I am simply a pilgrim beginning the last leg of his pilgrimage on this earth.
A good school provides a rounded education for the whole person. And a good Catholic school, over and above this, should help all its students to become saints.
Mission is a duty about which one must say 'Woe to me if I do not evangelize' (1 Corinthians 9:16)...redemption and mission are acts of love because those who proclaim the Gospel participate in the charity of Christ.
The destruction of images, the first signs of which reach back to the 1920s, eliminated a lot of kitsch and unworthy art, but ultimately it left behind a void.
Today Christmas has become a commercial celebration, whose bright lights hide the mystery of God's humility, which in turn calls us to humility and simplicity. Let us ask the Lord to help us see through the superficial glitter of this season, and to discover behind it the child in the stable in Bethlehem, so as to find true joy and true light.
God does not change; he is Love, ever and always. In himself, he is communion, unity in Trinity, and all his words and works are directed to communion.
Silence 'is so lacking in this world which is often too noisy, which is not favorable to recollection and listening to the voice of God. In this time of preparation for Christmas, let us cultivate interior recollection so as to receive and keep Jesus in our lives.'
Each generation, as it seeks to advance the common good, must ask anew: 'What are the requirements that governments may reasonably impose upon citizens, and how far do they extend? By appeal to what authority can moral dilemmas be resolved?'
The diligent reading of Sacred Scripture accompanied by prayer brings about that intimate dialogue in which the person reading hears God who is speaking, and in praying, responds to him with trusting openness of heart. If it is effectively promoted, this practice will bring to the Church-I am convinced of it-a new spiritual springtime.
People from the world's richest countries should be prepared to accept the burden of debt reduction for heavily indebted poor countries, and should urge their leaders to fulfill the pledges made to reduce world poverty, especially in Africa, by the year 2015.
The sharing of goods and resources, from which authentic development proceeds, is not guaranteed by merely technical progress and relationships of utility, but by the potential of love that overcomes evil with good.
God's heart calls to our hearts, inviting us to come out of ourselves, to forsake our human certainties, to trust in him and, by following his example, to make ourselves a gift of unbounded love.
A united humanity will be able to confront the many troubling problems of the present time: from the menace of terrorism to the humiliating poverty in which millions of human beings live, from the proliferation of weapons to the pandemics and the environmental destruction which threatens the future of our planet.
In a nuclear war there would be no victors, only victims. The truth of peace require that all-whether those governments which openly or secretly possess nuclear arms, or those planning to acquire them- agree to change their course by clear and firm decision and strive for a progressive and concerted nuclear disarmament. The resources which would be saved could then be employed in projects of development capable of benefiting all their people, especially the poor.
Art means: revealing God in everything that exists.
Our Earth is talking to us, and we must listen to it and decipher its message if we want to survive.
MIn the Eucharist a communion takes place that corresponds to the union of man and woman in marriage. Just as they become "one flesh," so in Communion we all become "one spirit," one person, with Christ.
Wherever applause breaks out in the liturgy because of some human achievement, it is a sure sign that the essence of liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment. Such attraction fades quickly -- it cannot compete in the market of leisure pursuits, incorporating as it increasingly does various forms of religious titillation.
Again and again it astonishes us that God makes himself a child so that we may love him, so that we may dare to love him, and as a child trustingly lets himself be taken into our arms. It is as if God were saying: I know that my glory frightens you, and that you are trying to assert yourself in the face of my grandeur. So now I am coming to you as a child, so that you can accept me and love me.
In the Eucharist a communion takes place that corresponds to the union of man and woman in marriage. Just as they become 'one flesh', so in Communion we all become 'one spirit', one person, with Christ.
At any rate, we can see that they are given into our care, that we cannot just do whatever we want with them. Animals, too, are God's creatures.
The principle of tolerance and respect for freedom promoted by the reforms of the Second Vatican Council are today being manipulated and erroneously taken too far.
The "name" of the Most Holy Trinity is in a certain way impressed upon everything that exists, because everything that exists, down to the least particle, is a being in relation, and thus God-relation shines forth, ultimately creative Love shines forth. All comes from love, tends toward love, and is moved by love, naturally, according to different grades of consciousness and freedom... The strongest proof that we are made in the image of the Trinity is this: only love makes us happy, because we live in relation, and we live to love and be loved.
While we too always seek other signs, other wonders, we do not realize that he is the real sign, God made flesh; he is the greatest miracle of the universe: all the love of God hidden in a human heart, in a human face.
For me, it's a great joy to be together with priests: in the end, the bishop of Rome is the bishop and brother of all priests. His mandate is to confirm the brothers in the faith.
Beauty, then, is not mere decoration, but rather an essential element of the liturgical action, since it is an attribute of God himself and his revelation. These considerations should make us realize the care which is needed, if the liturgical action is to reflect its innate splendour.
Believers are increasingly aware that, unless the Good News is made known also in the digital world, it may be absent in the experience of many people for whom this existential space is important.
How much filth there is in the church, even among those who, in the priesthood, should belong entirely to Him. How much pride, how much self-sufficiency.
Artificial intelligence, in fact, is obviously an intelligence transmitted by conscious subjects, an intelligence placed in equipment. It has a clear origin, in fact, in the intelligence of the human creators of such equipment.
If we look to the saints, this great luminous wake with which God has passed through history, we truly see that here is a force for good that survives through millennia; here is truly light from light.
It is necessary not only to relieve the gravest needs but to go to their roots, proposing measures that will give social, political and economic structures a more equitable and solidaristic configuration.
It is essential that God created men and women to be one, as it is said in the first chapters of the Bible. So I think even if our culture is against marriage as essential form of relations between human beings, between women and men. I think our nature is always present, and we can understand it if we will understand it.
To make a concrete response to the appeal of our brothers and sisters in humanity, we must come to grips with the first of these challenges: solidarity among generations, solidarity between countries and entire continents, so that all human beings may share more equitably in the riches of our planet. This is one of the essential services that people of good will must render to humanity. The earth, in fact, can produce enough to nourish all its inhabitants, on the condition that the rich countries do not keep for themselves what belongs to all.
How many people also in our time are in search of God, in search of Jesus and of his Church, in search of divine mercy, and are waiting for a "sign" that will touch their minds and their hearts! Today, as then, the Evangelist reminds us that the only "sign" is Jesus raised on the cross: Jesus who died and rose is the absolutely sufficient sign. Through him we can understand the truth about life and obtain salvation.
In the Eucharist, the Son of God comes to meet us and desires to become one with us; eucharistic adoration is simply the natural consequence of the eucharistic celebration, which is itself the Church's supreme act of adoration.
