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Monday, May 27, 2013

0280: Reflections on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity by Pope Benedict XVI



Entry 0280: Reflections on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity by Pope Benedict XVI during His Pontificate 




On eight occasions during his Pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI delivered reflections on the solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, on 22 May 2005, 11 June 2006, 3 June 2007, 18 May 2008, 7 June 2009, 30 May 2010, 19 June 2011, and 3 June 2012. Here are the texts of eight brief addresses before the recitation of the Angelus and four homilies delivered on these occasions.


BENEDICT XVI

ANGELUS

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Sunday, 22 May 2005

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today, the liturgy celebrates the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity almost to underline that in the light of the Pascal Mystery is fully revealed the centre of the universe and of history: God himself, eternal and infinite Love. The word that summarizes all revelation is this: “God is love” (I Jn 4: 8, 16); and love is always a mystery, a reality that surpasses reason without contradicting it, and more than that, exalts its possibilities.

Jesus revealed to us the mystery of God: he, the Son, made us know the Father who is in Heaven, and gave us the Holy Spirit, the Love of the Father and of the Son. Christian theology synthesizes the truth of God with this expression: only one substance in three persons. 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.

We are contemplating the mystery of the love of God shared in a sublime way in the Most Holy Eucharist, the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ, the representation of his redeeming Sacrifice.

For this I am glad to address today, the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity, my greeting to the participants of the Eucharistic Congress of the Church in Italy which opened yesterday in Bari. In the heart of this Year dedicated to the Eucharist, the Christian people converge around Christ present in the Most Holy Sacrament, the source and summit of their life and mission.

In particular, each parish is called to rediscover the beauty of Sunday, the Lord’s Day, in which the disciples of Christ renew, in the Eucharist, communion with the One who gives meaning to the joys and hardships of each day.

“Without Sunday we cannot live”: thus professed the first Christians, even at the cost of their lives, and this is what we are called to repeat today.

In expectation of going personally to Bari next Sunday for the Eucharistic Celebration, I am already spiritually united with this important ecclesial event. We invoke together the intercession of the Virgin Mary, so that days of such intense prayer and adoration of the Eucharistic Christ enkindle in the Church in Italy a renewed ardour of faith, hope and charity.

To Mary I would like also to entrust all children, adolescents and youth who are in this period of time making their first Communion or receiving the sacrament of Confirmation.

With this intention we recite now the Angelus, reliving with Mary the mystery of the Annunciation.


BENEDICT XVI

ANGELUS

Saint Peter’s Square, Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Sunday, 11 June 2006

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

On this Sunday that follows Pentecost, we are celebrating the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. Thanks to the Holy Spirit, who helps us understand Jesus’ words and guides us to the whole truth (see Jn 14: 26; 16: 13), believers can experience, so to speak, the intimacy of God himself, discovering that he is not infinite solitude but communion of light and love, life given and received in an eternal dialogue between the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit - Lover, Loved and Love, to echo St Augustine.

In this world no one can see God, but he has made himself known so that, with the Apostle John, we can affirm: “God is love” (I Jn 4: 8, 16), and “we have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us” (Encyclical Deus Caritas Est, no. 1; see I Jn 4: 16).

Those who encounter Christ and enter into a friendly relationship with him welcome into their hearts Trinitarian Communion itself, in accordance with Jesus’ promise to his disciples: “If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him” (Jn 14: 23).

For those who have faith, the entire universe speaks of the Triune God. From the spaces between the stars to microscopic particles, all that exists refers to a Being who communicates himself in the multiplicity and variety of elements, as in an immense symphony.

All beings are ordered to a dynamic harmony that we can similarly call “love”. But only in the human person, who is free and can reason, does this dynamism become spiritual, does it become responsible love, in response to God and to one’s neighbour through a sincere gift of self. It is in this love that human beings find their truth and happiness.

Among the different analogies of the ineffable mystery of the Triune God that believers are able to discern, I would like to cite that of the family. It is called to be a community of love and life where differences must contribute to forming a “parable of communion”.

The Virgin Mary, among all creatures, is a masterpiece of the Most Holy Trinity. In her humble heart full of faith, God prepared a worthy dwelling place for himself in order to bring to completion the mystery of salvation. Divine Love found perfect correspondence in her, and in her womb the Only-begotten Son was made man.

Let us turn to Mary with filial trust, so that with her help we may progress in love and make our life a hymn of praise to the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit.


BENEDICT XVI

ANGELUS

Saint Peter’s Square, Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Sunday, 3 June 2007

At the end of this celebration, I wish to extend some particular greetings to the numerous pilgrims present. I thank you for your patience! Water is a great good, and we are therefore also thankful for the rain!

I extend cordial greetings to all the English-speaking pilgrims here today on this Feast of the Most Holy Trinity, especially those who have come to Rome in such great numbers from Malta, Ireland and Great Britain to be present at today’s Canonization. May these new Saints accompany you with their prayers and inspire you by the example of their holy lives. May God bless you all!


EUCHARISTIC CONCELEBRATION
FOR THE CANONIZATION OF FOUR BLESSEDS:

GEORGE PRECA,
SIMON OF LIPNICA,
CHARLES OF ST. ANDREW HOUBEN,
MARIE EUGENIE OF JESUS MILLERET

HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI

St Peter’s Square, Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Sunday, 3 June 2007

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today, we are celebrating the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. After the Easter Season, after reliving the event of Pentecost which renews the Baptism of the Church in the Holy Spirit, we turn our gaze, so to speak, towards “the open Heavens”, to enter with the eyes of faith into the depths of the mystery of God, one in substance and three in Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

While we allow this supreme mystery to envelop us, let us admire God’s glory which is reflected in the lives of the saints. Let us contemplate it above all in those whom I have just presented for the veneration of the universal Church: George Preca, Simon of Lipnica, Charles of St Andrew Houben, and Marie Eugenie of Jesus Milleret.

I address my cordial greeting to all the pilgrims gathered here to pay homage to these exemplary Gospel witnesses.

