Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Pope's Words


On visiting Germany

“I am an old man,” he said. “I don’t know how much time the Lord will grant me.”

“At least one more time, I am getting to see my homeland. My heart beats Bavarian.”

(On the plane, Benedict told reporters he would like to visit more of Germany in the future)

On responsibilities of parents, catechists and pastors

"Dear parents! I want to heartily invite you to help your children believe and to accompany them on the way to Communion, which continues on after First Communion, on their wayt to Jesus and with Jesus. Please, go to church with your children for the Sunday Eucharist.

You will see: This is no wasted time, that holds the family together properly and gives it a focus. The Sunday becomes more beautiful, the whole week becomes more beautiful, if you attend God's service (Mass) together.

And please, also pray together at home: at meals, before going to sleep. Praying not only leads us to God but also to one another. It is a force of peace and of joy. Life within the family becomes more special and of greater importance when God is there and His presence is experienced, lived in prayer.

Dear religious education teachers and educators! I ask you with all my heart to keep present the question about God, about the God that showed Himself to us in Jesus Christ in your schools. I know that it is difficult to speak of the faith in school in our pluralistic world.But, it is not sufficient when children and young people only learn abilities and technical know-how in school, but learn no (moral) standards that give meaning and direction to ability. Encourage the students to not only ask about this or that, that is fine, but to above all ask about the Where from and the Where to of our life. Help them to recognize that all answers that do not reach all the way to God fall short.

Dear pastors and all who help in parishes! I ask you to do everything so that a parish can become an internal home for the people - a big family, in which we at the same time experience the even bigger family of the worldwide Church - through the Eucharist, the catechesis and through all manners of parish life learn to walk the way of true life together.All three locations - family, school, parish - belong togethre and help us to find the sources, the wellsprings of life - and, dear children, dear parents and dear educators, after all, we all want to have 'life in full'. Amen."

(Homily during Vespers in the Cathedral of Munich. Translated into English by Gerald)

On entrusting himself always to Mary's care

“It is very moving for me to stand once more in this beautiful square at the foot of the Mariensäule – in a place which already witnessed two other decisive turning-points in my life."

“Here, almost thirty years ago, the faithful welcomed me with joy as their new Archbishop: I then began my ministry with a prayer to the Mother of God. Here too, five years later, after being called to Rome by the Pope, I bade farewell to my Diocese and once more addressed a prayer to the Patrona Bavariae, entrusting ‘my’ city and homeland to her protection.”

“Today I am here again – this time as the Successor of Saint Peter.”

(Address at the foot of Mariensäule)

On being God's beast of burden

“From my childhood, I was very much taken with the story that a bear had attacked and killed the horse which the saint was riding on a journey to Rome.

According to the legend, the saint punished the bear by putting on his back the load that the horse had been carrying. So the bear had to carry this load across the Alps all the way to Rome, and only there did the saint set him free.

... I have found in Saint Corbinian’s bear a constant encouragement to carry out my ministry with confidence and joy – thirty years ago, and again now in my new task – and to say my daily ‘yes’ to God. I have become for you a beast of burden, but as such ‘I am always with you’ (Ps 73:23).

...although in my case, the beast was never set free."

(Address at the foot of Mariensäule)


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