It is not by sidestepping or fleeing from suffering that we are healed, but rather by our capacity for accepting it, maturing through it and finding meaning through union with Christ, who suffered with infinite love.
God does not have a fixed plan that he must carry out; on the contrary, he has many different ways of finding man and even of turning his wrong ways into right ways...The feast of Christ the King is therefore not a feast of those who are subjugated, but a feast of those who know that they are in the hands of the one who writes straight on crooked lines.
The outpouring of Christ's blood is the source of the church's life.
The counterweight to the dominion of evil can consist in the first place only in the divine-human love of Jesus Christ that is always greater than any possible power of evil.
Respecting the environment does not mean considering material or animal nature more important than man. Rather, it means not selfishly considering nature to be at the complete disposal of our own interests, for future generations also have the right to reap its benefits and to exhibit towards nature the same responsible freedom that we claim for ourselves. Nor must we overlook the poor, who are excluded in many cases from the goods of creation destined for all.
If we may not remain silent about evil in the Church, then neither should we keep silent about the great shining path of goodness and purity which the Christian faith has traced out over the course of the centuries.
The fact that the Church is convinced of not having the right to confer priestly ordination on women, is now considered by some as irreconcilable with the European Constitution.
Love in truth-caritas in veritate-is a great challenge for the Church in a world that is becoming progressively and pervasively globalized. The risk for our time is that the de facto interdependence of people and nations is not matched by ethical interaction of consciences and minds that would give rise to truly human development. Only in charity, illumined by the light of reason and faith, is it possible to pursue development goals that possess a more humane and humanizing value.
Human pride and egoism always create divisions, build walls of indifference, hate and violence. The Holy Spirit, on the other hand, makes hearts capable of understanding the languages of all, as he re-establishes the bridge of authentic communication between earth and Heaven.
We all see that, today, man can destroy the foundation of his existence: his Earth.
The Church is missionary by nature and her principal task is evangelization, which aims to proclaim and to witness to Christ and to promote his Gospel of peace and love in every environment and culture.
I have a mustard seed; and I am not afraid to use it.
The truth touches us. We try to be guided by this contact.
Certainly a sort of industrial use of creatures, so that geese are fed in such a way as to produce as large a liver as possible, or hens live so packed together that they become just caricatures of birds, this degrading of living creatures to a commodity seems to me in fact to contradict the relationship of mutuality that comes across in the Bible.
Although the constellations in which I have found myself -- and naturally also the periods of life and their different influences -- have led to changes and development in the accents of my thought, my basic impulse, precisely during the Council, was always to free up the authentic kernel of the faith from encrustations and to give this kernel strength and dynamism. This impulse is the constant of my life ... what's important to me is that I have never deviated from this constant, which from my childhood has molded my life, and that I have remained true to it as the basic direction of my life.
Anyone who has discovered Christ must lead others to him. A great joy cannot be kept to oneself. It has to be passed on.
I wrote the text of the resignation. I cannot say with precision when, but at the most two weeks before. I wrote it in Latin because something so important you do in Latin. Furthermore, Latin is a language in which I know well how to write in a more appropriate way.
Because the truth of God is love, conversion to God is conversion to love.
In the desert we rediscover the value of what is essential for living; thus in today's world there are innumerable signs, often expressed implicitly or negatively, of the thirst for God, for the ultimate meaning of life. And in the desert people of faith are needed who, by the example of their own lives, point out the way to the Promised Land and keep hope alive.
One sees in Latin America, and also elsewhere, among many Catholics a certain schizophrenia between individual and public morality.
God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world: peace in the hearts of all men and women and peace among the nations of the Earth.
Dear brothers and sisters, after the great Pope John Paul II, the cardinals have elected me -- a simple, humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord.
The Church needs your faith, your idealism and your generosity, so that she can always be young in the Spirit.
Today, the need to avoid confusing marriage with other types of unions based on weak love is especially urgent. It is only the rock of total, irrevocable love between a man and a woman that can serve as the foundation on which to build a society that will become a home for all mankind.
Global interconnectedness has led to the emergence of a new political power, that of consumers and their associations. It is good for people to realize that purchasing is always a moral -- and not simply economic -- act.
I urge you to continue your fraternal cooperation with one another in the spirit of the community of Christ's disciples, united in your love for him and in the Gospel that you proclaim.
Music has no borders, no race or color, no limits of country, no ethnicity. Music makes the people come together. Dance it,Dance all.
Jesus Christ does not teach us a spirituality "of closed eyes," but one of "alertness," one which entails an absolute duty to take notice of the needs of others and of situations involving those whom the Gospel tells us are our neighbours. The gaze of Jesus, what "his eyes" teach us, leads to human closeness, solidarity, giving time, sharing our gifts and even our material goods.
Eternity is not an unending succession of days in the calendar, but something more like the supreme moment of satisfaction, in which totality embraces us and we embrace totality.
I too hope in this short reign to be a man of peace.
Without fear we must set sail on the digital sea.
We can learn from him that suffering and the gift of himself is an essential gift we need in our time.
We ask the Blessed Virgin for the gift of conversion for all Christians, so that they may announce and give a faithful and coherent witness to the perennial evangelical message, which indicates to humanity the path to an authentic peace.
It is a symbol evoking a reality that touches the depths of the person ... the light of goodness that vanquishes evil, of love that overcomes hatred, of life that defeats death.
In our heart, in the heart of each of you, let there be always the joyous certainty that the Lord is near, that he does not abandon us, that he is near to us, and that he surrounds us with his love.
Christ had a specific evangelizing goal in mind when he prayed at the Last Supper that all his disciples 'be one...'The Church's evangelizing mission, therefore, moves along the path of ecumenism, the path of unity of faith, of evangelical witness and authentic fraternity.
Meaning that is self-made is in the last analysis no meaning. Meaning, that is, the ground on which our existence as a totality can stand and live, cannot be made but only received.
It is of great concern that the fabric of African life, its very source of hope and stability, is threatened by divorce, abortion, prostitution, human trafficking, and a contraception mentality.
Before His gaze all falsehood melts away. This encounter with Him, as it burns us, transforms and frees us, allowing us to become truly ourselves... His gaze, the touch of His heart heals us through an undeniably painful transformation "as through fire." But it is a blessed pain, in which the holy power of His love sears through us like a flame, enabling us to become totally ourselves and thus totally of God.
Do you want to know yourself better? Then discover silence.
I use both the 'I' and the 'we.' For on many, many matters, I am not simply expressing ideas that have happened to occur to Joseph Ratzinger, but I am speaking out of the common life of the Church's communion.
