism, as the pope describes it in the second quote, is the initiative of God, Him seizing me. One of the reasons why, I think, this pope continues to emphasize fundamental things that many of us take for granted, like the fact that God initiates, is that he knows how much better our lives will be if we recognize these things at more than an abstract or intellectual level. For example, how many of us, when life isn’t going the way we would want it to go, cry out to understand where is God in all of it? How many of us cry out that we want to see his presence more, be it in our work or our family life, etc.? Yet, if I were to come up to you and tell you that the very fact that you exist, that you be, is a sign of God’s companionship with you, would you accept or dismiss that sign of His presence? The more we come to recognize in our daily experience that God initiates, that he is the one in control, I think the more our eyes will be opened to the abundance of signs of his love and care for us.
  • Theme 3: Do not be afraid of desire. [Read quote] One of the great gifts that God gave us is our humanity. We desire amazing things: happiness, truth, beauty, justice, love. And these desires and our efforts to find what answers them drive much of our behavior. Desire can often be a bad word in Christianity. We look at the culture around us and see how decadent it is, with people willing to justify most anything on the basis of their feelings and what they want. It is a fairly troubling environment and a difficult one in which to live. Unfortunately, for some Christians, they have reacted to this environment by rejecting desires. I think this pope sees that as problematic and wants to correct our understanding. One of the things Pope Benedict separates is the difference between the desires that we have had implanted in our hearts by God – the desire for happiness, for beauty, for love – and the things we imagine might fulfill our desires – a car, a job, a wife. The desires are good and infallible. The images can be off the mark and erroneous. The problem comes when we are faced with the experience that achieving our image didn’t satisfy our desire. We got that dream job but we still feel incomplete. We are married but are wife doesn’t make us completely happy. There are really only a few ways we can react to this experience: we can numb ourselves to the disconnect between what we wanted from the image and what we received, such that we deny that we desire more. We can deceive ourselves that we have been satisfied by the image, but usually what this really leads to is as string of images, chasing down yet another thing that will now answer our desires. We can despair. Or we can hope.
  • The pope wants us to hope. He wants us to recognize that all these desires that we cannot answer for ourselves points to an answer that is outside of us. In essence, they create a hypothesis for God as the Mystery, the great Other. And, to those who entertain this hypothesis, the pope boldly proclaims that Christ is that Answer and that He is present among us. I did not put on the slide another quote from then Cardinal Ratzinger, but this one from Truth and Tolerance sums up the point: “Why does the faith still have a chance at all? Because it corresponds to the nature of man. Man possesses an inextinguishable yearning for the infinite. None of the answers attempted are sufficient. Only the God himself who became finite in order to open our finiteness and lead us to the breadth of his infiniteness responds to the question of our being. For this reason, the Christian faith finds man today too. In that end, desire is not the enemy of Christianity. To the contrary, Christianity educates us in both the truth of our desire and its fulfillment. The challenge is to learn how to make use of this great gift from God in a way that draws us towards Him.
  • The fourth theme: Freedom comes from Adherence to God. Freedom is a word that we Americans love, but truthfully don’t think about much. If pressed, most of us would probably describe freedom as the ability to choose. This shows some of our cultural roots: linking liberty with the ability to make choices for ourselves rather than live with the choices of a king in some country overseas. You can even see it in the modern political scene. Conservatives often speak of the importance of choosing for oneself in advocating for free markets versus government regulation. Abortion advocates try to disguise the horrific reality of that procedures by speaking of it in terms of choice about one’s body. But Pope Benedict reminds us, however good the freedom to choose is, it is still a limited notion of freedom. [Read the quote] True freedom comes not from the ability to choose, but from adherence to the will of God. I think, if we reflect on our own experience, we can get a sense of this. How many of us, faced with the choice of whether to take a new job, buy a house, whether to have a dangerous medical procedure, would describe the experience of those circumstances as “freeing”? I’m in California because I lost my job back in Chicago and the first good job I was offered was out here.
  • I had to make a decision to stay in Chicago and continue my search there or move to the West Coast. I can tell you that I did not experience the fact that I possessed the right to choose as freeing. Where do I feel a real sense of freedom? It is when I experience satisfaction of my desires. When I met Bridget, my girlfriend, and recognized that this woman was someone special and important to my life, I experienced a degree of freedom that I hadn’t had before I met her. When I make a genuine new friend, I experience freedom. When I can look at my work and see that the results are productive and good, I experience freedom. But all of these satisfactions of my desires, in the end, are limited. Only God truly satisfies my deepest desires for only He is infinite, and my desires for happiness, truth, beauty and love know no bounds. When I have clung to Him, that’s when I have experienced the most freedom, the most satisfaction, in my life. In a fallen world, I need freedom of choice to be able to choose to cling to God. But the pope is reminding us that freedom isn’t characterized merely by an act of the will – by choice – but by a state of being – by obedience, by adherence to the One who made us.