In particular, I greet the Cardinals, the Presidents of the Philippines, of Ireland, of Malta and of Poland, my venerable Brothers in the Episcopate, the Government Delegations and other Civil Authorities who are taking part in this celebration.

In the First Reading from the Book of Proverbs, Wisdom comes on the scene and stands beside God as his assistant, his “architect” (see 8: 30). The “panoramic view” of the cosmos, seen through the eyes of Wisdom, is stupendous.

Wisdom herself admits: “[I was] playing on the surface of his earth; and I found delight in the sons of men” (8: 31).

Wisdom likes to dwell in the midst of human beings, because in them she recognizes the image and likeness of the Creator. This preferential relationship of Wisdom with human beings calls to mind a famous passage from another of the wisdom books, the Book of Wisdom: We read: Wisdom “is a breath of the power of God.... Though she is but one, she can do all things, and while remaining in herself, she renews all things; in every generation she passes into holy souls and makes them friends of God, and prophets” (Wis 7: 25-27).

The last evocative expression is an invitation to consider the multiform and inexhaustible manifestation of holiness in the People of God down the centuries. God’s Wisdom is manifest in the cosmos in the variety and beauty of its elements, but his masterpieces, where his beauty and his greatness truly appear much more, are the saints.

In the passage of the Apostle Paul’s Letter to the Romans we find a similar image: that of God’s love “poured out into [the] hearts” of saints, that is, of the baptized, “through the Holy Spirit” who has been given to them (see Rom 5: 5).

The gift of the Spirit, “Person-Love” and “Person-Gift”, as the Servant of God John Paul II described him, passes through Christ (see Encyclical Dominum et Vivificantem, no. 10). The Spirit of God reaches us through Christ as the beginning of new and “holy” life. The Spirit instils God’s love in believers’ hearts in the concrete form it had in the man Jesus of Nazareth.

Thus, what St Paul said in his Letter to the Colossians came to pass: “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (1: 27). “Affliction” is not in contrast to this hope; rather, it helps bring it about through “endurance” and “proven character” (see Rom 5: 3-4): it is the way of Jesus, the way of the Cross.

In the same perspective, from the Wisdom of God incarnate in Christ and communicated by the Holy Spirit, the Gospel has suggested to us that God the Father continues to manifest his plan of love through the saints.

What we have already observed about Wisdom occurs here too: the Spirit of truth reveals God’s design in the multiplicity of cosmic elements - we are grateful for this visibility of God’s beauty and goodness in the elements of the cosmos -, and he does so above all through human people and especially through the saints where his light, his truth, his love appear with great power.

Indeed, “the image of the invisible God” (Col 1: 15) is, properly speaking, Jesus Christ alone, “the Holy and Righteous One” (Acts 3: 14).

He is Wisdom incarnate, the Creator Logos, who finds his joy in dwelling among the sons of man and pitches his tent in their midst (see Jn 1: 14).

God was pleased to place in him “all fullness” (see Col 1: 19); that is, as he himself says in today’s Gospel passage, “all that the Father has is mine” (Jn 16: 15). Every individual saint shares in the riches of Christ taken by the Father and communicated in due time.

Jesus’ holiness is always the same; it is always he, the “Holy One”, whom the Spirit models in “holy souls”, thereby forming friends of Jesus and witnesses of his holiness. And Jesus also wants to make us his friends.

Let us open our hearts precisely on this day so that friendship with Jesus also grows in our lives, thus enabling us to witness to his holiness, goodness and truth.

George Preca, born in La Valletta on the Island of Malta, was a friend of Jesus and a witness to the holiness that derives from him. He was a priest totally dedicated to evangelization: by his preaching, his writings, his spiritual direction and the administration of the sacraments and, first and foremost, by the example of his life.

The Johannine expression, “Verbum caro factum est” always directed his soul and his work and thus the Lord could make use of him to give life to a praiseworthy institution, the “Society of Christian Doctrine”, whose purpose is to guarantee parishes the qualified service of properly trained and generous catechists.

As a profoundly priestly and mystical soul, he poured himself out in effusions of love for God, Jesus, the Virgin Mary and the saints. He liked to repeat: “Lord God, how obliged to you I am! Thank you, Lord God, and forgive me, Lord God!”. This is a prayer that we can also repeat and make our own.

May St George Preca help the Church, in Malta and throughout the world, to be always a faithful echo of the voice of Christ, the Incarnate Word.

The new Saint, Simon of Lipnica, a great son of Poland, a witness of Christ and a follower of the spirituality of St Francis of Assisi, lived in a distant age but precisely today is held up to the Church as a timely model of a Christian who - enlivened by the spirit of the Gospel - was ready to dedicate his life to his brethren.

Thus, filled with the mercy he drew from the Eucharist, he did not hesitate to help the sick who were struck by the plague, and he himself contracted this disease which led to his death.

Today in particular, let us entrust to his protection those who are suffering from poverty, illness, loneliness and social injustice. Let us ask through his intercession for the grace of persevering and active love, for Christ and for our brothers and sisters.

“The love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given us”. Truly, in the case of the Passionist priest, Charles of Saint Andrew Houben, we see how that love overflowed in a life totally dedicated to the care of souls.

During his many years of priestly ministry in England and Ireland, the people flocked to him to seek out his wise counsel, his compassionate care and his healing touch.

In the sick and the suffering he recognized the face of the Crucified Christ, to whom he had a lifelong devotion. He drank deeply from the rivers of living water that poured forth from the side of the Pierced One, and in the power of the Spirit he bore witness before the world to the Father’s love.

At the funeral of this much-loved priest, affectionately known as Fr Charles of Mount Argus, his superior was moved to observe: “The people have already declared him a saint”.

Marie Eugenie Milleret reminds us first of all of the importance of the Eucharist in the Christian life and in spiritual growth. In fact, as she herself emphasizes, her First Holy Communion was an important moment, even if she was unaware of it at the time.

Christ, present in the depths of her heart, was working within her, giving her time to follow her own pace and to pursue her inner quest, which was to lead her to the point of giving herself totally to the Lord in the Religious life in response to the needs of her time.