Advent's intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, namely, the memory of the God who became a child. This is a healing memory; it brings hope. The purpose of the Church's year is continually to rehearse her great history of memories, to awaken the heart's memory so that it can discern the star of hope.
We celebrate Easter because now, thanks to the risen Lord, it is definitively established that reason is stronger than unreason, truth stronger than lies, love stronger than death.
The Church is not self-made, it was created by God and is continuously formed by Him. This finds expression in the Sacraments, above all in that of Baptism: I enter into the Church not by a bureaucratic act, but with the help of this Sacrament.
We, however, have a different goal: the Son of God, the true man. He is the measure of true humanism. An "adult" faith is not a faith that follows the trends of fashion and the latest novelty; a mature, adult faith is deeply rooted in friendship with Christ. It is this friendship that opens us up to all that is good and gives us a criterion by which to distinguish the true from the false, and deceit from truth.
Children truly are the family's greatest treasure and most precious good. Consequently, everyone must be helped to become aware of the intrinsic evil of the crime of abortion. In attacking human life in its very first stages, it is also an aggression against society itself. Politicians and legislators, therefore, as servants of the common good, are duty bound to defend the fundamental right to life, the fruit of God's love.
The risen Lord is the new Temple, the real meeting place between God and man.
In silence, we are better able to listen to and understand ourselves; ideas come to birth and acquire depth... Deeper reflection helps us to discover the links between events that at first sight seem unconnected... For this to happen, it is necessary to develop an appropriate environment, a kind of 'eco-system' that maintains a just equilibrium between silence, words, images and sounds.
As I passed alongside it, I prayed for a future in which the peoples of the Holy Land can live together in peace and harmony without the need for such instruments of security and separation.
You must know how to translate the indications of the word into daily witness, allowing yourselves to be formed by the word which, like seed sown in good soil, brings abundant fruit. Thus you will remain docile to the Spirit and grow in union with God, you will cultivate fraternal communion among yourselves and be ready to serve your brethren generously, especially those most in need.
In the harshness of the world of technology -- in which feelings do not count anymore -- the hope for a saving love grows, a love which would be given freely and generously.
The Church's mission is not political in nature. Her task is to open the world to the religious sense by proclaiming Christ.
I would like everyone to feel loved by the God who gave his son for us and showed us his boundless love. I want everyone to feel the joy of being Christian.
Continue to witness to the Gospel every day and commit yourselves generously in the next missionary initiatives in the Diocese of Rome.
If you abide in the love of Christ, rooted in the faith, you will encounter, even amid setbacks and suffering, the source of true happiness and joy. Faith does not run counter to your highest ideals; on the contrary, it elevates and perfects those ideals. Dear young people, do not be satisfied with anything less than Truth and Love, do not be content with anything less than Christ.
The baptized in their sense of mission, through prayer, the witness of life and Christian commitment in all its forms, so that all the faithful may become missionaries in the places where they live and that vocations will come forth to proclaim the Gospel to men who do not yet know it.
An authentic updating of sacred music can take place only in the lineage of the great tradition of the past, of Gregorian chant and of sacred polyphony.
Concern for the fate of the great rivers of the earth must lead us to reflect soberly on the model of development which our society is pursuing. A purely economic and technological understanding of progress, to the extent that it fails to acknowledge its intrinsic limitations and to take into consideration the integral good of humanity, will inevitably provoke negative consequences for individuals, peoples and creation itself.
The family unit is fundamental for the educational process and for the development both of individuals and states; hence there is a need for policies which promote the family and aid social cohesion and dialogue.
A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to
present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a
candidate precisely because of the candidate's permissive stand on abortion
and or euthanasia.
Go forth! Carry the good tidings to the poor, bind the wounds of the brokenhearted, proclaim freedom to slaves, open the doors of prisons to those within, promulgate the year of the Lord's mercy... Bring into the world the hope of God, which is Christ the Lord Who rose from the dead and lives and reigns forever.
Deeply saddened by the news of the terrorist attacks in central London, the Holy Father offers his fervent prayers for the victims and for all those who mourn.
Liberty isn't liberalism, arbitrariness, but it's connected; it's conditioned by the great values of love and solidarity and in general by the good.
Advent, this powerful liturgical season that we are beginning, invites us to pause in silence to understand a presence. It is an invitation to understand that the individual events of the day are hints that God is giving us, signs of the attention he has for each one of us.
An Adult faith does not follow the waves of fashion and the latest novelties.
After the evil spirit of a narrow Scholastic orthodoxy has been driven out, in the end seven much more wicked spirits return in its place.
When, for example, in the name of non-discrimination, people try to force the Catholic Church to change her position on homosexuality or the ordination of women, then that means that she is no longer allowed to live out her own identity and that, instead, an abstract, negative religion is being made into a tyrannical standard that everyone must follow. That is then seemingly freedom -- for the sole reason that it is liberation from the previous situation.
The Cross is the approbation of our existence, not in words, but in an act so completely radical that it caused God to become flesh and pierced this flesh to the quick; that, to God, it was worth the death of his incarnate Son.
To me, it really seems visible today that ethics is not something exterior to the economy, which, as technical matter, could function on its own; rather, ethics is an interior principle of the economy itself, which cannot function if it does not take account of the human values of solidarity and reciprocal responsibility.
The Gospel is not merely a communication of things that can be known -- it is one that makes things happen and is life-changing. The dark door of time, of the future, has been thrown open. The one who has hope lives differently; the one who hopes has been granted the gift of a new life.
Dear young people, let me now ask you a question. What will you leave to the next generation? Are you building your lives on firm foundations, building something that will endure?
The more ardent the love for the Eucharist in the hearts of the Christian people, the more clearly will they recognize the goal of all mission: to bring Christ to others. Not just a theory or a way of life inspired by Christ, but the gift of his very person. Anyone who has not shared the truth of love with his brothers and sisters has not yet given enough.
In the pierced heart of the Crucified, God's own heart is opened up -- here we see who God is and what he is like. Heaven is no longer locked up. God has stepped out of his hiddenness.
Indeed, beauty is one of mankind's greatest needs; it is the root from which the branches of our peace and the fruits of our hope come forth. Beauty also reveals God because, like him, a work of beauty is pure gratuity; it calls us to freedom and draws us away from selfishness.
Monsters, among other brutes, are the ones without guilt feelings. Perhaps Hitler did not have any, or Himmler, or Stalin. Maybe Mafia bosses do not have any guilt feelings either, or maybe their remains are just well hidden in the cellar. Even aborted guilt feelings...All men need guilt feelings.
The world promises you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.
I am convinced that music really is the universal language of beauty which can bring together all people of good will on earth.
These days we are all pained by the disaster caused by the hurricane in the United States of America.
