Thursday, February 28, 2013

Danke, Papa. Auf Wiedersehen

IC asked us to share our favorite lines from Pope Benedict XVI. This is from his address to the College of Cardinals at the pro eligendo summo Pontifice prior to the last conclave. There's one phrase that sticks out (and I'm guessing everyone will recognize it), but I remember being struck by the beauty of the context in which it occurs. I was already a fan of Cardinal Ratzinger, but this homily exemplified just how different he was from the media's portrayal of him:
Having a clear faith, based on the Creed of the Church, is often labeled today as a fundamentalism. Whereas, relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and “swept along by every wind of teaching”, looks like the only attitude (acceptable) to today’s standards. We are moving towards a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal one’s own ego and one’s own desires.
However, we have a different goal: the Son of God, true man. He is the measure of true humanism. Being an “Adult” means having a faith which does not follow the waves of today’s fashions or the latest novelties. A faith which is deeply rooted in friendship with Christ is adult and mature. It is this friendship which opens us up to all that is good and gives us the knowledge to judge true from false, and deceit from truth. We must become mature in this adult faith; we must guide the flock of Christ to this faith. And it is this faith – only faith – which creates unity and takes form in love.
I have loved his books written before and after his elevation, particularly The Spirit of the Liturgy, Introductuion to Christianity, and Salt of the Earth, and of course, his three books on Jesus of Nazareth (the third of which I'm still reading). I will miss him greatly.
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