In particular, she realized how important it was to pass on to the young generations, especially young girls, an intellectual, moral and spiritual training that would make them adults capable of taking charge of their family life and of making their contribution to the Church and society. Throughout her life she drew the strength for her mission from her life of prayer, ceaselessly combining contemplation and action.

May the example of St Marie Eugenie invite men and women today to pass on to young people values that will help them to become strong adults and joyful witnesses of the Risen One. May young people never be afraid to welcome these moral and spiritual values, living them patiently and faithfully. In this way, they will build their personality and prepare for their future.

Dear brothers and sisters, let us thank God for the wonders he has worked in the saints, in whom his glory shines. Let us be attracted by their example and allow ourselves to be guided by their teaching, so that the whole of our life may become, like theirs, a hymn of praise to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity.

May Mary, Queen of the Saints, and the intercession of these four new “older Brothers and Sister” whom we joyfully venerate today, obtain this for us. Amen.


PASTORAL VISIT
OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI
TO SAVONA AND GENOA (LIGURIA)

ANGELUS

Piazza Matteotti, Genoa, Sunday, 18 May 2008

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In the middle of my Pastoral Visit to Genoa, we have come to the time of the usual Sunday appointment of the Angelus and the Shrine of Nostra Signora della Guardia, where I prayed this morning, is naturally in my mind. Pope Benedict XV, your illustrious fellow citizen, often went on pilgrimage to that mountain oasis. It was he who had a copy of the beloved image of the Madonna della Guardia set up in the Vatican Gardens. And, like my Venerable Predecessor John Paul II on his first Apostolic Pilgrimage to Genoa, I too would like to begin my Pastoral Visit with a tribute to the heavenly Mother of God who watches over the City and all its inhabitants from the summit of Mount Figogna.

Tradition claims that Benedetto Pareto, who was worried because he did not know how to respond to the invitation to build a chapel in that place so far from the City, Our Lady in her first apparition said: “Trust in me! You will not lack the means. With my help it will all be easy for you. Only be firm in your will”. “Trust in me!”. Today Mary repeats this to us. An ancient prayer, very dear to popular tradition, leads us to address to her these trusting words which today we make our own: “Remember, O Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help or sought your intercession was left unaided”. It is with this certainty that we invoke the maternal assistance of the Madonna della Guardia upon your Diocesan Community, its Pastors, its consecrated people and its lay faithful: the young, the families and the elderly. Let us ask her in particular to watch over the sick and all the suffering and to make fruitful the missionary initiatives that are under way in order to bring the proclamation of the Gospel to all. Let us entrust to Mary the whole of this City with its variegated population, its cultural, social and economic activities, the problems and challenges of our time and the dedication of all who cooperate for the common good.

My gaze now extends to the whole of Liguria, spangled with churches and Marian Shrines, set like a crown between the sea and the mountains. Together with you, I thank God for the robust, tenacious faith of the past generations that down the centuries wrote memorable pages of holiness and human civilization. In particular, Liguria and Genoa have always been an open land on the Mediterranean and on the whole world; how many missionaries set out from this port for the Americas and for other distant lands! How many people emigrated from here to other Countries, perhaps poor in material resources but rich in faith and the human and spiritual values which they subsequently transplanted to the places where they landed! May Mary, Star of the Sea, continue to shine upon Genoa; may Mary, Star of Hope, continue to guide the Genoese on their journey, especially the new generations so that, with her help, they may take the right route across the often stormy seas of life.


PASTORAL VISIT
OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI
TO SAVONA AND GENOA (LIGURIA)

EUCHARISTIC CONCELEBRATION

HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI

Piazza della Vittoria, Genoa, Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Sunday, 18 May 2008

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

At the end of a full day spent in your City, we are gathered around the altar to celebrate the Eucharist on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. From this central square, Piazza della Vittoria, which welcomes us for the communal service of praise and thanksgiving to God with which my Pastoral Visit concludes, I extend my most cordial greeting to the entire Civil and Ecclesial Community of Genoa. I first greet with affection the Archbishop, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, whom I thank for the courtesy with which he welcomed me and for his touching words at the beginning of Holy Mass. Then how can I omit greeting Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, my Secretary of State, former Pastor of this ancient and noble Church? My most cordial thanks to him for his spiritual closeness and his precious collaboration. I next greet Auxiliary Bishop Luigi Ernesto Palletti, the Bishops of Liguria and the other Prelates. I address my respectful thoughts to the Civil Authorities to whom I am grateful for their welcome and the effective support they have lent to the preparations for and execution of this Apostolic Pilgrimage. In particular, I greet Minister Claudio Scaiola, representing the new Government, who in these very days has assumed his full functions at the service of the beloved Italian Nation. I then address with deep gratitude the priests, men and women religious, the deacons, committed lay people, the seminarians and young people. My affectionate greeting to you all, dear brothers and sisters. I extend my thoughts to those who were unable to be present and especially to the sick, to the people who are alone and to all who are in difficulty. I entrust the City of Genoa and all its inhabitants to the Lord at this solemn Eucharistic concelebration which, as on every Sunday, invites us to take part as a community in the double table of the Word of Truth and the Bread of Eternal Life.

In the First Reading (Ex 34: 4b-6, 8-9) we heard a biblical text that presents to us the revelation of God’s Name. It is God himself, Eternal and Invisible, who proclaims it, passing before Moses in the cloud on Mount Sinai. And his Name is: “The Lord, a God merciful, and compassionate, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness”. In the New Testament St John sums up this sentence in a single word: “Love” (see I Jn 4: 8, 16). Today’s Gospel also testifies to this: “God so loved the world that he gave his Only Son” (Jn 3: 16). Consequently this Name clearly expresses that the God of the Bible is not some kind of monad closed in on itself and satisfied with his own self-sufficiency but he is life that wants to communicate itself, openness, relationship. Words like “merciful”, “compassionate”, “rich in grace” all speak to us of a relationship, in particular, of a vital Being who offers himself, who wants to fill every gap, every shortage, who wants to give and to forgive, who desires to establish a solid and lasting bond. Sacred Scripture knows no other God than the God of the Covenant who created the world in order to pour out his love upon all creatures (see Roman Missal, Eucharistic Prayer IV) and chose a people with which to make a nuptial pact, to make it become a blessing for all the nations and so to form a great family of the whole of humanity (see Gn 12: 1-3; Ex 19: 3-6). This revelation of God is fully delineated in the New Testament though the word of Christ. Jesus showed us the Face of God, one in Essence and Triune in Persons: God is Love, Father Love - Son Love - Holy Spirit Love. And it is precisely in this God’s Name that the Apostle Paul greets the Community of Corinth: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God [the Father] and the fellowship of the Holy Sprit be with you all” (II Cor 13: 14).