In a world where there is so much noise, so much bewilderment, there is a need for silent adoration of Jesus concealed in the Host. Be assiduous in the prayer of adoration and teach it to the faithful. It is a source of comfort and light, particularly to those who are suffering.
The Lord has placed next to me many people, who, with generosity and love for God and the church, have helped me and been close to me.
There is no other possibility for possessing certitude with regard to one's life apart from self-abandonmen t, in a continuous crescendo, into the hands of a love that seems to grow constantly because it has its origin in God.
The prevailing mentality was that the Church must not be a Church of laws but, rather, a Church of love; she must not punish. Thus, the awareness that punishment can be an act of love ceased to exist. This led to an odd darkening of the mind, even in very good people.
Nourishment is a factor which touches on the fundamental right to life.
In Latin America in general, it's very important that Christianity not be simply a thing of reason, but also of the heart.
We have to see that the human person needs the infinite. If God's not there, if the infinite isn't available, the human person creates its own paradises, giving the appearance of 'infinitude' that can only be a lie.
There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralisation, a first assumption of responsibility.
Prayer itself, born in Catholic families, nurtured by programs of Christian formation, strengthened by the grace of the sacraments, is the first means by which we come to know the Lord's will for our lives. To the extent that we teach young people to pray, and to pray well, we will be cooperating with God's call. Programs, plans and projects have their place; but the discernment of a vocation is above all the fruit of an intimate dialogue between the Lord and his disciples. Young people, if they know how to pray, can be trusted to know what to do with God's call.
I thank you, dear Brothers, for preaching the love of Christ and exhorting your people to tolerance, respect and love of their brothers and sisters and of all persons. In this way you exercise the prophetic ministry that the Lord has entrusted to the Church, and in particular to the Successors of the Apostles (cf. Pastores Gregis, 26).
Which direction do we take? The one prompted by the passions or the one indicated by the star which shines in your conscience? The Magi heard the answer: "In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it is written by the prophet" (Mt 2: 5), and, enlightened by these words, they chose to press forward to the very end.
Joy is the true gift of Christmas.
Joy is the true gift of Christmas, and we can communicate this joy simply: with a smile, a kind gesture, a little help, forgiveness. And the joy we give will certainly come back to us.
Our world has grown weary of greed, exploitation and division, of the tedium of false idols and piecemeal responses, and the pain of false promises.
Our faith is well founded; but it is necessary that this faith become part of our lives. A great effort must therefore be made in order for all Christians to transform themselves into 'witnesses,' ready and able to shoulder the commitment of testifying -- always and to everyone -- to the hope that animates them.
Believing is nothing other than, in the darkness of the world, touching the hand of God, and in this way, in silence, hearing the Word, seeing love.
Faith is not a product of reflection, nor is it even an attempt to penetrate the depths of my own being.
We can see that the sacramental presence of the Lord in the Eucharist is an essential gift for us and give us also the possibility to love the others and to work for the others.
Dear young people, the happiness you are seeking, the happiness you have a right to enjoy has a name and a face: it is Jesus of Nazareth, hidden in the Eucharist. Only he gives the fullness of life to humanity! With Mary, say your own "yes" to God, for he wishes to give himself to you.
The missionary experience is part of Christian formation and it is important for adolescents and young people to be able to live it personally.
It is when we attempt to avoid suffering by withdrawing from anything that might involve hurt, when we try to spare ourselves the effort and pain of pursuing truth, love, and goodness, that we drift into a life of emptiness, in which there may be almost no pain, but the dark sensation of meaninglessness and abandonment is all the greater.
The primary contribution that the Church offers to the development of mankind and peoples does not consist merely in material means or technical solutions. Rather, it involves the proclamation of the truth of Christ.
The truth comes to rule, not through violence, but rather through its own power; this is the central theme of John's Gospel: When brought before Pilate, Jesus professes that He Himself is The Truth and the witness to the truth. He does not defend the truth with legions but rather makes it visible through His Passion and thereby also implements it.
While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.
The real 'action' in the liturgy in which we are all supposed to participate is the action of God himself. This is what is new and distinctive about the Christian liturgy: God himself acts and does what is essential.
The mature fruit of mystagogy is an awareness that one's life is being progressively transformed by the holy mysteries being celebrated. The aim of all Christian education, moreover, is to train the believer in an adult faith that can make him a "new creation," capable of bearing witness in his surroundings to the Christian hope that inspires him.
There are those who argue that the public celebration of festivals such as Christmas should be discouraged, in the questionable belief that it might somehow offend those of other religions or none.
May we be enlightened by a ray of the light that comes from Bethlehem, the light of He who is 'The Greatest' and made himself small.
Do not believe that living together before marriage guarantees the future. By burning certain stages, you risk burning love itself. Time needs to be respected gradually, just like the expressions of love.
In the current economic situation, the temptation for the more dynamic economies is that of chasing after advantageous alliances that, nevertheless, can have harmful effects for poorer states, prolonging situations of extreme mass poverty of men and women and using up the earth's natural resources, entrusted to man by God the Creator-as Genesis says-that he might cultivate and protect it.
Germany has an established and well-furnished Catholicism, often with employed Catholics who handle the church like a labor union. For them, the church is simply the employer.
Society today is being fragmented by a way of thinking that is inherently short-sighted because it disregards the full horizon of truth -- the truth about God and about us. By its nature, relativism fails to see the whole picture. It ignores the very principles that enable us to live and flourish in unity, order and harmony.
Apostolic and missionary fruitfulness is not principally due to programmes and pastoral methods that are cleverly drawn up and "efficient," but is the result of the community's constant prayer (cf. "Evangelii Nuntiandi," 75). Moreover, for the mission to be effective, communities must be united, that is, they must be "of one heart and soul" (cf. Acts 4:32), and they must be ready to witness to the love and joy that the Holy Spirit instils in the hearts of the faithful (cf. Acts 4:32).
When human affairs are so ordered that there is no recognition of God, there is a belittling of man. That is why, in the final analysis, worship and law cannot be completely separated from each other. God has a right to a response from man, to man himself, and where that right of God totally disappears, the order of law among men is dissolved, because there is no cornerstone to keep the whole structure together.
God's dialogue with us becomes truly human, since God conducts his part as man.
Grant that we may be one flock and one shepherd! Do not allow your net to be torn, help us to be servants of unity!
It is rational to believe, as it is our very existence that is at stake.
The one and only Gospel waits to be proclaimed by everyone together, in love and reciprocal esteem.
Praying actualizes and deepens our communion with God. Our prayer can and should arise above all from our heart, from our needs, our hopes, our joys, our sufferings, from our shame over sin, and from our gratitude from the good. It can and should be a wholly personal prayer.
