Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Catholic Jedi Are Never Detached From Reality

I've gotta say, that I love Pope Benedict.  

He constantly amazes me with his ability to explain the Faith in simple, economic, and powerful words and images!


On July 4th, Benedict XVI travelled to Sulmona, Italy for a meeting with the local youth. 

He began by praising their "historical memory:"  
  • "Without memory", said the Holy Father, "there is no future. It used to be said that history is a teacher of life, but consumer culture tends to limit man to the present, to make him lose his sense of the past, of history." 
  • Benedict XVI then referred to consumer culture.  Consumer culture deprives man of the capacity to understand himself, to perceive problems, and build the future. 
  • "Therefore, dear young people, I wish to tell you that a Christian is someone who has a good memory, who loves history and seeks to understand it."  
History reveals what continually recurs and endures over a long or apparently infinite period of time:  
  • "For example, the capacity to listen to God in exterior silence, and above all in interior silence."
  • "It is important to learn how to experience moments of interior silence in our daily lives in order to be capable of hearing the voice of the Lord."
The person who learns to listen to the Lord's Voice -- and learns to follow it with generosity -- is afraid of nothing, and knows and feels that God is within.  

So, the secret of discerning our vocations in life lies in our relationship with God in prayer -- from the moment we decide to start on the journey, and afterwards, if we wish to be faithful and persevere. 
Benedict also taught the following truths to the young people of Sulmona, Italy.  Truths that are applicable to any Catholic, of any age, within any vocation in life:
  • "Authentic prayer is not detached from reality. 
  • If prayer alienates you, removes you from real life, be aware that it is not authentic prayer. 
  • "It is not a question of simply multiplying the number of words,  but of being in God's presence, making the expressions of the 'Our Father' present in our minds and our hearts, or adoring the Eucharist, ... or meditating on the Gospel, ... or participating in the liturgy. All this does not detach us from life; rather, it helps us truly to be ourselves in all environments, faithful to the voice of God which speaks to our conscience, free from the conditioning of the present moment."
  • "Faith and prayer do not resolve problems, but enable them to be faced with a new light and a new strength, in a manner worthy of man, more serenely and more effectively."
  • "If we look at the history of the Church we see that it is rich in saints ... who -- on the basis of an intense and constant dialogue with God, illuminated by faith -- were able to find creative and novel solutions to respond to the concrete human needs of all times: health, education, work, etc."
  • "Their resourcefulness was animated by the Holy Spirit and by a strong and generous love for their brothers and sisters, especially the weakest and most disadvantaged."
  • "Start decisively down the path of sanctity, the path of contact with and conformity to God. Thus you too will become more creative in seeking solutions to the problems you encounter and in seeking them together; for this is another distinctive sign of Christians: they are never individualists"."
  • "Love the Church: she gave you the faith, she brought you to know Christ."
  • "Conserve your enthusiasm, your joy, the joy that comes from having met the Lord, and communicate this to your friends and peers."
  • "Walk in the way of the Gospel; love the Church our mother: be simple and pure of heart; be mild and strong in the truth; be humble and generous."
Benedict 's beautiful teachings on prayer to those young people is -- as I see it -- part of his continuing teachings about our common task of purifying ourselves and the Church of spiritual filth and sin: Conversion, penance and prayer: Now!







Like I said: I love this man!  God bless, strengthen and protect him!

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Men of The Catholic Jedi Academy are also Men Of Saint Joseph!
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