  • Theme 5: faith is reasonable. The pope is trying to reclaim for us a fuller meaning of another word: reason. This aspect of the Pope’s address at Regensberg got lost somewhat in the controversy that surrounded the quotes the pope used to make his point. Our culture has come to reduce reason down to scientific rationality, to what can be shown false empirically. Furthermore, our culture has equated the definition of knowledge with this reduction of the meaning of reason. To our culture, faith is superstition, sentiment or ideology. It is completely separate from reason and it certainly has nothing to do with knowledge. At Regensberg, the pope rejected this construction. By highlighting that it would be against God’s nature for God to act unreasonably, the pope takes faith out of the purely subjective and restores it to the world of fact. Faith is a natural method of knowledge. We all make use of this form of knowledge. When I speak with my mother and she tells me what my brother did this weekend and I later recount what he did to my girlfriend when she asks about my brother, I’ve acted on knowledge I learned through faith. And what makes that reasonable is the fact that it is reasonable to believe that my mother knows what my brother did and that it is not reasonable for me to presume my mother wants to deceive me about my brother’s weekend activities.
  • Supernatural faith, while it goes beyond the boundaries of natural reason and is a gift from God, in as much as it too is a method of knowledge, in a certain sense belongs to reason, it is and must be reasonable. Similarly, reason, in as much as it is a method of knowing, must be broadened. It cannot reject factors of reality simply because we have chosen a priori to limit the methods by which reason can examine reality. If I asked you to tell me what this object [the computer] is, none of you would find it reasonable if I told you that I will not accept any answer you give me based on what you see. You would rightly rebel at my exclusion of a part of reality – your vision – from the toolkit you have to examine this object and determine what it is. If I further rejected anything you told me based on your sense of touch or hearing, you might rightly suggest that it is impossible for you to tell me what the object is. The Church is not afraid of reality or our humanity. But it knows that the deepest questions of life are not ones for which the scientific procedure is an apt tool of examination. Thus, the Pope defends a broadening of our understanding of reason and faith as reasonable so that we remain equipped to truly know who we are and our destiny.
  • Theme 6: Hope is in Something Present. I turn to the Pope’s second encyclical for this next theme. Let me read you some excerpts. [Read quote] Hope is integral to the Christian life, but I think the pope worries that many Christians don’t live in hope. Instead of hope, they try to get by on a vague optimism. Some day, in the future, all of my pain will go away, all of my tears will be dried, my difficulties will cease. We attribute these future events to Christ, but in reality we live this no differently than the many reasons our secular friends and neighbors might give in this New Year about why they are optimistic that this year will be better. The pope is telling us that hope, Christian hope, is something more than optimistic or wishful thinking. It is rooted in the fact – the fact – that we experience today some of what is promised to come. The hundredfold. What gives us the strength to face the difficulties that life will bring is not that we were told in some book or by some teacher that Christ saves but by the fact that we can see that He does. It is the fact that we witness the power of His presence today in our lives and those of our neighbors that we can endure things that are hard or that we do not understand with a reasonable expectation that our destiny is good.
  • Why is this important? If our hope is rooted in something true that we have experienced (i.e., we have verified the objective truth of what the Church teaches in some aspect of our particular lives) then our hope is not utterly dependent on our will. When tested, to deny hope would then be to deny the truth of what we have experienced. And while sometimes we succumb to that, it is more likely that we will endure in hope if what generates our hope is something outside of us. And the beauty of coming to recognize the truth of one’s experiences is that these recognitions of Christ’s presence start to accumulate and strengthen one another. Second, I think it is important to our evangelization. We cannot simply testify to the dogmas of the faith. We must give witness to how Christ’s saving presence is manifesting itself in our lives today, even if not fully realized. In that way, we give witness to the fact that Christianity offers something more than ideology, something different than the unrooted optimism the world offers.
  • Theme 7: Without truth, love becomes sentimentality. For this theme, I want to turn to Pope Benedict’s third encyclical, Caritas in Veritate. It was quite interesting to see people’s reactions to this encyclical. There were a number of “conservative” Catholic commentators who maligned it, speculating that the parts that seemed counter to their concepts of capitalism must have been written by some liberal leaning committee in the Vatican. What got lost was the Pope’s emphasis on God-centered truth in charity as vital to human development. I mentioned in an earlier theme the fact that we do not create ourselves and thus our existence, and its continuance, is a gift. And thus, even as an individual, I am not alone because my very being is a sign of God’s companionship with me. For Pope Benedict this idea of relationship as gift is an intrinsic fact of man’s being, not something imposed from the outside by law or custom. Gift, gratuitous love, should thus inform all of our relationships, both on the micro and macro level.
  • David Schindler, Dean of the JPII Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family, in commenting on the encyclical made a helpful analogy. Consider teaching children to say “please” and “thank you”. If the reason we do this is simply a matter of societal expectation, then charity is essentially about sentiment and mores. If the reason we teach our children to say these things, however, is rooted in our recognition that our lives are gift from God and that our response to all of this gift ought to be wonder and gratitude, how different is the meaning of a “please” and “thank you”. It is the truth of who we are as human being, revealed through the face of Christ, that allows charity to be something more, something grand. I have not spent enough time with this encyclical and the implications of it for economics I think have just not really been explored yet. But I suggest to read it again for what it says about the nature of humanity and how the truth of that nature – revealed in its fullness in Christ – is critical for both temporal and eternal human development. For all activity.
  • The next two themes tend to go together. But let’s start with theme 8: One Cannot Believe On One’s Own. In some ways this builds off of many of the earlier themes. The Pope has emphasized the fact that while the desires of our humanity long for and reach out towards God, ultimately they merely open us up to the possibility of the Incarnation. God initiates, not just in the fact that He created us and implanted those desires in our hearts, but that He took on flesh and revealed His face to us so that we might be saved, so that we might be able to speak no longer of an abstract Mystery or Other but of a Someone, of Christ.