If you follow the will of God, you know that in spite of all the terrible things that happen to you, you will never lose a final refuge. You know that the foundation of the world is love, so that even when no human being can or will help you, you may go on, trusting in the One that loves you.
Grace, lavished upon us by God and communicated through the Mystery of the Incarnate Word, is an absolutely free gift with which nature is healed, strengthened and assisted in pursuing the innate desire for happiness in the heart of every man and of every woman.
Ultimately, in the battle against lies and violence, truth and love have no other weapon than the witness of suffering.
Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the church is often labeled today as fundamentalism. Whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and swept along by every wind of teaching, look like the only attitude acceptable to today's standards.
It is important to be in the 'we' of the Church, in the 'we' of the life of the Liturgy.
The blessing hands of Christ are like a roof that protects us. But at the same time, they are a gesture of opening up, tearing the world open so that heaven my enter in, may become "present" within it.
The fundamental human right, the presupposition of every other right, is the right to life itself. This is true of life from the moment of conception until its natural end. Abortion, consequently, cannot be a human right -- it is the very opposite. It is "a deep wound in society."
The discernment of a vocation is above all the fruit of an intimate dialogue between the Lord and his disciples. Young people, if they know how to pray, can be trusted to know what to do with God's call.
One who has hope lives differently.
Love has a particular trait: far from being indulgent or fickle, it has a task or purpose to fulfil: to abide. By its nature love is enduring. Again, dear friends, we catch a further glimpse of how much the Holy Spirit offers our world: love which dispels uncertainty; love which overcomes the fear of betrayal; love which carries eternity within; the true love which draws us into a unity that abides!
It is evident that the Church is always abandoning more the old traditional structures of European life and, therefore, is changing its appearance and living new forms in itself. It's clear most of all that the de-Christianization of Europe is progressing, that the Christian element is always vanishing more from the fabric of society.
When, in adoration, we look at the consecrated Host, the sign of creation speaks to us. And so, we encounter the greatness of his gift; but we also encounter the Passion, the Cross of Jesus and his Resurrection. Through this gaze of adoration, he draws us toward himself, within his mystery, through which he wants to transform us as he transformed the Host.
Sometimes we are looked upon as people who speak only of prohibitions. Nothing could be further from the truth!
If a Pope clearly realizes that he is no longer physically, psychologically, and spiritually capable of handling the duties of his office, then he has a right and, under some circumstances, also an obligation to resign.
I encourage all of you to discover ever more fully in the Eucharist, the sacrament of Christ's sacrificial love, the inspiration and strength needed to work ever more generously for the spread of God's Kingdom and the growth of the civilization of love.
If the protection of the environment involves costs, they should be justly distributed, taking due account of the different levels of development of various countries and the need for solidarity with future generations.
God loves us; we need only to summon up the humility to allow ourselves to be loved.
In the 20th century, in the darkest period of German and European history, an insane racist ideology, born of neopaganism, gave rise to the attempt, planned and systematically carried out by the regime, to exterminate European Jews. The result has passed into history as the Shoah.
It is theologically and anthropologically important for woman to be at the center of Christianity. Through Mary, and the other holy women, the feminine element stands at the heart of the Christian religion.
Thus, the apostles' adventure began as a gathering of persons who open to one another reciprocally. A direct knowledge of the Teacher began for the disciples. They saw where he lived and began to know him. They would not have to be heralds of an idea, but witnesses of a person. Before being sent to evangelize, they would have to "be" with Jesus (cf. Mark 3:14), establishing a personal relationship with him. With this foundation, evangelization is no more than a proclamation of what has been experienced and an invitation to enter into the mystery of communion with Christ (cf. 1 John 13).
Dialogue is the fundamental unfolding of a gift of oneself to another.
If Jesus has become your hope, communicate this to others with your joy and your spiritual, apostolic and social engagement. Let Christ dwell within you, and having placed all your faith and trust in Him, spread this hope around you. Make choices that demonstrate your faith.
Non-African missionaries, responding generously to the Lord's call with ardent apostolic zeal, came to share the joy of revelation. Following in their footsteps, Africans are today missionaries on other continents.
It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope.
Only in truth does charity shine forth, only in truth can charity be authentically lived. Truth is the light that gives meaning and value to charity. That light is both the light of reason and the light of faith, through which the intellect attains to the natural and supernatural truth of charity: it grasps its meaning as gift, acceptance, and communion. Without truth, charity degenerates into sentimentality. Love becomes an empty shell, to be filled in an arbitrary way.
We must have great respect for these people who also suffer and who want to find their own way of correct living. On the other hand, to create a legal form of a kind of homosexual marriage, in reality, does not help these people.
To have Christian hope means to know about evil and yet to go to meet the future with confidence. The core of faith rests upon accepting being loved by God, and therefore to believe is to say Yes, not only to him, but to creation, to creatures, above all, to men, to try to see the image of God in each person and thereby to become a lover. That's not easy, but the basic Yes, the conviction that God has created men, that he stands behind them, that they aren't simply negative, gives love a reference point that enables it to ground hope on the basis of faith.
That the different Christian confessions, aware of the need for a new evangelisation in this period of profound transformations, may be committed to announcing the Good News and moving towards the full unity of all Christians in order to offer a more credible testimony of the Gospel.
The Church does not invent sins but recognizes the will of God and has to declare it. Of course, the great thing.. is that upon the Church, which has to declare the will of God in its full magnitude, in its unconditional rigor, so that man should know his true measure, is bestowed as a gift, at the same time, the task of forgiving.
Purgatory basically means that God can put the pieces back together again. That He can cleanse us in such a way that we are able to be with Him and can stand there in the fullness of life. Purgatory strips off from one person what is unbearable and from another the inability to bear certain things, so that in each of them a pure heart is revealed, and we can see that we all belong together in one enormous symphony of being.
To me, its seems necessary to rediscover -- and the energy to do so exists -- that even the political and economic spheres need moral responsibility, a responsibility that is born in man's heart and, in the end, has to do with the presence or absence of God.
The new pope knows that his task is to make the light of Christ shine before men and women of world -- not his own light, but that of Christ.
A form of reason that in some way wished to strip itself of beauty would be diminished; it would be a blinded reason.
God in fact does not change: he is faithful to himself.
Jesus, the Word incarnate, is always the center of our announcement, the point of reference for our evangelizing mission and for its methodology, because He is the human face of God, who wishes to meet all men and women so as to bring them into communion with Him, in His love.
