Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Papal Awning

In possibly the most Italian thing of all time, B16 has hung an awning over The Window. A little cloth thing, to protect the old boy from the sun. (You can see the shadow from it in the shot above.)

Hey, he knows what he wants -- an awning over his Window, Bill Levada at his side and bishops who people can actually listen to and like. Don't begrudge him.

A beautiful, partly cloudy day in Rome. Massive crowd again, looking to be somewhere in the 50-60,000 range.

For those of you keeping score, this morning's Angelus elicted one (1) reference to "l'amato Papa Giovanni Paolo," followed by 45 seconds of applause.

I think he's onto something, and might just have to work it into my own speeches. If I ever felt a crowd flagging (not that that happens often), I'd just pull "l'amato Papa Giovanni Paolo" out of my sleeve and ride the wave....

The Pope greeted a group from Connecticut -- which he pronounced "Conn-EK-ticut" -- and prayed for the displaced, the dead and relief efforts in the Philippines following the Guisaugon landslide, which has left 1,800 people missing to date.

Below is the Whispers translation of this morning's catechetical talk:
Dear Brothers and Sisters!

On these Sundays, the liturgy presents in its Gospels the recounting of various healings performed by Christ. Last Sunday, it was the leper; today, that of the paralytic, who four people brought to Jesus on a mat. Having seen their faith, Jesus says to the paralytic: "Child, your sins are forgiven" (Mk 2:5). So he shows that he wants to go about this by healing his whole spirit first. The paralytic is an image of every human being, who sin keeps from moving freely, from walking along the way of good, from giving more and better of himself. In effect, illness, the nesting of the soul, links man to the nooses of lies, of anger, of envy, of other sins and, little by little, to paralysis. For this reason, Jesus, provoking scandal from the scribes present, says first: "Your sins are forgiven," and only after that, to demonstrate the authority conferred on him by God to forgive sins, adds: "Rise, pick up your mat, and go home" (Mk 2:11) and heals him completely. The message is clear: man, paralyzed by sin, needs the mercy of God, which Christ came to give us because, healed in his heart, his whole existence may flourish anew.

Also today, humanity carries the signs of sin, which keeps it from progressing quickly in those values of fraternity, of justice, of peace which also are proposed in solemn declarations. Why? What blocks his road? What paralyzes this development? We know well that, in the sketch of history, the causes are multiple and the problem is complex. But the Word of God invites us to have a look of faith and to trust, as those people who carried the paralytic, who only Jesus could truly heal. The choice of depth made by my predecessors, especially the beloved John Paul II [45 seconds of applause], was of conducting man in our time toward Christ the Redeemer because, through the intercession of Mary Immaculate, he can renew us. I, too, wish to proceed down this path. In a particular way, in my first Encyclical Daus caritas est, I wanted to point out to believers and to the whole world God as the source of authentic love. Only the love of God can renew the heart of man, and only healed in its heart can paralyzed humanity arise again and walk. The love of God is the true source and strength which renews the world.

Let us invoke together the intercession of the Virgin Mary, that man -- each man -- may open himself to the merciful love of God, so the human family may be profoundly healed of the maladies which afflict it.

Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae....

Reuters/Dario Pignatelli