  • And while all this is rooted deeply in a personal encounter with Christ, the Pope wants us to not forget how that encounter actually happens: namely, that it occurs through the Church. The Church is the continuation in time of the presence of Christ and His work of salvation. To suggest that one can believe in Christ without the Church is to reject the reality of how Christ revealed Himself, and continues to reveal Himself, to all of us. It is to deny the reality of our history as a people. It is to run the risk of replacing the Person of Christ with a mental image of the Christ I prefer there to be. I appreciate this reminder from Pope Benedict because it can be so easy to treat the Church as something merely institutional and an accident, an unnecessary add-on, to the faith. Even among faithful Catholics, how often is the first way we think of the Church as a promoter of morality or a defender of dogma and not as a place of the living presence of the Lord?
  • It has become a custom for popes to use their Wednesday audiences as an important teaching moment. JPII first presented the fruits of the Theology of the Body during a span of Wednesday audiences early in his papacy. I think the importance of theme eight is part of why, as one of the first subjects that Pope Benedict has turned to in his Wednesday audiences, is that of our theme 9: the Church exists in people. At the beginning of his papacy, Pope Benedict spent countless months recounting for us the lives of the Apostles and the early fathers of the Church. Why?
  • I believe that Pope Benedict worries that, for those who have come to understand the importance of the encounter with Christ, they often make the mistake of seeing that as something that distances themselves from the Church because they see the Church as something highly institutional and disconnected from them. In some ways it is the irony of our age, with all our songs about how we are Church, we nonetheless have such a stunted view of the Church that it is not much more than a distributor of a product called sacraments for many of us. So Pope Benedict wants to remind us that Christianity is a people won for God by a Person, and that Christ continues to draw a people to God using the same method with which he began: humanity. Even in the time of Christ’s presence on Earth, his face was made known to others by the witness of his disciples, who when sent off two by two were able to cast out demons in Christ’s name. So, through time, Christ reveals himself through his people, the Church.
  • In the last two themes I emphasized how it is impossible to separate Christ and His Church and that the Church is a people, not a cold and distant institution. And while it is important to emphasize the way in which Christ’s presence is manifested through the witness of His people, Pope Benedict never loses sight of the importance of the liturgy. He’s done some marvelous things related to the liturgy already and many people expect great reforms of the reform to occur under his watch. But why is the liturgy so important? This brings us to our tenth theme: The liturgy teaches us to see. As I mentioned about Pope Benedict’s baptism, for Benedict, the liturgy is not merely a ritual or some duty Catholics are obligated to fulfill. It is a place of personal encounter with God; a concrete way in which God sets out towards us and where we can find Him. Thus, Mass is not an obligation to be fulfilled but an opportunity to race to the one who answers our hearts. Linked with that, though, I think, is the pope’s belief that the liturgy helps educate us to look past the surface, to probe past appearances, and search for the deeper meaning of things, of how events point towards our destiny, God. Using his words from his Midnight Mass homily of a month ago, the “many indications of his presence” that he uses to prompt and guide us surround us, but we are not awake enough to recognize them for what they are.
  • Sometimes we are. When I met Bridget, my girlfriend, I knew immediately that she was a great gift for my life and one sent by God, such that when I later lost my job I was incapable of letting the circumstances get me too down or think that God didn’t care for me, because it would have been to deny the concrete example of his care for me that is Bridget. But too often we don’t see in this way. Part of why is that we haven’t been educated in how to see with our hearts. As the pope said in another part of the homily, “we live our lives by philosophies, amid worldly affairs and occupations that totally absorb us and are a great distance from the manger. God has to prod us again and again, so that we can manage to escape from the muddle of our thoughts and activities and discover the way that leads to him.” One of the beauties of the liturgy, and most especially the Eucharist, is that it boldly pronounces that we need to see with our hearts and not just our eyes. That the truth of our humanity and our experience rests deeper. Our God is present but under the appearance of bread. And so by embracing the liturgy as a true encounter with God, we awaken to the possibility that His presence is hidden under the appearance of other things, people, and events in our lives.
  • Theme 11: The Church Has to be Inwardly Open. The book interviews that Pope Benedict gave before his papacy are filled with fascinating glimpses that show a man who is more than the caricature given of him in the media. For example, let me read this quote. [Read quote] I imagine it might surprise some of you to hear this pope speak of being fine with Christmas and Easter only Catholics. Of course, he hopes for much more for them, but this quote surprised me when I first read it. What about the fact that it is a sin that they are skipping Mass on other Sundays? Well, I think Pope Benedict explained the reason that stood behind this quote when he visited the United States and compared the Church to stained glass windows. [Read the quote]
  • The pope recognizes that sometimes it is just not possible to come to know something without entering into a relationship, without participating in a reality. We know our friends and spouses more after entering into a relationship with them than we did before. The Church is similar. One cannot come to know Christ in a deep way from the sidelines. Only by entering into relationship with the Church, does the reality of God and the faith become enlivened. Thus, Christ’s fundamental method – which remains the same for the Church – is to make the invitation to all to come and see. This understanding of the reality of how humans come to know things, both should inform our own relationship with the Church, but also our evangelization. Pope Benedict continued in that homily: “It follows that we, who live the life of grace within the Church’s communion, are called to draw all people into this mystery of light.  This is no easy task in a world which can tend to look at the Church, like those stained glass windows, “from the outside”: a world which deeply senses a need for spirituality, yet finds it difficult to “enter into” the mystery of the Church.” Our evangelization must recognize the importance of relationship with the Church for coming to know the truth. Too often we try to bludgeon people with the truth to explain why they should be in relationship with the Church.