Knowing is not simply a material act, since the object that is known always conceals something beyond the empirical datum. All our knowledge, even the most simple, is always a minor miracle, since it can never be fully explained by the material instruments that we apply to it. In every truth there is something more than we would have expected, in the love that we receive there is always an element that surprises us.
The aim of all Christian education, moreover, is to train the believer in an adult faith that can make him a "new creation." capable of bearing witness in his surroundings to the Christian hope that inspires him.
My dear friends, God's creation is one and it is good. The concerns for nonviolence, sustainable development, justice and peace, and care for our environment are of vital importance for humanity. They cannot, however, be understood apart from a profound reflection on the innate dignity of every human life from conception to natural death: a dignity conferred by God himself and thus inviolable.
The cardinals have elected me, a simple, humble worker in the Lord's vineyard.
No law made by man can overturn that of the Creator without dramatically affecting society in its very foundation.
Love is not greedy or self-seeking, but pure, faithful and genuinely free, open to others, respectful of their dignity, seeking their good, radiating joy and beauty.
Discovering the beauty and joy of faith is a path that every new generation must take on its own.
The State which would provide everything, absorbing everything into itself, would ultimately become a mere bureaucracy incapable of guaranteeing the very thing which the suffering person--every person--needs: namely, loving personal concern. We do not need a State which regulates and controls everything, but a State which, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, generously acknowledges and supports initiatives arising from the different social forces and combines spontaneity with closeness to those in need. The Church is one of those living forces.
The capacity to accept suffering for the sake of goodness, truth and justice is an essential criterion of humanity, because if my own well-being and safety are ultimately more important than truth and justice, then the power of the stronger prevails, then violence and untruth reigns supreme.
Peace, however, is not merely a gift to be received: it is also a task to be undertaken. In order to be true peacemakers, we must educate ourselves in compassion, solidarity, working together, fraternity, in being active within the community and concerned to raise awareness about national and international issues and the importance of seeking adequate mechanisms for the redistribution of wealth, the promotion of growth, cooperation for development and conflict resolution. 'Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God', as Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount.
Human rights, of course, must include the right to religious freedom, understood as the expression of a dimension that is at once individual and communitarian -- a vision that brings out the unity of the person while clearly distinguishing between the dimension of the citizen and that of the believer.
The glory of God is the living man, but the life of man is the vision of God', says St. Irenaeus, getting to the heart of what happens when man meets God on the mountain in the wilderness. Ultimately, it is the very life of man, man himself as living righteously, that is the true worship of God, but life only becomes real life when it receives its form from looking toward God.
I believe that the most important thing...is to revive in the whole Church that positive tension, that yearning to announce Christ again to contemporary man.
Those who allow themselves to be led by the Spirit understand that placing oneself at the service of the Gospel is not an optional extra, because they are aware of the urgency of transmitting this Good News to others...I assure you that the Spirit of Jesus today is inviting you young people to be bearers of the good news of Jesus to your contemporaries.
The Cardinals have elected me, a simple and humble labourer in the vineyard of the Lord. The fact that the Lord knows how to work and to act even with inadequate instruments comforts me, and above all I entrust myself to your prayers.
The fact that the Lord can work and act even with insufficient means consoles me, and above all I entrust myself to your prayers.
Love alone makes us happy, because we live in relation, and we live to love and to be loved.
We are still awaiting Easter; we are not yet standing in the full light but walking toward it full of trust.
Our first experience of God is so important, we either experience Him as the police guard that wants to punish or as Creative Love that awaits.
If we allow the love of Christ to change our heart, then we can change the world. This is the secret of authentic happiness.
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.
The Church must introduce the individual Christian into an encounter with Jesus Christ and bring Christians into His presence in the sacrament.
Purity of heart is what enables us to see.
Advent is the spiritual season of hope par excellence, and in this season the whole Church is called to be hope, for itself and for the world.
When politicians presume to do God's work, they do not become divine but diabolical.
To be sure, it was not Easter Sunday but Holy Saturday, but, the more I reflect on it, the more this seems to be fitting for the nature of our human life: we are still awaiting Easter; we are not yet standing in the full light but walking toward it full of trust.
We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God.
Those who love desire to share with the beloved. They want to be one with the beloved, and Sacred Scripture shows us the great love story of God for his people which culminated in Jesus Christ.
The extermination of millions of unborn children, in the name of the fight against poverty, actually constitutes the destruction of the poorest of all human beings.
Humor is in fact an essential element in the mirth of creation. We can see how, in many matters in our lives, God wants to prod us into taking things a bit more lightly.
We pray that the Lord may help us to produce His light in ourselves, even in dark days, so that we might be light for others, illuminating the world and life in this world.
I realized that everything I had to do I could not do on my own, and so I was almost obliged to put myself in God's hands, to trust in Jesus who -- while I wrote my book on him -- I felt bound to by an old and more profound friendship.
The hatred and contempt for men, women and children that was manifested in the Shoah was a crime against God and against humanity.
Making the sign of the Cross -- as we will do during the Blessing -- means saying a visible and public "yes" to the One who died and rose for us, to God who in the humility and weakness of his love is the Almighty, stronger than all the power and intelligence of the world.
A thirst for the infinite is indelibly present in human beings. Man was created to have a relationship with God; we need him.
The life of the community, both domestically and internationally, clearly demonstrates that respect for rights, and the guarantees that follow from them, are measures of the common good that serve to evaluate the relationship between justice and injustice, development and poverty, security and conflict.
The Catechism was not written to please you. It will not make life easy for you, because it demands of you a new life.
Art and the saints are the greatest apologetics for our faith.
God is alive. He has created every one of us, and he knows us all. He is so great that He has time for the little things in our lives: "Every hair of your head is numbered." God is alive, and makes sense to become a priest: the world needs priests, pastors, today, tomorrow and always, until the end of time.
The language of art is a 'parabolic' language, with a special openness to the universal: the 'Way of Beauty' is a way capable of leading the mind and heart to the Lord, to elevate them to the heights of God.
Music, great music, distends the spirit, arouses profound emotions and almost naturally invites us to raise our minds and hearts to God in all situations of human existence, the joyful and the sad. Music can become prayer.
Dear brothers and sisters...The Lord is calling me to "climb the mountain," to devote myself even more to prayer and meditation. But this does not mean abandoning the Church, indeed, if God is asking me to do this, it is so I can continue to serve the Church with the same dedication and the same love with which I have done thus far, but in a way that is better suited to my age and my strength.
To some extent, this urge to break out of the ordinary is present in every generation. Part of being young is desiring something beyond everyday life and a secure job, a yearning for something really truly greater. Is this simply an empty dream that fades away as we become older? No! Men and women were created for something great, for infinity. Nothing else will ever be enough.
