Monday, June 29, 2009

Pope: no salvation for humanity without the healing of souls

» 06/29/2009 13:50

On the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, Benedict XVI imposes the pallium on 34 archbishops, three of whom are from Asia. Beyond thinking and talking, we need the experience of faith, of the vital relationship with Jesus Christ. Faith must not remain theory: it must be life. Obedience to the truth.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "The impoverishment" of the soul "not only destroys the individual, but threatens the destiny of humanity as a whole. Without the healing of souls, without the healing of mankind from within, there can be no salvation for humanity. " And to avoid this impoverishment "obedience to the truth" is needed which "often begins with small daily truths, which can often be tiring and painful. This obedience then extends to obedience without reserve in front of the one Truth that is Christ”. This is Benedict XVI’s warning to mankind on a particularly solemn day in which the Church of Rome celebrates its patron saints, Peter and Paul, and in which the newly appointed metropolitan archbishops receive the pallium from the pope, the stole that indicates their special communion with the head of the Catholic Church. On this occasion too, the statue of St. Peter in the basilica is traditionally draped in papal vestments.

The feast of the apostles Peter and Paul sees the presence of a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in St. Peter's, a participation that is acknowledged and returned by Rome during the feast of Saint Andrew, patron saint of the Patriarchate. Recalling this presence, during the Angelus, Benedict XVI expressed the hope that "the common veneration of these martyrs be a pledge towards full communion, increasingly felt among Christians all over the world."

This year there are 34 metropolitan archbishops, from all over the world, upon which the Pope imposed the pallium. Among them, Msgr. Anicetus Bongsu Sinaga Antonius, Archbishop of Medan (Indonesia), Msgr. Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovithavanij, archbishop of Bangkok (Thailand) and Msgr. Albert Malcolm Patabendige Ranjit Don, Archbishop of Colombo (Sri Lanka).

In his homily, Benedict XVI underlined some passages from the First Letter of Saint Peter, starting with St. Peter's affirmation that Christ is the "Bishop of souls." "If Christ is the bishop of souls - highlighted the Pope - the goal is to prevent the soul’s impoverishment in humans, to ensure that man does not lose his essence, the ability for truth and love. To ensure that he comes to know God, that he is not lost in dead ends, that he is not isolated, but remains open to all. Jesus, the 'bishop of souls', is the prototype for all episcopal and priestly ministry. To this ends being a bishop, being a priest means: taking on the place of Christ. Think, see and act from his elevated position. Starting from Him, be at mankind’s disposal, so they may find life. "

Another sentence of the Petrine letter: "Worship the Lord Christ in your hearts, always ready to answer whoever asks you to account for the hope that is in you" (3:15), was indicated by the Pope as the assertion "The Christian faith is hope. It opens the path to the future. And it is a reasonable hope; we can and we must expose the reason of this hope. Faith – he continued - comes from the eternal Reason, which came into our world and showed us the true God. It goes beyond the capacity of our own reason, just as love sees more than simple intelligence. But faith speaks to reason and in the dialect of discussion can hold it’s own with reason. It does not contradict it, but goes along with it, and at the same time, leads beyond it - introducing us to the greater Reason of God. As pastors of our time, it stands to us first and foremost to understand the reason of faith. Not to simply leave it as a tradition, but to recognize it as the answer to our questions. Faith requires our rational participation, which is deepened and purified by a shared love. It is part of our duties as Pastors to penetrate the faith with our thoughts in order to be able to show the reason for our hope in the disputes of our time. However - thought, alone, is not enough. Just as talk, alone, is not enough”. “Only by tasting will you see. Let us think of the disciples in Emmaus: only in convivial communion with Jesus, only in the breaking of the bread were their eyes opened. Only in truly experienced communion with the Lord did they see. This applies to all of us; beyond thinking and talking, we need the experience of faith, of the vital relationship with Jesus Christ. Faith must not remain theory: it must be life. If we meet the Lord in the sacrament; if we speak with him in prayer, and if we adhere to Christ in our daily decisions - then we 'see' more and more that He is good. Then we experience that it is good to be with him Only from such an experience of certainty comes the ability to communicate the faith to others in a credible way. The Curé d'Ars was not a great thinker. But he 'tasted' the Lord. He lived with him in the minutiae of his daily life as well as in the larger demands of his pastoral ministry. In this way he became 'one who sees'. He tasted, and so knew that the Lord is good. We pray the Lord grant us to enjoy this so that we can become credible witnesses to the hope that is within us. "


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