  • Mind Of Pope Benedict Xvi 01092010

    1. 1. Mind of Pope Benedict XVI OLOP|YA Our Lady of Peace Young Adult Group
    2. 2. "Dear brothers and sisters, after the great Pope, John Paul II, the cardinals have elected me, a simple and humble worker in the Lord's vineyard ."   (Pope Benedict, Brief Address after Election, 4/19/2005)   Mind of Pope Benedict XVI OLOP |YA YOUNG ADULTS     "Co-Worker of the Truth"  (episcopal motto of Cardinal Ratzinger, drawn from 3 John)
    3. 3. Table of Contents <ul><ul><li>Background of Pope Benedict XVI </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Biography </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Theological Influences </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>St. Augustine </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Romano Guardini </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Communio </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Observations of His Papacy </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Themes of Pope Benedict's Papacy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Christianity is an Event </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>God Initiates </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Do Not be Afraid of Desire </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Freedom Comes From Adherence to God </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Faith is Reasonable </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hope is in Something Present </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Without Truth, Love Becomes Sentimentality </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>One Cannot Believe On One's Own </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The Church Exists In People </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Liturgy Teaches us to See </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The Church Has to Be Inwardly Open </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>Mind of Pope Benedict XVI OLOP |YA YOUNG ADULTS
    4. 4. Background of Pope Benedict XVI
    5. 5. Biography <ul><ul><li>Born and baptized on April 16, 1927 (Holy Saturday)  </li></ul></ul><ul><li>    </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Entered minor seminary in 1937 and seminary in 1939 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Along with brother, ordained on June 29, 1951 (Feast of Saints Peter and Paul) at Cathedral of Freising </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Professor of Theology at Bonn, Tubingen and Regensburg </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Theological advisor of Cardinal Frings at Vatican II </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Appointed Archbishop of Munich and Freising on March 24, 1977 by Pope Paul VI; created Cardinal that June </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Becomes Prefect for Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith on November 25, 1981 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Elected Pope on April 19, 2005 </li></ul></ul>Mind of Pope Benedict XVI OLOP |YA YOUNG ADULTS
    6. 6. Theological Influences - St. Augustine <ul><ul><li>Doctoral work : People and the House of God in Augustine's doctrine of the Church </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Similar Journey :  St. Augustine wanted to retire to prayer and studies but could not after being appointed Bishop of Hippo </li></ul></ul>Mind of Pope Benedict XVI OLOP |YA YOUNG ADULTS <ul><ul><li>&quot;[T]here has been hardly another saint who  has remained as close to us, as understandable, as Saint Augustine. In his writings, we encounter all the depths and heights of the human spirit, all the questioning and seeking and searching that we also experience today . Not without reason has he been called the first modern man.&quot; (Co-Workers of the Truth, p. 415) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dedicated Deus Caritas Est to St. Augustine and declared that encyclical and Spe Salv i indebted to St. Augustine's thought </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Theological Influences - St. Augustine <ul><ul><li>Doctoral work : People and the House of God in Augustine's doctrine of the Church </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Similar Journey :  St. Augustine wanted to retire to prayer and studies but could not after being appointed Bishop of Hippo </li></ul></ul>Mind of Pope Benedict XVI OLOP |YA YOUNG ADULTS <ul><ul><li>&quot;[T]here has been hardly another saint who  has remained as close to us, as understandable, as Saint Augustine. In his writings, we encounter all the depths and heights of the human spirit, all the questioning and seeking and searching that we also experience today . Not without reason has he been called the first modern man.&quot; (Co-Workers of the Truth, p. 415) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dedicated Deus Caritas Est to St. Augustine and declared that encyclical and Spe Salv i indebted to St. Augustine's thought </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Theological Influences - Guardini <ul><ul><li>Romano Guardini (1885-1968): Italian-German priest and author </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Incredibly influential during the early 20th century  </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many of Pope Benedict's books signal Guardini's influence: </li></ul></ul>Mind of Pope Benedict XVI OLOP |YA YOUNG ADULTS <ul><ul><ul><li>Jesus of Nazereth --> The Lord </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Introduction to the Spirit of the Liturgy --> The Spirit of the Liturgy </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Introduction to Christianity --> Essence of Christianity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pope Benedict saw similarities to Augustine </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Guardini: &quot;That which is truly real will arise from the rich, varied expansiveness of our existence, of our being fully Christian, and will lead us to the One who is truly real.&quot; </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Theological Influences - Communio <ul><ul><li>Federation of international theological journals founded in '70s by Pope Benedict, Balthasar, de Lubac, Louis Bouyer, Giussani, Le Guillou, Medina and others </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Grew out of interactions in Pope Paul VI's International Papal  </li></ul></ul>Theology of Pope Benedict XVI OLOP |YA YOUNG ADULTS <ul><li>Theological Commission </li></ul><ul><ul><li>  Wrote 40+ articles for Communio </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;[Balthasar's] project was to gather together all those who did not want to do theology on the basis of the pre-set goals of ecclesial politics but who were intent on developing theology rigorously on the basis of its own proper sources and methods.