God guides his church, maintains her always, and especially in difficult times. Let us never lose this vision of faith, which is the only true vision of the way of the church and the world.
Continue to walk in the faith and, faithful to the mandate that has been entrusted to you, go out with solicitude and joy toward all creatures and pass on to them the gifts of salvation...Let yourselves be guided by the Holy Spirit to be the leaven of new life, salt of the earth and light of the world.
Morality is not man's prison but rather the divine element in him.
I believe that it is dangerous for a young person simply to go from achieving goal after goal, generally being praised along the way. So it is good for a young person to experience his limit, occasionally to be dealt with critically, to suffer his way through a period of negativity, to recognise his own limits himself, not simply to win victory after victory. A human being needs to endure something in order to learn to assess himself correctly, and not least to learn to think with others. Then he will not simply judge others hastily and stay aloof, but rather accept them positively, in his labours and his weaknesses.
Young people in particular, I appeal to you: bear witness to your faith through the digital world.
Young people in particular, I appeal to you: bear witness to your faith through the digital world!....Employ these new technologies to make the Gospel known, so that the Good News of God's infinite love for all people, will resound in new ways across our increasingly technological world!
We live in a society in which it seems that every space, every moment must be 'filled' with initiatives, activity, sound; often there is not even time to listen and dialogue... Let us not be afraid to be silent outside and inside ourselves, so that we are able not only to perceive God's voice, but also the voice of the person next to us, the voices of others.
Nature expresses a design of love and truth.
Over the pope as expression of the binding claim of ecclesiastical authority, there stands one's own conscience which must be obeyed before all else, even if necessary against the requirement of ecclesiastical authority.
The wrath of God is a way of saying that I have been living in a way that is contrary to the love that is God. Anyone who begins to live and grow away from God, who lives away from what is good, is turning his life toward wrath.
God is our Father and loves us, even when his silence remains incomprehensible.
Lifting one's gaze to the living God, the guarantor of our freedom and of truth, is a premise for arriving at a new humanity. Nowadays, in a special way, the world needs people capable of proclaiming and bearing witness to God who is love, and consequently the one light which in the end, illumines the darkness of the world and gives us strength to live and work.
The promotion of human rights remains the most effective strategy for eliminating inequalities between countries and social groups, and for increasing security.
Do not be fooled by those who see you as just another consumer in a market of undifferentiated possibilities, where choice itself becomes the good, novelty usurps beauty, and subjective experience displaces truth.
Non-Catholic Christians are in a gravely deficient situation in comparison with those who, in the Roman Catholic church, have the fullness of the means of salvation.
Attempts to construct an ethic from the rules of evolution, or from psychology and sociology, end up being simply inadequate.
The "door of faith" (Acts 14:27) is always open for us, ushering us into the life of communion with God and offering entry into his Church. It is possible to cross that threshold when the word of God is proclaimed and the heart allows itself to be shaped by transforming grace. To enter through that door is to set out on a journey that lasts a lifetime.
The horizon of love is truly boundless: it is the whole world!
It is absolutely important to make accessible the Gospel for all people and also understandable for Jewish people.
I don't know if the term 'liberation theology,' which can be interpreted in a very positive sense, will help us much. What's important is the common rationality to which the church offers a fundamental contribution, and which must always help in the education of conscience, both for public and for private life.
How much we need, in the church and in society, witnesses of the beauty of holiness, witnesses of the splendour of truth, witnesses of the joy and freedom born of a living relationship with Christ!
The Christian faith can never be separated from the soil of sacred events, from the choice made by God, who wanted to speak to us, to become man, to die and rise again, in a particular place and at a particular time.
Evil draws its power from indecision and concern for what other people think.
Let us seek in particular to communicate the deepest joy, that of knowing God in Christ.
While conscious of the challenges you face, I encourage you to follow faithfully in the footsteps of your founders, and to stir into flame the charisms and apostolic zeal which you have inherited from them, confident that Christ will continue to work with you and to confirm your preaching with signs of his presence and power.
Saint Paul asks his disciple Timothy to "aim at faith" (2 Tim 2:22) with the same constancy as when he was a boy (cf. 2 Tim 3:15). This invitation is directed to each of us, that none of us grow lazy in the faith. It is the lifelong companion that makes it possible to perceive, ever anew, the marvels that God works for us.
Mary's greatness consists in the fact that she wants to magnify God, not herself.
The examination of conscience has an important educational value. it teaches us to look sincerely at our own lives, to compare them with the truth of the Gospel and to evaluate them with parameters that are not only human but drawn from divine Revelation. Comparison with the Commandments, with the Beatitudes, and above all with the Precept to love, represents the first great 'school of penance.
The current economic crisis...has numerous causes and sends a powerful message about the need for a profound revision of the model of global economic development. It's an acute symptom that is added to other more grave and already well-known ones, such as the continued imbalance between wealth and poverty, the scandal of hunger, the ecological emergency and the problem of unemployment, which has now become general. In this context a strategic re-launching of agriculture appears decisive.
Being a 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.
Today we have to learn all over again that love for the sinner and love for the person who has been harmed are correctly balanced if I punish the sinner in the form that is possible and appropriate.
Today we have to learn all over again that love for the sinner and love for the person who has been harmed are correctly balanced if I punish the sinner in the form that is possible and appropriate. In this respect there was in the past a change of mentality, in which the law and the need for punishment were obscured. Ultimately this also narrowed the concept of law, which in fact is not only just being nice or courteous, but is found in the truth. And another component of the truth is that I must punish the one who has sinned against real love.
Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is more or less strong tendency ordered to an intrinsic moral evil, and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.
We can not communicate with the Lord if we do not communicate with each other. If we want to present ourselves to him, we must take a step towards meeting one another. To do this we must learn the great lesson of forgiveness: we must not let the gnawings of resentment work in our soul but must open our hearts to the magnanimity of listening to others, open our hearts to understanding them, eventually to accepting their apologies, to generously offering our own.
You must know your faith with the same precision with which a specialist in information technology knows the operating system of a computer.
Prudence does not mean failing to accept responsibilities and postponing decisions; it means being committed to making joint decisions after pondering responsibly the road to be taken.
For more than 160 years, through the initiative of the French bishop Charles de Forbin Janson, the childhood of Jesus has become the icon for the commitment of Christian children who help the Church in her task of evangelization by prayer, sacrifice and gestures of solidarity....Thousands of children meet the needs of other children, driven by the love that the Son of God, become a child, brought to the earth. I say thanks to these little ones and I pray that they will always be missionaries.
A weak point of mine was maybe little resolve in governing and making decisions.