There is contained, therefore, in these Readings, a principal that regards God and in effect today’s Feast invites us to contemplate him, the Lord. It invites us in a certain sense to scale “the mountain” as Moses did. This seems at first sight to take us far from the world and its problems but in fact one discovers that it is precisely by coming to know God more intimately that one receives fundamental instructions for this our life: something like what happened to Moses who, climbing Sinai and remaining in God’s presence, received the law engraved on stone tablets from which the people drew the guidance to continue, to find freedom and to form themselves as a people in liberty and justice. Our history depends on God’s Name and our journey on the light of his Face. From this reality of God which he himself made known to us by revealing his “Name” to us comes a certain image of man, that is, the exact concept of the person. If God is a dialogical unity, a being in relation, the human creature made in his image and likeness reflects this constitution: thus he is called to fulfil himself in dialogue, in conversation, in encounter.

In particular, Jesus has revealed to us that man is essentially a “son”, a creature who lives in the relationship with God the Father, and in this way in relationship with all his brothers and sisters. Man is not fulfilled in an absolute autonomy, deceiving himself that he is God but, on the contrary, by recognizing himself as a child, an open creature, reaching out to God and to his brethren in whose faces he discovers the image of their common Father. One can easily see that this concept of God and man is at the base of a corresponding model of the human community, and therefore of society. It is a model that comes before any normative, juridical or institutional regulations but I would say even before cultural specifications. It is a model of the human family transversal to all civilizations, which we Christians express confirming that human beings are all children of God and therefore all brothers and sisters. This is a truth that has been behind us from the outset and at the same time is always before us, like a project to strive for in every social construction.

The Magisterium of the Church which has developed from this vision of God and of man is a very rich one. It suffices to run through the most important chapters of the Social Doctrine of the Church, to which my venerable Predecessors have made substantial contributions, especially in the past 120 years, making themselves authoritative interpreters and guides of the social movement of Christian inspiration. Here I would like to mention only a recent Pastoral Note of the Italian Episcopate: “Rigenerati per una speranza viva’: Testimoni del grande ‘si’ di Dio all’uomo” [Regenerated by a living hope: witnesses of God’s great “yes” to man] (29 June 2007). This Note proposes two priorities. First of all, the choice of the “primacy of God”: all the Church’s life and work depend on putting God in first place, not a generic God but rather the Lord with his Name and his Face, the God of the Covenant who brought the people out of slavery in Egypt, who raised Christ from the dead and who wants to lead humanity to freedom in peace and justice. The other choice is to put the person and the unity of his life at the centre, in the various contexts in which he is deployed: emotional life, work and celebration, in his own fragility, tradition and citizenship. The Triune God and the person in relationship: these are the two references that the Church has the duty to offer to every human generation as a service to build a free and supportive society. The Church certainly does so with her doctrine, but above all through her witness which, with reason, is the third fundamental choice of the Italian Episcopate: personal and community witness in which the spiritual life, pastoral mission and the cultural dimension converge.

In a society fraught between globalization and individualism, the Church is called to offer a witness of koinonìa, of communion. This reality does not come “from below” but is a mystery which, so to speak, “has its roots in Heaven”, in the Triune God himself. It is he, in himself, who is the eternal dialogue of love which was communicated to us in Jesus Christ and woven into the fabric of humanity and history to lead it to fullness. And here then is the great synthesis of the Second Vatican Council: the Church, mystery of communion, “in Christ is in the nature of sacrament - a sign and instrument, that is, of communion with God and of unity among all men” (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, no. 1). Here too, in this great City, as well as in its territory with the variety of the respective human and social problems, the Ecclesial Community, today as yesterday, is first of all the sign, poor but true, of God Love whose Name is impressed in the depths of the being of every person and in every experience of authentic sociability and solidarity.

After these reflections, dear brothers and sisters, I leave you some special exhortations. Take care of spiritual and catechetical formation, a “substantial” formation that is more necessary than ever to live the Christian vocation well in today’s world. I say to adults and young people: foster a thought-out faith that can engage in profound dialogue with all, with our non-Catholic brethren, with non-Christians and with non-believers. Continue your generous sharing with the poor and the weak, in accordance with the Church’s original praxis, always drawing inspiration and strength from the Eucharist, the perennial source of charity. With special affection I encourage seminarians and young people involved in a vocational journey: do not be afraid; indeed, may you feel the attraction of definitive choices, of a serious and demanding formative process. The high standard of discipleship alone fascinates and gives joy. I urge all to grow in the missionary dimension which is co-essential to communion. Indeed, the Trinity is at the same time unity and mission: the more intense love is, the stronger is the urge to pour it out, to spread it, to communicate it. Church of Genoa, be united and missionary to proclaim to all the joy of faith and the beauty of being God’s Family. My thought extends to the entire City, to all the Genoese and to all who live and work in this territory. Dear friends, look to the future with confidence and seek to build it together, avoiding factiousness and particularism, putting the common good before your own specific legitimate interests.

I would like to conclude with a wish that I have taken from the stupendous prayer of Moses which we heard in the First Reading: let the Lord always walk in the midst of you and make you his heritage (see Ex 34: 9). May the intercession of Mary Most Holy, whom the Genoese, at home and throughout the world, invoke as the Madonna della Guardia obtain this for you. With her help and that of the Holy Patrons of your beloved City and Region, may your faith and works always be in praise and glory of the Most Holy Trinity. Following the example of the Saints of this earth, be a missionary community: listening to God and at the service of men and women! Amen.


