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Father's house", the whole world became a participant in the events occurring in St. Peter's square. There, the Catholic Christian Church, in all of the beauty of its ancient but ever fresh worship, commended Pope John Paul II to God. We mourned together, we wept together and we drew strength from the loving presence of the God who filled those precious hours with supernatural grace.
For those moments, it seemed as though the world stood still.
It was also during that profound passing of Pope John Paul II that then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger spoke these words:
,"None of us can ever forget how in that last Easter Sunday of his life, the Holy Father, marked by suffering, came once more to the window of the Apostolic Palace and one last time gave his blessing "urbi et orbi" (to the Church and the world) We can be sure that our beloved pope is standing today at the window of the Father's house, that he sees us and blesses us."
I believe that one of the fruits of that very blessing was the selection of his friend, confidante, trusted theologian and beloved brother, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger to occupy the Chair of Peter. I also believe that Pope Benedict XVI has proven himself to be a master builder, rebuilding the Church so that she can engage the new missionary age of the Third Christian Millennium. The plans laid by the Divine Architect, the Holy Spirit, for the Rebuilding of the Church and, through her, for the renewal of human culture, were placed on paper by his beloved friend and benefactor, John Paul II. He left behind a treasury of extraordinary work in the encyclicals, exhortations, letters and allocutions that he authored.
Now, Benedict the Builder has stepped up, supplied with some of the bricks and mortar, and continued the work. As I have written before, John Paul became, like the Savior he followed, lived and died as a "grain of wheat". Once fallen to the ground, we have begun to see the sprouting of the very "new springtime" that he proclaimed under the leadership of Pope Benedict. If there is anyone who understands the writings and the work of Pope John Paul, it is Pope Benedict XVI.
Anyone who has studied theology in the last two decades (and I am included in that number) have read Joseph Ratzinger and eaten from his rich bounty. He is one of the most brilliant, insightful and fecund theologians of the age. He knows the burden that the Lord placed on the heart of his predecessor Pope John Paul II for "a New Evangelization" must lead to a massive rebuilding of the very infrastructure of faith in the Catholic Church. He understands the challenges that the Church faces as she walks forward to the future in this Third Christian Millennium are monumental. However, he is a theologian of the highest order and ecclesiology, the study of the theology of the Church, is one of many of his greatest areas of knowledge. He is also a giant of a living faith which he believes must be lived, as well as proclaimed, in all the world.
He comprehends the legacy of Pope John Paul II and stands fully within the Tradition stretching forward and toward an authentic renewal of the Church. He also knows that only the Catholic Church, truly renewed, can effect the transformation of contemporary culture. His predecessor left a legacy symbolized in pregnant phrases such as "adequate anthropology", "new humanism", "new feminism", "universal call to holiness", "true and authentic freedom", the "Church as communion", the call to the whole Christian Church to heed the prayer of Jesus "Ut Unum Sint", the "theology of the Body", "the theology of the gift" the "two lungs" of the Church, East and West, breathing together, the "new advent", the "new springtime"... and the list goes on.
However, these phrases not only summarized the themes of the last Pontificate but are the very material out of which this Pope named Benedict XVI is now building. This should come as no surprise, he helped his predecessor to develop and, in some instances, express them on the written page. He will now use them as mortar and bricks in this mission to rebuild the Church so that she can carry forward her mission to this Third Christian millennium.
Pope Benedict XVI, like Pope John Paul II, was present at and participated in the Second Vatican Council. He not only understands the authentic teaching of that Council but he has led the way in its proper implementation in many areas of life, both within the Church and in her mission to the modern world. He also understands the way that the Council was hijacked in some circles, disregarded in others and absolutely misinterpreted in still others.
He is a voice for dynamic orthodox and faithful Catholic Christian faith, practice, worship and life. This Pope who will grace our Nation with this pastoral visit is a gift from God. He has been given to the Church of Jesus Christ right at the beginning of ...
- - -Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.Keywords:
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