&quot; (Milestones, p. 144) </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Observations of His Papacy <ul><ul><li>From an interview with Sandro Magister, Vatican Correspondent (Traces, January 2008): </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot; He is a Pope who says extremely profound things and makes normal people sit up and think. ... The attention of the people is astounding ; the words come over in a silence that is striking–apart from his voice, all that can be heard is the water in the fountains. They are there listening to what he says; the people expect his words to give them something important .  A surprising fact about a </li></ul></ul>Theology of Pope Benedict XVI OLOP |YA YOUNG ADULTS <ul><ul><li>Pope judged to be cold is that the attendance at his public audiences is very high, even more than for John </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Paul II .&quot; </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot; [He realizes] that the question of Jesus is really the question on which the Church stands or falls, that that Man is the center of everything .&quot; </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Themes of Pope Benedict's Papacy 
    12. 12. Christianity is an Event <ul><ul><li>&quot; Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a Person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction .&quot; (Deus Caritas Est, 1) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;Christianity is not an intellectual system, a packet of dogmas, a moralism; Christianity is rather an encounter, a love story; it is an event .&quot; (Funeral Homily for Msgr. Giussani, 2/24/05) </li></ul></ul>Mind of Pope Benedict XVI OLOP |YA YOUNG ADULTS <ul><ul><li>Constantly reminding us of the centrality of Christ ; everything else is a consequence of the encounter with Him </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Christianity is an Event <ul><ul><li>&quot; Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a Person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction .&quot; (Deus Caritas Est, 1) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;Christianity is not an intellectual system, a packet of dogmas, a moralism; Christianity is rather an encounter, a love story; it is an event .&quot; (Funeral Homily for Msgr. Giussani, 2/24/05) </li></ul></ul>Mind of Pope Benedict XVI OLOP |YA YOUNG ADULTS <ul><ul><li>Constantly reminding us of the centrality of Christ ; everything else is a consequence of the encounter with Him </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. God Initiates <ul><ul><li>&quot; If He does not reveal Himself, we cannot gain access to Him . The novelty of the Christian proclamation is that it can now say to all peoples: He has revealed Himself. He personally. And now the way to Him is open.”  (Meeting with Representatives of the World of Culture at the Collège des Bernardins , Paris, 9/12/ 2008) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot; Baptism means precisely this, that we are not dealing with an event in the past, but that a qualitative leap in world history comes to me , seizing hold of me in order to draw me on .&quot; (Homily at the Easter Vigil, 3/15/2006) </li></ul></ul>Mind of Pope Benedict XVI OLOP |YA YOUNG ADULTS <ul><ul><li>John 15:16:  &quot; It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you ...&quot; </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>That we don't save ourselves and that God initiates the pursuit (in the gift of our being and of faith) needs to be a concrete reality and not an abstract idea </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. God Initiates <ul><ul><li>&quot; If He does not reveal Himself, we cannot gain access to Him . The novelty of the Christian proclamation is that it can now say to all peoples: He has revealed Himself. He personally. And now the way to Him is open.”  (Meeting with Representatives of the World of Culture at the Collège des Bernardins , Paris, 9/12/ 2008) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot; Baptism means precisely this, that we are not dealing with an event in the past, but that a qualitative leap in world history comes to me , seizing hold of me in order to draw me on .&quot; (Homily at the Easter Vigil, 3/15/2006) </li></ul></ul>Mind of Pope Benedict XVI OLOP |YA YOUNG ADULTS <ul><ul><li>John 15:16:  &quot; It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you ...&quot; </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>That we don't save ourselves and that God initiates the pursuit (in the gift of our being and of faith) needs to be a concrete reality and not an abstract idea </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. Do Not be Afraid of Desire <ul><ul><li>&quot;These longings are simply the desire for a full, happy, and successful life. Do not be afraid of this desire! Do not run away from this desire! Do not be discouraged at the sight of crumbling houses, frustrated desires, and faded longings. God the Creator, who inspires in young hearts an immense yearning for happiness, will not abandon you in the difficult construction of the house called life. &quot; (Meeting with Young People in Poland, 5/27/2006) </li></ul></ul>Mind of Pope Benedict XVI OLOP |YA YOUNG ADULTS <ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Our need for truth, beauty, happiness, etc. was given to us by God </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>That we cannot satisfy our desires shouldn't lead to despair but instead points to the possibility of God and our need for a savior </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Christianity testifies to the fact that the Savior exists and comes to us </li></ul></ul>
