30 May 2007
I am convinced that humanity today stands in need of this essential message, incarnate in Jesus Christ: God is love. Everything must start from here and everything must lead to here, every pastoral action, every theological treatise.
-Homily, 22 April 2007, at the tomb of St. Augustine
Thus, he touches us and we touch him. The humility of God's Incarnation - this is the important step - must be equalled by the humility of our faith, which lays down its self-important pride and bows upon entering the community of Christ's Body; which live with the Church and through her alone can enter into concrete and bodily communion with the living God.
Your exuberance, enthusiasm, idealism and encouragement to face new challenges boldly serve to give the People of God a renewed openness, make the faithful more dynamic and help the community to grow, to progress, and to become more trusting, joyful and optimistic.
The witness of a priestly life well lived brings nobility to the Church, calls forth admiration among the faithful, and is a source of blessings for the communty; it is the best way to promote vocations, the most authentic invitation to other young people to respond positively to the Lord's call.
It is the Pope's mission to renew in the hearts of people everywhere that light which does not grow dim, because it seeks to illumine the depths of every soul that seeks the true good and peace that the world cannot give. All that this light needs is a heart open to the desire for God.
God does not force us, he does not oppress our individual freedom; he simply asks for opennes in the inner sanctum of our conscience, through which pass all our noblest aspirations, as well as the affections and disordered passions which tend to obscure the message of the Almighty.
Rome represents the pagan world and therefore all peoples who are outside the ancient people of God. In fact, the Acts [of the Apostles] conclude with the arrival of the Gospel in Rome. We can say, hen, that Rome is the concrete name of the catholicity and missionary spirit of the Church; it expresses fidelity to the origins, to the Church of all times, to a Church that speaks in all languages and goes out to meet every culture.
The Church is holy, not because of its own merits, but because, animated by the Holy Spirit, it keeps its gaze fixed to Christ to become conformed to him and his love. The Church is catholic because the Gospel is destined for all people and for this reason, already at the beginning, the Holy Spirit gives the Church the ability to speak in different tongues. The Church is apostolic because, built upon the foundation of the apostles, it faithfully conserves their teaching through the uninterrupted chain of apostlic succession. The Church, moreover, is missionary by its nature, and from the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit does not cease to move it along the roads of the world to the ends of the earth and to the end of time.