Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Sunday Angelus: Reaffirming Love

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

In the encyclical published last Wednesday, reaffirming the primacy of charity in the life of the Christian and the Church, I wished to recall that the privileged witnesses of this primacy are the saints, who made of their lives, with a thousand notes, a hymn to God-Love. The liturgy makes us celebrate it every day of the year. I think, for example, of those we are commemorating in these days: the Apostle Paul, with the disciples Timothy and Titus, St. Angela Merici, St. Thomas Aquinas St. John Bosco. They are saints who are very different from one another: The former belong to the beginning of the Church; they are the missionaries of the first evangelization.

During the Middle Ages, Thomas Aquinas is the model of the Catholic theologian who sees in Christ the supreme synthesis of truth and love. During the Renaissance, Angela Merici suggested a path of holiness as well for those living in a secular environment. In modern times, Don Bosco, inflamed by the charity of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, looked after the most underprivileged boys and became a father and teacher to them. Indeed the whole history of the Church is a history of holiness, animated by the one Love that has its source in God. In fact, only supernatural charity, which always flows anew from the heart of Christ, can explain the prodigious flowering throughout the centuries of orders, masculine and feminine religious institutes and other forms of consecrated life.

Among the saints most known for their charity, I mentioned in the encyclical John of God, Camillus of Lelis, Vincent de Paul, Louise de Marillac, Joseph Cottolengo, Luis Orione and Teresa of Calcutta (cf. No. 40). These men and women, whom the spirit of Christ molded, making them models of evangelical commitment, lead us to consider the importance of a consecrated life as expression and school of charity. The Second Vatican Council emphasized that the imitation of Christ in chastity, poverty and obedience is totally oriented to attaining perfect charity (cf. \"Perfectae Caritatis,\" No. 1).

To highlight the importance and value of consecrated life, the Church will celebrate next Feb. 2, feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple, the Day of Consecrated Life. In the afternoon, as Pope John Paul II liked to do, I will preside at the holy Mass in the Vatican basilica, to which consecrated men and women who live in Rome are especially invited. Together we will thank God for the gift of consecrated life and pray so that it will continue to be an eloquent sign of his merciful love in the world. We now turn to Mary Most Holy, mirror of charity: With her maternal help, may she help Christians, and the consecrated in particular, to walk rapidly and joyfully on the path of holiness.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So awesome. Reminds me of the one last year of JPII and a whole flock of them wouldn't leave his window.

4:33 PM  
Blogger Saint Peter's helpers said...

Anonymous, yes awesome! Perhaps the Holy Spirit draws them that's why they won't leave.

10:00 PM  

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