    17. 17. Do Not be Afraid of Desire <ul><ul><li>&quot;These longings are simply the desire for a full, happy, and successful life. Do not be afraid of this desire! Do not run away from this desire! Do not be discouraged at the sight of crumbling houses, frustrated desires, and faded longings. God the Creator, who inspires in young hearts an immense yearning for happiness, will not abandon you in the difficult construction of the house called life. &quot; (Meeting with Young People in Poland, 5/27/2006) </li></ul></ul>Mind of Pope Benedict XVI OLOP |YA YOUNG ADULTS <ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Our need for truth, beauty, happiness, etc. was given to us by God </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>That we cannot satisfy our desires shouldn't lead to despair but instead points to the possibility of God and our need for a savior </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Christianity testifies to the fact that the Savior exists and comes to us </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. Freedom Comes From Adherence to God <ul><ul><li>&quot; The freedom of a human being is the freedom of a limited being, and therefore is itself limited . We can possess it only as a shared freedom, in the communion of freedom: only if we live in the right way , with one another and for one another, can freedom develop . We live in the right way if we live in accordance with the truth of our being, and that is in accordance with God’s will . For God’s will is not a law for the human being imposed from the outside and that constrains him, but the intrinsic measure of his nature , a measure that is engraved within him and makes him the image of God, hence, a free creature .&quot; (Homily on Solemnity of Immaculate Conception, 12/8/2005) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>Mind of Pope Benedict XVI OLOP |YA YOUNG ADULTS <ul><ul><li>Our culture teaches us that freedom is in having choices, but this is at best imperfect freedom </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We experience freedom when our desires are satisfied , and only by abiding in God are our deepest desires answered </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
    19. 19. Freedom Comes From Adherence to God <ul><ul><li>&quot; The freedom of a human being is the freedom of a limited being, and therefore is itself limited . We can possess it only as a shared freedom, in the communion of freedom: only if we live in the right way , with one another and for one another, can freedom develop . We live in the right way if we live in accordance with the truth of our being, and that is in accordance with God’s will . For God’s will is not a law for the human being imposed from the outside and that constrains him, but the intrinsic measure of his nature , a measure that is engraved within him and makes him the image of God, hence, a free creature .&quot; (Homily on Solemnity of Immaculate Conception, 12/8/2005) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>Mind of Pope Benedict XVI OLOP |YA YOUNG ADULTS <ul><ul><li>Our culture teaches us that freedom is in having choices, but this is at best imperfect freedom </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We experience freedom when our desires are satisfied , and only by abiding in God are our deepest desires answered </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
    20. 20. Faith is Reasonable <ul><ul><li>&quot; Not acting reasonably is contrary to God’s nature .&quot;  (Address at Regensburg, 9/12/2006) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;[Commenting on the scientific ethos:]  The intention here is not one of retrenchment ..., but of broadening our concept of reason and its application ... [to] overcome the self-imposed limitation of reason to the empirically falsifiable , ... once more disclos[ing reason's] vast horizons .&quot; (Address at Regensburg, 9/12/2006) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The method of faith is natural to humanity; faith is a method of knowing </li></ul></ul>Mind of Pope Benedict XVI OLOP |YA YOUNG ADULTS <ul><ul><li>Reason is the capacity to be aware of reality according to the totality of its factors </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If reason = scientific rationality , the questions that matter most -- the meaning of existence -- cannot be asked </li></ul></ul>
    21. 21. Faith is Reasonable <ul><ul><li>&quot; Not acting reasonably is contrary to God’s nature .&quot;  (Address at Regensburg, 9/12/2006) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;[Commenting on the scientific ethos:]  The intention here is not one of retrenchment ..., but of broadening our concept of reason and its application ... [to] overcome the self-imposed limitation of reason to the empirically falsifiable , ... once more disclos[ing reason's] vast horizons .&quot; (Address at Regensburg, 9/12/2006) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The method of faith is natural to humanity; faith is a method of knowing </li></ul></ul>Mind of Pope Benedict XVI OLOP |YA YOUNG ADULTS <ul><ul><li>Reason is the capacity to be aware of reality according to the totality of its factors </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If reason = scientific rationality , the questions that matter most -- the meaning of existence -- cannot be asked </li></ul></ul>
    22. 22. Hope is in Something Present <ul><ul><li>“ Redemption is offered to us in the sense that we have been given hope, trustworthy hope, by virtue of which we can face our present : the present, even if it is arduous, can be lived and accepted if it leads towards a goal, if we can be sure of this goal, and if this goal is great enough to justify the effort of the journey. … Faith is not merely a personal reaching out towards things to come that are still totally absent: it gives us something. It gives us even now something of the reality we are waiting for, and this present reality constitutes for us a ‘proof’ of the things that are still unseen . Faith draws the future into the present, so that it is no longer simply a ‘not yet.’ The fact that this future exists changes the present; the present is touched by the future reality, and thus the things of the future spill over into those of the present and those of the present into those of the future . … </li></ul></ul>Mind of Pope Benedict XVI OLOP |YA YOUNG ADULTS <ul><ul><li>The promise of Christ is not only a reality that we await, but a real presence .”  (Spe Salvi, 1, 7-8) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hope is not vague optimism .  It is a reasonable expectation about the future that is generated by our experience in the present of a grace given ( faith in Christ ) </li></ul></ul>
    23. 23. Hope is in Something Present <ul><ul><li>“ Redemption is offered to us in the sense that we have been given hope, trustworthy hope, by virtue of which we can face our present : the present, even if it is arduous, can be lived and accepted if it leads towards a goal, if we can be sure of this goal, and if this goal is great enough to justify the effort of the journey. … Faith is not merely a personal reaching out towards things to come that are still totally absent: it gives us something. It gives us even now something of the reality we are waiting for, and this present reality constitutes for us a ‘proof’ of the things that are still unseen . Faith draws the future into the present, so that it is no longer simply a ‘not yet.’ The fact that this future exists changes the present; the present is touched by the future reality, and thus the things of the future spill over into those of the present and those of the present into those of the future . … </li></ul></ul>Mind of Pope Benedict XVI OLOP |YA YOUNG ADULTS <ul><ul><li>The promise of Christ is not only a reality that we await, but a real presence .”  (Spe Salvi, 1, 7-8) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hope is not vague optimism .  It is a reasonable expectation about the future that is generated by our experience in the present of a grace given ( faith in Christ ) </li></ul></ul>
