Pope Benedict XVI has truly been a Holy Father to the family of God, his Catholic Church. His decision to resign is a beautiful, Christ-like act of humility and love for the Church. This is the act of a saint. This is the act of one who thinks not about himself but only about the will of God and the good of God's people. May we all be given the grace to be so humble and so selfless in our ministries and daily responsibilities.
LOS ANGELES (The Tidings) - I was surprised, as I'm sure you all were, by the Pope's announcement that he would be stepping down from his office at the end of this month.
Pope Benedict XVI has truly been a Holy Father to the family of God, his Catholic Church. His decision to resign is a beautiful, Christ-like act of humility and love for the Church.
This is the act of a saint.
This is the act of one who thinks not about himself but only about the will of God and the good of God's people. May we all be given the grace to be so humble and so selfless in our ministries and daily responsibilities.
I received my Archbishop's pallium twice from Pope Benedict - first as Archbishop of San Antonio and then as Archbishop of Los Angeles. I will always be grateful that he appointed me to be your Archbishop.
Personally, I have always had great affection for this Pope. He is a beautiful man. I had the honor to spend time with him for more than a month this past October during the Synod of Bishops. I was amazed, as I always am, by his joyfulness, his sense of prayer, and his intelligence.
In my opinion, Pope Benedict is one of the wisest persons in our world today. I try to learn every day from his words and example. Just witnessing his ministry, reading his writings, is a beautiful lesson for all of us in how to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
We see from his speeches, homilies and writings, that this Pope understands the world in a deep way - from economics, politics and world affairs to the spiritual and moral issues that face every individual.
Pope Benedict will be remembered as one of the Church's great teachers of the faith.
During his eight short years as Pope he has written Jesus of Nazareth, an important three-volume work on how to read the Gospels to find the true face of Christ. This may be one of the most important works of biblical theology in our time.
He has written encyclical letters on the virtues of love and hope and important works on the Word of God and the Eucharist. In his weekly public audience talks, the Pope has delivered a series of catecheses on the apostles and the teachings of St. Paul; on the Fathers and doctors of the Church; on the theologians and religious founders and reformers of the medieval Church; and on the teaching and witness of prayer found in the Old and New Testaments.
We can reflect upon and celebrate this Pope's legacy as we prepare for our annual Religious Education Congress, which will be held next week, Feb. 21-24 at the Anaheim Convention Center (www.recongress.org).
Education in the faith is my top pastoral priority for the Archdiocese. In order to truly live our faith, we need to know what we believe and why we believe it.
I am concerned about a kind of "cultural Catholicism." I'm concerned about people going to church on Sundays without really understanding why they are going or what they are doing. I'm concerned about people not really understanding the relationship between what we believe and how we should live.
Our faith is beautiful! There is richness to our Catholic faith that embraces all of life - from our private conversations with God in prayer to our participation in society.
For me, education in the faith does not mean knowledge for the sake of knowledge.
Education in the faith means knowing Jesus Christ who comes, as the Gospel tells us, "to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God" (Luke 1: 77-78).
Our faith should make all the difference in our lives. And that should be the aim of all our religious education and catechesis - to change people's lives by bringing them into contact with the love of Jesus Christ and the truth of his Gospel.
Our religious education and catechesis should inspire a more intense practice of the faith. It should inspire people to want to know their faith better so that they can live it more fully - with greater love and devotion.
So let us ask God's blessing on our Religious Education Congress - and all those who are teachers of the faith. And let us pray for one another this week - and for our universal Church.
Let us thank God today for the love and witness of Pope Benedict XVI. Let us entrust him to our Blessed Mother Mary and pray that he will continue to have joy and peace and many more years for prayer and reflection.
This article first appeared here in the Tidings, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.Â Follow Archbishop Gomez at: www.facebook.com/ArchbishopGomez.
By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
May has proved to be the most dangerous and deadliest month Baltimore has witnessed in more than 50 years. There were more than two dozen shootings over the Memorial Day weekend alone; city police have never been busier. Community leaders hope the members will come ... continue reading
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
While it's "doable," few people in California are actually voicing any enthusiasm. Stricken by a crippling drought, water officials are going through some highly popular alternatives - and repurposing sewage water into drinking water is one of them. LOS ... continue reading
By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
As Gay rights movements continue to disrupt society and political life, poll reveals that gay and lesbians are not as common in the United States as previously perceived. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A new Gallup poll conducted in early May has revealed that ... continue reading
By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
World's oldest woman, Jeralean Talley has added another year to her life - the world declared she turned 116 last weekend. Talley and her family, friends, the Inkster mayor and Congressman Conyers, delivered a message from President Barack Obama, celebrating her ... continue reading
By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
How would you react if you unexpectedly and inexplicably found nine brains on the side of the road while on your early morning run? Like most people, you may find yourself shocked and completely clueless on the origins of the brains. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith Fournier
I am always drawn to these words of Jesus on Memorial Day weekend, - No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. (John 15:13) Military service which leads to laying one's life down is certainly an expression of this kind of heroic ... continue reading
By Fr. Randy Sly
The work of our chaplains extends much farther than the post chapel. They labor on land, at sea and in the air. There are 1.4 million Catholics in the military; wherever they are stationed, the chaplain is there. These chaplains can be found bringing Jesus Christ to ... continue reading
By Jennifer Hartline
Thank you, to every man and woman who has fought and is currently fighting for our homeland. Thank you for doing everything within your power to make sure I and my children can sleep safely tonight. I love and appreciate you and I pray God's blessing on you ... continue reading
By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
About 9 miles of the Pacific ocean, across a popular spot on the California coast, was damaged after a pipeline leaked massive amounts of oil in the water earlier this week. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - According to officials, up to ... continue reading
By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
The fateful night of May 23, 2014, Antoine Cherchian managed to survive being shot by the virgin killer, Elliot Rodger, during his killing spree at UC Santa Barbara. While Cherchian sustained fatal injuries, along with six other students murdered, he is thankful for ... continue reading