BENEDICT XVI

ANGELUS

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Saint Peter’s Square, Sunday, 7 June 2009

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

After the Easter Season which culminated in the Feast of Pentecost, the liturgy provides for these three Solemnities of the Lord: today, Trinity Sunday; next Thursday, Corpus Christi which in many countries, including Italy, will be celebrated next Sunday; and finally, on the following Friday, the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Each one of these liturgical events highlights a perspective by which the whole mystery of the Christian faith is embraced: and that is, respectively the reality of the Triune God, the Sacrament of the Eucharist and the divine and human centre of the Person of Christ. These are truly aspects of the one mystery of salvation which, in a certain sense, sum up the whole itinerary of the revelation of Jesus, from his Incarnation to his death and Resurrection and, finally, to his Ascension and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Today we contemplate the Most Holy Trinity as Jesus introduced us to it. He revealed to us that God is love “not in the oneness of a single Person, but in the Trinity of one substance” (Preface). He is the Creator and merciful Father; he is the Only-Begotten Son, eternal Wisdom incarnate, who died and rose for us; he is the Holy Spirit who moves all things, cosmos and history, toward their final, full recapitulation. Three Persons who are one God because the Father is love, the Son is love, the Spirit is love. God is wholly and only love, the purest, infinite and eternal love. He does not live in splendid solitude but rather is an inexhaustible source of life that is ceaselessly given and communicated. To a certain extent we can perceive this by observing both the macro-universe: our earth, the planets, the stars, the galaxies; and the micro-universe: cells, atoms, elementary particles. The “name” of the Blessed Trinity is, in a certain sense, imprinted upon all things because all that exists, down to the last particle, is in relation; in this way we catch a glimpse of God as relationship and ultimately, Creator Love. All things derive from love, aspire to love and move impelled by love, though naturally with varying degrees of awareness and freedom. “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (Ps 8: 1) the Psalmist exclaims. In speaking of the “name”, the Bible refers to God himself, his truest identity. It is an identity that shines upon the whole of Creation, in which all beings for the very fact that they exist and because of the “fabric” of which they are made point to a transcendent Principle, to eternal and infinite Life which is given, in a word, to Love. “In him we live and move and have our being”, St Paul said at the Areopagus of Athens (Acts 17: 28). The strongest proof that we are made in the image of the Trinity is this: love alone makes us happy because we live in a relationship, and we live to love and to be loved. Borrowing an analogy from biology, we could say that imprinted upon his “genome”, the human being bears a profound mark of the Trinity, of God as Love.

The Virgin Mary, in her docile humility, became the handmaid of divine Love: she accepted the Father’s will and conceived the Son by the power of the Holy Spirit. In her the Almighty built a temple worthy of him and made her the model and image of the Church, mystery and house of communion for all human beings. May Mary, mirror of the Blessed Trinity, help us to grow in faith in the Trinitarian mystery.


SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY

BENEDICT XVI

ANGELUS

Saint Peter’s Square, Sunday, 30 May 2010

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

After the Easter Season that ended last Sunday with Pentecost, the Liturgy has returned to “Ordinary Time”. This does not mean, however, that Christians must be less any committed: indeed, having entered divine life through the sacraments, we are called daily to be open to the action of divine Grace, to progress in love of God and of neighbour. This Sunday of the Most Holy Trinity, in a certain sense sums up God’s revelation which was brought about through the Paschal Mysteries: Christ’s death and Resurrection, his Ascension to the right hand of the Father and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The human mind and language are inadequate to explain the relationship that exists between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; yet the Fathers of the Church sought to illustrate the mystery of the Triune God by living it with deep faith in their own lives.

The divine Trinity takes up his abode in us on the day of our Baptism: “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”. Every time we sign ourselves with the sign of the Cross we remember God’s name in which we were baptized. With regard to the sign of the Cross a theologian, Romano Guardini, remarked: “We do it before praying so that... we may put ourselves spiritually in order; focus thoughts, heart and will on God; after praying, so that what God has given us may remain within us.... It embraces the whole being, body and soul... and everything is consecrated in the name of the Triune God” (Lo spirito della liturgia. I santi segni, Brescia, 2000, pp. 125-126).

The sign of the Cross and the name of the living God therefore contain the proclamation that generates faith and inspires prayer. And just as in the Gospel Jesus promises the Apostles that: “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth” (Jn 16: 13), so it happens in the Sunday Liturgy, from week to week, when priests dispense the bread of the Word and of the Eucharist. The Holy Curé d’Ars also reminded his faithful of this. “Who welcomed your soul”, he asked, “at the beginning of your life? The priest. Who feeds your soul and gives it strength for its journey? The priest. Who will prepare it to appear before God, bathing it one last time in the blood of Jesus Christ? The priest, always the priest” (Letter inaugurating the Year for Priests).

Dear friends, let us make our own the prayer of St Hilary of Poitiers: “Keep uncontaminated this upright faith that is in me and, until my last breath, grant me likewise this voice of my conscience, that I may be ever faithful to what I professed in my regeneration when I was baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (De Trinitate, XII, 57, CCL 62/A, 627). Invoking the Blessed Virgin Mary, the first creature to be fully inhabited by the Blessed Trinity, let us ask her protection and help to make good progress on our earthly pilgrimage.


PASTORAL VISIT TO THE DIOCESE OF SAN MARINO-MONTEFELTRO

BENEDICT XVI

ANGELUS

Olympic stadium of Serravalle - Republic of San Marino, Sunday, 19 June 2011

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

While we are preparing to conclude our celebration the midday hour invites us to turn in prayer to the Virgin Mary. In this region too Our Most Holy Mother is venerated in various shrines, both old and new. To her I entrust all of you and the entire population of San Marino and Montefeltro and, in particular, those who are suffering in body and mind. I address a special thought of gratitude at this time to all who cooperated in the preparation and organization of this visit. My heartfelt thanks!