    24. 24. Without Truth, Love Becomes Sentimentality   <ul><ul><li>&quot;[Paul VI] taught that life in Christ is the first and principal factor of development ... It is the primordial truth of God's love ... that opens our lives to gift and makes it possible to hope for a 'development of the whole man and of all men,' to hope for progress 'from less human conditions to those which are more human,' obtained by overcoming the difficulties that are inevitably encountered along the way.&quot; (Caritas in Veritate, 8) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot; Without truth, charity degenerates into sentimentality . ...  A Christianity of charity without truth would be more or less interchangeable with a pool of </li></ul></ul>Mind of Pope Benedict XVI OLOP |YA YOUNG ADULTS <ul><ul><li>good sentiments, helpful for social cohesion, but of little relevance.&quot;  (Caritas in Veritate, 3-4)  </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Human development is an ontological issue and a matter of knowledge before it is a matter of morals </li></ul></ul>
    25. 25. Without Truth, Love Becomes Sentimentality   <ul><ul><li>&quot;[Paul VI] taught that life in Christ is the first and principal factor of development ... It is the primordial truth of God's love ... that opens our lives to gift and makes it possible to hope for a 'development of the whole man and of all men,' to hope for progress 'from less human conditions to those which are more human,' obtained by overcoming the difficulties that are inevitably encountered along the way.&quot; (Caritas in Veritate, 8) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot; Without truth, charity degenerates into sentimentality . ...  A Christianity of charity without truth would be more or less interchangeable with a pool of </li></ul></ul>Mind of Pope Benedict XVI OLOP |YA YOUNG ADULTS <ul><ul><li>good sentiments, helpful for social cohesion, but of little relevance.&quot;  (Caritas in Veritate, 3-4)  </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Human development is an ontological issue and a matter of knowledge before it is a matter of morals </li></ul></ul>
    26. 26. One Cannot Believe On One's Own <ul><ul><li>&quot; We cannot have Jesus without the reality he created and in which he communicates himself . Between the Son of God-made-flesh and his Church there is a profound, unbreakable and mysterious continuity by which Christ is present today in his people . He is ... always contemporary with the Church, built on the foundation of the Apostles and alive in the succession of the Apostles. And his very presence in the community, in which he himself is always with us, is the reason for our joy . Yes, Christ is with us, the Kingdom of God is coming.&quot; (Wed. Audience, 3/15/2006) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;I am in the Church for the same reasons why I am a Christian: because one cannot believe on one's own . One can be Christian only in the Church, not </li></ul></ul>Mind of Pope Benedict XVI OLOP |YA YOUNG ADULTS <ul><ul><li>alongside it. &quot; (Bavarian Catholic Academy in Munich, June 4, 1970)  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Church is the continuity of Christ, the continuation of His presence and work of salvation </li></ul></ul>
    27. 27. One Cannot Believe On One's Own <ul><ul><li>&quot; We cannot have Jesus without the reality he created and in which he communicates himself . Between the Son of God-made-flesh and his Church there is a profound, unbreakable and mysterious continuity by which Christ is present today in his people . He is ... always contemporary with the Church, built on the foundation of the Apostles and alive in the succession of the Apostles. And his very presence in the community, in which he himself is always with us, is the reason for our joy . Yes, Christ is with us, the Kingdom of God is coming.&quot; (Wed. Audience, 3/15/2006) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;I am in the Church for the same reasons why I am a Christian: because one cannot believe on one's own . One can be Christian only in the Church, not </li></ul></ul>Mind of Pope Benedict XVI OLOP |YA YOUNG ADULTS <ul><ul><li>alongside it. &quot; (Bavarian Catholic Academy in Munich, June 4, 1970)  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Church is the continuity of Christ, the continuation of His presence and work of salvation </li></ul></ul>
    28. 28. The Church Exists In People <ul><ul><li>&quot; [T]he Church exists in people , and we have seen that the Lord entrusted this new reality, the Church, to the Twelve Apostles . Let us now look at them one by one, to understand through these people what it means to experience the Church and what it means to follow Jesus .&quot; (Wed. Audience, 5/17/2006) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;Thanks to the Paraclete, it will always be possible for subsequent generations to have the same experience of the Risen One that was lived by the apostolic community at the origin of the Church, since it is passed on and actualized in the faith, worship, and communion of the People of God , on pilgrimage through time.&quot;  (Wed. Audience, 4/26/2006) </li></ul></ul>Mind of Pope Benedict XVI OLOP |YA YOUNG ADULTS <ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Church isn't a distant and cold institution but a Presence, generated by the Spirit, coming through the concrete face and witness of a diverse people whose bond is Christ </li></ul></ul>
    29. 29. The Church Exists In People <ul><ul><li>&quot; [T]he Church exists in people , and we have seen that the Lord entrusted this new reality, the Church, to the Twelve Apostles . Let us now look at them one by one, to understand through these people what it means to experience the Church and what it means to follow Jesus .&quot; (Wed. Audience, 5/17/2006) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;Thanks to the Paraclete, it will always be possible for subsequent generations to have the same experience of the Risen One that was lived by the apostolic community at the origin of the Church, since it is passed on and actualized in the faith, worship, and communion of the People of God , on pilgrimage through time.&quot;  (Wed. Audience, 4/26/2006) </li></ul></ul>Mind of Pope Benedict XVI OLOP |YA YOUNG ADULTS <ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Church isn't a distant and cold institution but a Presence, generated by the Spirit, coming through the concrete face and witness of a diverse people whose bond is Christ </li></ul></ul>