It's a great responsibility before God, the judge who guides us, who draws us to truth and good, and in this sense the church must unmask evil, rendering present the goodness of God, rendering present his truth, the truly infinite for which we are thirsty.
We let ourselves be molded and transformed by Christ and continually pass from the side of one who destroys to that of the one who saves.
The Catholic community must offer support to those women who may find it difficult to accept a child, above all when they are isolated from their family and friends. Likewise, the community should be open to welcome back all who repent of having participated in the grave sin of abortion, and should guide them with pastoral charity to accept the grace of forgiveness, the need for penance, and the joy of entering once more into the new life of Christ.
While we rejoice in the new possibilities open to humanity, we also see the dangers arising from these possibilities, and we must ask ourselves how we can overcome them.
This world in which we live needs beauty in order not to sink into despair. Beauty, like truth, brings joy to the human heart, and is that precious fruit which resists the erosion of time, which unites generations and enables them to be one in admiration. And all this through the work of your hands ... Remember that you are the custodians of beauty in the world.
Authentic love is obviously something good... When we love, we become most fully ourselves, most fully human... People often think they are being loving when actually they are being possessive or manipulative. People sometimes treat others as objects to satisfy their own needs... How easy it is to be deceived by the many voices in our society that advocate a permissive approach to sexuality, without regard for modesty, self-respect or the moral values that bring quality to human relationships! This is worship of a false god. Instead of bringing life, it brings death.
It is very important for a priest, in the parish itself, to see how people trust in him and to experience, in addition to their trust, also their generosity in pardoning his weaknesses.
If you find your sustenance in Christ, my dear young people, and if you live profoundly in him as did the Apostle Paul, you will not be able to resist speaking about him and making him known and loved by many of your friends and contemporaries.
Today, I, too, wish to reaffirm that I intend to continue on the path toward improved relations and friendship with the Jewish people, following the decisive lead given by John Paul II.
With the Rosary, we allow ourselves to be guided by Mary, model of faith, in meditating on the mysteries of Christ, and day after day we are helped to assimilate the Gospel, so that it shapes all our lives.
The celebration of Lent, in the context of the Year of Faith, offers us a valuable opportunity to meditate on the relationship between faith and charity: between believing in God -- the God of Jesus Christ -- and love, which is the fruit of the Holy Spirit and which guides us on the path of devotion to God and others.
A dictatorship of relativism is being built that recognizes nothing as definite, and which leaves as the ultimate measure only one's ego and desires ... Having a clear faith, according to the credo of the church, is often labeled as fundamentalism. Yet relativism, that is, letting oneself being carried 'here and there by any wind of doctrine,' appears as the sole attitude good enough for modern times.
We must respect the interior laws of creation, of this Earth, to learn these laws and obey them if we want to survive.
A theologian who does not love art, poetry, music and nature can be dangerous. Blindness and deafness toward the beautiful are not incidental; they necessarily are reflected in his theology.
The fact that the church is convinced of not having the right to confer priestly ordination on women is now considered by some as irreconcilable with the European Constitution.
Make sure that every person, of whatever background, can find in you a welcoming heart.
I would designate as science fiction in the best sense: they are visions and anticipations by which we seek to attain a true knowledge, but, in fact, they are only imaginations whereby we seek to draw near to the reality.
Love is the very process of passing over, of transformation, of stepping outside the limitations of fallen humanity -- in which we are all separated from one another and ultimately impenetrable to one another -- into an infinite otherness.
Vacation time offers the unique opportunity to pause before the thought-provoking spectacles of nature, a wonderful "book" within reach of everyone, adults and children. In contact with nature, a person rediscovers his correct dimension, rediscovers himself as a creature, small but at the same time unique, with a "capacity for God" because interiorly he is open to the Infinite.
The places of pilgrimage have marked a kind of geography of faith in our country, that is, they make visible, almost tangible, how our forefathers encountered the living God, how HE did not withdraw after creation or after the time of Jesus Christ, but is always present and works in them so that they were able to experience HIM, follow in his footsteps, and see him in the works HE performed. Yes, HE is there, and HE is still there today. It is from this inner encounter with the Lord that there originated the places and images of pilgrimage in which we, so to speak, can participate in what they saw, in what their faith provided for them.
Their example testifies that Baptism commits Christians to participating courageously in the spreading of the Kingdom of God, if need be cooperating with the sacrifice of life itself... This martyrdom of ordinary life constitutes a particularly important witness in the secularized society of our time. It is the peaceful battle of love which every Christian, like Paul, must fight without flagging: the race to spread the Gospel that involves us until our death. May the Virgin Mary, Queen of Martyrs and Star of Evangelization, help us in our daily witness.
Liturgy, in truth, is an event by means of which we let ourselves be introduced into the expansive faith and prayer of the Church. This is the reason why the early Christians prayed facing east, in the direction of the rising sun, the symbol of the returning Christ.
All the Saints of God are there to protect me, to sustain me and to carry me. And your prayers, my dear friends, your indulgence, your love, your faith and your hope accompany me.
A new generation of Christians is being called to help build a world in which God's gift of life is welcomed, respected and cherished-not rejected, feared as a threat and destroyed. A new age in which love is not greedy or self-seeking, but pure, faithful and genuinely free, open to others, respectful of their dignity, seeking their good, radiating joy and beauty. A new age in which hope liberates us from the shallowness, apathy and self-absorption that deaden our souls and poison our relationships.
Society as a whole must defend the conceived child's right to life and the true good of the woman who can never, in any circumstances, find fulfilment in the decision to abort.
Interreligious dialogue in the strict sense of the term is not possible without putting one's own faith into parentheses.
My plans never progressed as far as a clear desire for a family.
I no longer wield the power of the office for the government of the church, but in the service of prayer I remain, so to speak, within St. Peter's bounds. St. Benedict, whose name I bear as pope, shall be a great example in this for me. He showed us the way to a life which, active or passive, belongs wholly to the work of God.
We will never forget that blessing. It was the most pained and moving blessing, which left us with the extreme testimony of his will to complete his ministry until the end.
Being a Christian means having love. That is unbelievably difficult and, at the same time, incredibly simple.
I leave from where the apostle arrived.
I, retired in prayer, will always be with you, and together we will move ahead with the Lord in certainty. The Lord is victorious.
God is not solitude, but perfect communion. For this reason the human person, the image of God, realizes himself or herself in love, which is a sincere gift of self.
The world needs more than just itself. Amid the dreariness, people do not need a distraction that will in the end become dreary itself; they are asking for mystery, even if they do not realize this themselves. They need the sign of the wholly Other, the living Word of God, entering into this our age in unadulterated trustworthiness and dynamism.