Monday, May 09, 2005

Habemus Papam!

The Holy Father beaming with joy!

Pope Benedict XVI is a man chosen by the Holy Spirit. Those who believe this, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, will be in for a big surprise! First, they will experience a genuine love and respect for a man whom they have never seen nor heard of, before the conclave. Second, they will experience a quick and steady growth in their faith. They will be drawn to Jesus more and more. Alas, those who doubt the Holy Spirit's role in the election, will find themselves fearing rather than hoping, complaining rather than rejoicing.

The Pope was a reluctant successor who, by Divine Providence and through the prayers of the Church and the support of his brother cardinals, rose above his human weakness and found his heart captivated by Jesus. Despite an overwhelming sense of an approaching martyrdom, then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger received the grace of consolation and quickly realized that Jesus was calling him to be His Vicar - how could he refuse the Master! He was not only a simple and humble worker of the Lord's vineyard, he was, most of all what was most pleasing to God - obedient. Let us therefore rise above our own human weakness and pledge our support for the man who was chosen by the Holy Spirit, the priest who gave his "yes" to Jesus in the conclave.

In preparation for the Feast of Pentecost on Sunday, May 15 2005, we give thanks to the Holy Spirit for resting Himself on Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, who for 26 years protected the deposit of the doctrine of faith. Let us pray to the Holy Spirit that He may continue to bless the Pope with wisdom, courage and humility.

God bless you Holy Father Benedict XVI!


Blogger muggahfuggah said...

And the whole Hitler Youth thing? Is God OK with that?

7:44 PM  
Blogger Saint Peter's helpers said...

Joseph Ratzinger's membership in the Hitler Youth was not voluntary but compulsory. The fact is that the cardinal - only a teenager during the period in question - was the son of an anti-Nazi policeman, that he was given a dispensation from Hitler Youth activities because of his religious studies, and that he deserted the German army (reported by Sunday Times).

As it is in our own lives, there are situations that put us in a very precarious position, we can only do the best we can to live according to our own good conscience.

Here's a historical note by journalist John Allen Jr. that enlightens us to the early years of the Pope.

As a seminarian, he was briefly enrolled in the Hitler Youth in the early 1940s, though he was never a member of the Nazi party. In 1943 he was conscripted into an antiaircraft unit guarding a BMW plant outside Munich. Later Ratzinger was sent to Austria's border with Hungary to erect tank traps. After being shipped back to Bavaria, he deserted. When the war ended, he was an American prisoner of war.

Under Hitler, Ratzinger says he watched the Nazis twist and distort the truth. Their lies about Jews, about genetics, were more than academic exercises. People died by the millions because of them. The church's service to society, Ratzinger concluded, is to stand for absolute truths that function as boundary markers: Move about within these limits, but outside them lies disaster.

Later reflection on the Nazi experience also left Ratzinger with a conviction that theology must either bind itself to the church, with its creed and teaching authority, or it becomes the plaything of outside forces -- the state in a totalitarian system or secular culture in Western liberal democracies. In a widely noted 1986 lecture in Toronto, Ratzinger put it this way: "A church without theology impoverishes and blinds, while a churchless theology melts away into caprice."

Let's try to avoid malicious rumors and slander. We can only do good by knowing what we ought to know rather than agreeing on what we don't know anything about.

Read the Pope's autobiography "Milestones" published by Ignatius Press.

Thank you and God bless you.

11:11 PM  

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