I am pleased to recall that Bl. Sr Marguerite Rutan, a Daughter of Charity, is being beatified today in Dax, France. In the second half of the 18th century she worked with deep dedication at the Hospital in Dax but in the tragic persecutions that followed the Revolution she was sentenced to death for her Catholic faith and her fidelity to the Church.

I am participating in spirit in the joy of the Daughters of Charity and of all the faithful in Dax who are taking part in the beatification of Sr Marguerite Rutan, a shining witness of Christ’s love for the poor.

Lastly, I would like to recall that tomorrow is the World Refugee Day. On this occasion, this year we are celebrating the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the international convention which protects all those who are persecuted and forced to flee their countries. I therefore ask the civil authorities and every person of goodwill to guarantee to refugees acceptance and dignified living conditions, while they wait to return in freedom and safety to their homeland.


PASTORAL VISIT TO THE DIOCESE OF SAN MARINO-MONTEFELTRO

EUCHARISTIC CONCELEBRATION

HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI

Olympic stadium of Serravalle - Republic of San Marino, Sunday, 19 June 2011

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Great is my joy at being a able to break with you the bread of the Word of God and of the Eucharist and to address to you, dear people of San Marino, my most cordial greeting. My special thoughts go to the Captains Regent and to the other political and civil authorities present at this Eucharistic celebration. I greet with affection your pastor, Bishop Luigi Negri, whom I thank for his courteous words and, with him, I greet all the priests and faithful of the Diocese of San Marino-Montefeltro; I greet each one of you and express my heartfelt gratitude for the cordiality and affection with which you have welcomed me. I have come to share with you the joys and hopes, efforts and duties, ideals and aspirations of this diocesan community. I know that you are not without difficulties, problems and concerns here. I want to assure you all that I am close to you and remember you in prayer, and I encourage you to persevere in bearing witness to the human and Christian values that are so deeply rooted in the faith and history of this territory and its people, with its granitic faith of which the Bishop spoke.

Today we are celebrating the Feast of the Blessed Trinity, the Feast of God, of the centre of our faith: God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. When one thinks of the Trinity, one usually thinks of the aspect of the mystery: they are Three and they are One, one God in three Persons. Actually God in his greatness cannot be anything but a mystery for us, yet he revealed himself. We can know him in his Son and thus also know the Father and the Holy Spirit. Instead today’s Liturgy draws our attention not so much to this mystery as to the reality of love that is contained in this first and supreme mystery of our faith. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are one because God is love and love is an absolute life-giving force; the unity created by love is a unity greater than a purely physical unity. The Father gives everything to the Son; the Son receives everything from the Father with gratitude; and the Holy Spirit is the fruit of this mutual love of the Father and the Son. The texts of today’s Mass speak of God and thus speak of love; they do not dwell so much on the three Persons, but rather on love which is the substance and, at the same time, the unity and trinity.

The first passage that we heard, taken from the Book of Exodus and which I dwelt on at a recent Wednesday catechesis [General Audience of 1 June 2011], is surprising because the revelation of God’s love comes after a very serious sin of the people. They had hardly concluded the oath of the Covenant which they took at Mount Sinai, and already the people were disloyal. In Moses’ prolonged absence, the people said: “but where has this Moses gone, where is his God?” and they asked Aaron to create a god who would be visible, accessible and controllable, within the reach of man instead of this mysterious, invisible and distant God. Aaron complied and made a golden calf. Coming down from Sinai, Moses saw what had happened and broke the tablets of the Covenant which was already broken, shattered, two stones on which were written the “Ten Words”, the concrete contents of the agreement with God. It looked as if all was lost, the friendship, immediately and from the outset, was broken. Yet, despite this most grievous sin of the people, through Moses’ intercession God chose to forgive them and invited Moses to climb the mountain once again to receive anew his law, the Ten Commandments, and to renew the pact. Moses then asked God to reveal himself, to allow him to see his face. However, God did not show his face, but rather revealed his being, full of goodness, with these words: “The Lord, the Lord, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Ex 34:6). This is the Face of God. This self-definition of God expresses his merciful love: a love that triumphs over sin, covers it, eliminates it. We can always be sure of this goodness which does not abandon us. There can be no clearer revelation. We have a God who refuses to destroy sinners and wants to show his love in an even more profound and surprising way to sinners themselves, in order to always offer them the possibility of conversion and forgiveness.

The Gospel completes this revelation, we heard in the First Reading, because it indicates the point to which God has shown his mercy. John the Evangelist refers to these words of Jesus: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (3:16). In the world there is evil, there is selfishness, there is wickedness, and God could come to judge this world, to destroy evil, to punish those who work in darkness. Instead, he shows his love for the world and for men and women, despite their sin, and sends what is most precious to him: his Only-Begotten Son. Not only does God send him, but he gives him as a gift to the world. Jesus is the Son of God who was born for us, who lived for us, who healed the sick, forgave sins and welcomed everyone. Responding to the love that comes from the Father, the Son gave his own life for us: on the cross God’s merciful love reaches its highest expression. And it is on the cross that the Son of God obtains for us participation in eternal life that is communicated to us with the gift of the Holy Spirit. Thus, in the mystery of the cross, the three divine Persons are present: the Father, who gives his Only-Begotten Son for the salvation of the world; the Son, who totally fulfils the Father’s plan; the Holy Spirit — poured out by Jesus at the moment of his death — who comes to make us participants in divine life, to transform our existence so that it may be enlivened by divine love.