    30. 30. Liturgy Teaches us to See <ul><ul><li>“ To awake … means to develop a receptivity for God: for the silent promptings with which he chooses to guide us; for the many indications of his presence . … [O]ur way of thinking and acting, the mentality of today’s world , the whole range of our experience is inclined to deaden our receptivity for God .... And yet in every soul, the desire for God, the capacity to encounter him, is present, whether in a hidden way or overtly. In order to arrive at this … awakening to what is essential, we should pray for ourselves and for others .... The great theologian Origen said this: if I had the grace to see as Paul saw, I could even now (during the Liturgy) contemplate a great host of angels. And indeed, in the sacred liturgy, we are surrounded by the angels of God and the saints . The Lord himself is present in our midst. Lord, open the eyes of our hearts , so that we may become vigilant and clear-sighted, in this way bringing you close to others as well!” (Homily, Midnight Mass, 2009) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The ‘image of God’ in man is not, of course, something that we can photograph or see with a merely photographic kind of perception. We can indeed see it, but only with the new seeing of faith . We can </li></ul></ul>Mind of Pope Benedict XVI OLOP |YA YOUNG ADULTS <ul><ul><li>see it, just as we can see the goodness in a man, his honesty, interior truth, humility, love -- everything, in fact, that gives him a certain likeness to God. But if we are to do this, we must learn a new kind of seeing, and that is what the Eucharist is for ...” (Spirit of the Liturgy, pg. 82) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Besides being the place of utmost communion with God, the liturgy is also an education in how to see the deep truths of our experiences and His presence </li></ul></ul>
    31. 31. Liturgy Teaches us to See <ul><ul><li>“ To awake … means to develop a receptivity for God: for the silent promptings with which he chooses to guide us; for the many indications of his presence . … [O]ur way of thinking and acting, the mentality of today’s world , the whole range of our experience is inclined to deaden our receptivity for God .... And yet in every soul, the desire for God, the capacity to encounter him, is present, whether in a hidden way or overtly. In order to arrive at this … awakening to what is essential, we should pray for ourselves and for others .... The great theologian Origen said this: if I had the grace to see as Paul saw, I could even now (during the Liturgy) contemplate a great host of angels. And indeed, in the sacred liturgy, we are surrounded by the angels of God and the saints . The Lord himself is present in our midst. Lord, open the eyes of our hearts , so that we may become vigilant and clear-sighted, in this way bringing you close to others as well!” (Homily, Midnight Mass, 2009) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The ‘image of God’ in man is not, of course, something that we can photograph or see with a merely photographic kind of perception. We can indeed see it, but only with the new seeing of faith . We can </li></ul></ul>Mind of Pope Benedict XVI OLOP |YA YOUNG ADULTS <ul><ul><li>see it, just as we can see the goodness in a man, his honesty, interior truth, humility, love -- everything, in fact, that gives him a certain likeness to God. But if we are to do this, we must learn a new kind of seeing, and that is what the Eucharist is for ...” (Spirit of the Liturgy, pg. 82) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Besides being the place of utmost communion with God, the liturgy is also an education in how to see the deep truths of our experiences and His presence </li></ul></ul>
    32. 32. The Church Has to Be Inwardly Open <ul><ul><li>&quot; I have nothing against it if people who all year long never visit a church go there at least on Christmas Night or New Year’s Eve or on special occasions, because this is another way of belonging to the blessing of the sacred , to the light. There have to be various forms of participation and association; the Church has to be inwardly open .&quot; (God and the World, p. 442) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;[S]tained glass windows ... flood the interior with mystic light.  From the outside, those windows are dark, heavy, even dreary.  But once one enters the church, they suddenly come alive; reflecting the light passing through them, they reveal all their splendor.  ... It is only from the inside, from the experience of faith </li></ul></ul>Mind of Pope Benedict XVI OLOP |YA YOUNG ADULTS <ul><ul><li>and ecclesial life, that we see the Church as she truly is: flooded with grace, resplendent in beauty, adorned by the manifold gifts of the Spirit .&quot;  (Votive Mass, St. Patrick's Cathedral,  4/19/2008)  </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Church continues Christ's method of inviting all to &quot;come and see&quot; who He is </li></ul></ul>
    33. 33. The Church Has to Be Inwardly Open <ul><ul><li>&quot; I have nothing against it if people who all year long never visit a church go there at least on Christmas Night or New Year’s Eve or on special occasions, because this is another way of belonging to the blessing of the sacred , to the light. There have to be various forms of participation and association; the Church has to be inwardly open .&quot; (God and the World, p. 442) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;[S]tained glass windows ... flood the interior with mystic light.  From the outside, those windows are dark, heavy, even dreary.  But once one enters the church, they suddenly come alive; reflecting the light passing through them, they reveal all their splendor.  ... It is only from the inside, from the experience of faith </li></ul></ul>Mind of Pope Benedict XVI OLOP |YA YOUNG ADULTS <ul><ul><li>and ecclesial life, that we see the Church as she truly is: flooded with grace, resplendent in beauty, adorned by the manifold gifts of the Spirit .&quot;  (Votive Mass, St. Patrick's Cathedral,  4/19/2008)  </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Church continues Christ's method of inviting all to &quot;come and see&quot; who He is </li></ul></ul>

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