Dear brothers and sisters, faith in the Trinitarian God has characterized this Church of San Marino-Montefeltro, too, throughout the course of its ancient and glorious history. The evangelization of this land is attributed to the holy stonemasons Marinus and Leo who are said to have come to Rimini from Dalmatia in the middle of the third century. Because of the holiness of their lives they were ordained, respectively a priest and a deacon, by Bishop Gaudentius who sent them inland, one to Monte Feretro, later known as San Leo, and the other to Monte Titano, later known as San Marino. Over and above the historical issues — which it is not our task to examine — it is interesting to state that Marinus and Leo brought into the context of this local reality, with the faith in God revealed in Jesus Christ, new perspectives and values, determining the birth of a culture and a civilization centred on the human person, the image of God and therefore the bearer of rights that precede all human legislation. The variety of ethnic groups — Romans, Goths and later Lombards — who came into contact with each other, sometimes in very conflictual situations, found in their common reference to faith a powerful factor for ethical, cultural, social and, in a certain way, political, edification. It was obvious to them that they could not consider a project of civilization complete until all the members of the people had become a living and well-structured Christian community built on faith in the Trinitarian God. Therefore one can rightly say that the wealth of this people, your wealth, dear Sammarinesi, has been and still is faith, and that this faith has created a truly unique civilization. Alongside your faith, we must also recall your absolute fidelity to the Bishop of Rome, whom this Church has always viewed with devotion and affection; likewise the attention shown to the great tradition of the Eastern Church and a deep devotion to the Virgin Mary.

You are justly proud of and grateful for all that the Holy Spirit has done in your Church throughout the centuries. However, you also know that the best way to appreciate an inheritance is to cultivate and enrich it. You are called, in fact, to develop this precious deposit in one of the most crucial moments in history. Today your mission is facing profound and rapid cultural, social, economic and political transformations that have determined new directions and changed mentalities, customs and sensitivities. Here too, as elsewhere, there is no lack of difficulties and obstacles, due above all to hedonistic models that obscure minds and risk uprooting all morality. The temptation has crept in to believe that man’s true wealth is not faith, but personal and social power, his intellect, his culture and his capacity to manipulate scientific, technological and social reality. Thus, in these lands too, people have begun to replace faith and Christian values with presumed riches which ultimately prove to be inconsistent and unable to sustain the great promise of the true, the good, the beautiful and the just that for centuries your ancestors have identified with the experience of faith. Nor should we forget the crisis into which many families have been plunged, aggravated by the widespread psychological and spiritual fragility of couples, as well as the struggle experienced by many educators in offering formative continuity to young people, who are conditioned by various types of instability, and in the first place that of their social role and work opportunities.

Dear friends, I am well acquainted with the committed involvement of every member of this particular Church in fostering the various aspects of Christian life. I urge all the faithful to be like leaven in the world, showing that in both Montefeltro and San Marino there are enterprising and consistent Christians present. May priests and religious live in an ever more cordial and active ecclesial communion, helping and listening to the diocesan pastor. May you too feel the urgent need for a resurgence in priestly vocations and to those of special consecration: I appeal to families and to young people to open their hearts to a prompt response to the Lord’s call. No one ever regrets being generous to God! I urge you lay people to be actively involved in the community so that, in addition to your specific civic, political, social and cultural tasks, you may find the time and inclination for a life of faith, for pastoral life. Dear people of San Marino, stay firmly faithful to the heritage built over the centuries under the inspiration of your great patrons, Marinus and Leo. I invoke God’s blessing on your journey, today and in the future, and I commend you all to “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit” (2 Cor 13:14). Amen!


PASTORAL VISIT TO THE ARCHDIOCESE OF MILAN
AND 7th WORLD MEETING OF FAMILIES
(1-3 JUNE 2012)

BENEDICT XVI

ANGELUS

Bresso Park, Sunday, 3 June 2012

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I find no words to thank you for this Feast of God, for this communion of God’s Family which we are. At the end of this celebration, a big “thank you” to God, who has given us this important ecclesial experience. For my part, I address my heartfelt gratitude to all those who have worked for this event, starting with Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family — thank you, Your Eminence! — and with Cardinal Angelo Scola, Archbishop of Milan — Thank you! And also for this beautiful temple of God which he has given us. I thank all those responsible for the organization and all the volunteers. I am glad to announce that the next World Meeting of Families will take place in 2015 in Philadelphia, in the United States of America. I greet Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia and thank him from this moment for his willingness.

(In French) Today I am also sharing in spirit with the joy of the faithful of the Archdiocese of Besançon who have gathered for the Beatification of Fr Marie Jean-Joseph Lataste, a priest of the Order of Preachers, an apostle of mercy and “Apostle of Prisons”.

As we conclude this celebration by turning in prayer to the Virgin Mary, I wish to extend my gratitude to all who have contributed to the success of this World Meeting of Families, particularly to Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, to Cardinal Angelo Scola, to the Archdiocese and city of Milan, and to the many people from Italy and abroad who have prayed and worked so hard to make this Meeting a time of grace for all.

(In English) I now have the joy of announcing that the next World Meeting of Families will take place in 2015 in Philadelphia in the United States of America. I send my warm greetings to Archbishop Charles Chaput and to the Catholics of that great city, and look forward to meeting them there along with numerous families from all around the world. May God bless you all!

Dear families in Milan, Lombardy, Italy and worldwide. I greet you all with affection and thank you for your participation. I encourage you to always be supportive with the families in need, I am thinking of the economic and social crisis, I am thinking of the recent earthquake in Emilia. May the Virgin Mary accompany you and sustain you always. Thank you.


PASTORAL VISIT TO THE ARCHDIOCESE OF MILAN
AND 7th WORLD MEETING OF FAMILIES
(1-3 JUNE 2012)

EUCHARISTIC CELEBRATION

HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS POPE BENEDICT XVI

Bresso Park, Sunday, 3 June 2012

Dear Brother Bishops,

Distinguished Authorities,

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

It is a time of great joy and communion that we are experiencing this morning, as we celebrate the eucharistic Sacrifice: a great gathering, in union with the Successor of Peter, consisting of faithful who have come from many different nations. It is an eloquent image of the Church, one and universal, founded by Christ and fruit of the mission entrusted by Jesus to his Apostles, as we heard in today’s Gospel: to go and make disciples of all nations, “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:18-19). With affection and gratitude I greet Cardinal Angelo Scola, Archbishop of Milan, and Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, the principal architects of this VII World Meeting of Families, together with their staff, the Auxiliary Bishops of Milan and all the other bishops. I am pleased to greet all the Authorities who are present today. And I extend a warm welcome especially to you, dear families! Thank you for your participation!

In today’s second reading, Saint Paul reminds us that in Baptism we received the Holy Spirit, who unites us to Christ as brothers and sisters and makes us children of the Father, so that we can cry out: “Abba, Father!” (see Rom 8:15,17). At that moment we were given a spark of new, divine life, which is destined to grow until it comes to its definitive fulfilment in the glory of heaven; we became members of the Church, God’s family, “sacrarium Trinitatis” as Saint Ambrose calls it, “a people made one by the unity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”, as the Second Vatican Council teaches (Lumen Gentium, no. 4). The liturgical Solemnity of the Holy Trinity that we are celebrating today invites us to contemplate this mystery, but it also urges us to commit ourselves to live our communion with God and with one another according to the model of Trinitarian communion. We are called to receive and to pass on the truths of faith in a spirit of harmony, to live our love for each other and for everyone, sharing joys and sufferings, learning to seek and to grant forgiveness, valuing the different charisms under the leadership of the bishops. In a word, we have been given the task of building church communities that are more and more like families, able to reflect the beauty of the Trinity and to evangelize not only by word, but I would say by “radiation”, in the strength of living love.

It is not only the Church that is called to be the image of One God in Three Persons, but also the family, based on marriage between man and woman. In the beginning, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply’” (Gen 1:27-28). God created us male and female, equal in dignity, but also with respective and complementary characteristics, so that the two might be a gift for each other, might value each other and might bring into being a community of love and life. It is love that makes the human person the authentic image of the Blessed Trinity, image of God. Dear married couples, in living out your marriage you are not giving each other any particular thing or activity, but your whole lives. And your love is fruitful first and foremost for yourselves, because you desire and accomplish one another’s good, you experience the joy of receiving and giving. It is also fruitful in your generous and responsible procreation of children, in your attentive care for them, and in their vigilant and wise education. And lastly, it is fruitful for society, because family life is the first and irreplaceable school of social virtues, such as respect for persons, gratuitousness, trust, responsibility, solidarity, cooperation. Dear married couples, watch over your children and, in a world dominated by technology, transmit to them, with serenity and trust, reasons for living, the strength of faith, pointing them towards high goals and supporting them in their fragility. And let me add a word to the children here: be sure that you always maintain a relationship of deep affection and attentive care for your parents, and see that your relationships with your brothers and sisters are opportunities to grow in love.

God’s plan for the human couple finds its fullness in Jesus Christ, who raised marriage to the level of a sacrament. Dear married couples, by means of a special gift of the Holy Spirit, Christ gives you a share in his spousal love, making you a sign of his faithful and all-embracing love for the Church. If you can receive this gift, renewing your “yes” each day by faith, with the strength that comes from the grace of the sacrament, then your family will grow in God’s love according to the model of the Holy Family of Nazareth. Dear families, pray often for the help of the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph, that they may teach you to receive God’s love as they did. Your vocation is not easy to live, especially today, but the vocation to love is a wonderful thing, it is the only force that can truly transform the cosmos, the world. You have before you the witness of so many families who point out the paths for growing in love: by maintaining a constant relationship with God and participating in the life of the Church, by cultivating dialogue, respecting the other’s point of view, by being ready for service and patient with the failings of others, by being able to forgive and to seek forgiveness, by overcoming with intelligence and humility any conflicts that may arise, by agreeing on principles of upbringing, and by being open to other families, attentive towards the poor, and responsible within civil society. These are all elements that build up the family. Live them with courage, and be sure that, insofar as you live your love for each other and for all with the help of God’s grace, you become a living Gospel, a true domestic Church (see Familiaris Consortio, 49). I should also like to address a word to the faithful who, even though they agree with the Church’s teachings on the family, have had painful experiences of breakdown and separation. I want you to know that the Pope and the Church support you in your struggle. I encourage you to remain united to your communities, and I earnestly hope that your dioceses are developing suitable initiatives to welcome and accompany you.

In the Book of Genesis, God entrusts his creation to the human couple for them to guard it, cultivate it, and direct it according to his plan (see 1:27-28; 2:15). In this indication of Sacred Scripture we may recognize the task of man and woman to collaborate with God in the process of transforming the world through work, science and technology. Man and woman are also the image of God in this important work, which they are to carry out with the Creator’s own love. In modern economic theories, there is often a utilitarian concept of work, production and the market. Yet God’s plan, as well as experience, show that the one-sided logic of sheer utility and maximum profit are not conducive to harmonious development, to the good of the family or to building a just society, because it brings in its wake ferocious competition, strong inequalities, degradation of the environment, the race for consumer goods, family tensions. Indeed, the utilitarian mentality tends to take its toll on personal and family relationships, reducing them to a fragile convergence of individual interests and undermining the solidity of the social fabric.

One final point: man, as the image of God, is also called to rest and to celebrate. The account of creation concludes with these words: “And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it” (Gen 2:2-3). For us Christians, the feast day is Sunday, the Lord’s day, the weekly Easter. It is the day of the Church, the assembly convened by the Lord around the table of the word and of the eucharistic Sacrifice, just as we are doing today, in order to feed on him, to enter into his love and to live by his love. It is the day of man and his values: conviviality, friendship, solidarity, culture, closeness to nature, play, sport. It is the day of the family, on which to experience together a sense of celebration, encounter, sharing, not least through taking part in Mass. Dear families, despite the relentless rhythms of the modern world, do not lose a sense of the Lord’s Day! It is like an oasis in which to pause, so as to taste the joy of encounter and to quench our thirst for God.

Family, work, celebration: three of God’s gifts, three dimensions of our lives that must be brought into a harmonious balance. Harmonizing work schedules with family demands, professional life with fatherhood and motherhood, work with celebration, is important for building up a society with a human face. In this regard, always give priority to the logic of being over that of having: the first builds up, the second ends up destroying. We must learn to believe first of all in the family, in authentic love, the kind that comes from God and unites us to him, the kind that therefore “makes us a ‘we’ which transcends our divisions and makes us one, until in the end God is ‘all in all’ (1 Cor 15:28)” (Deus Caritas Est, no. 18). Amen. 



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