Tuesday, September 12, 2006

"This Triumph of Justice"

In his adopted city of Regensburg, Benedict XVI is in the midst of delivering one of the definitive homilies of his pontificate to date -- one which began, however, with abundant and detailed thank-yous to everyone who did everything from clearing access roads to the Papal Mass sites to the vocational school students who tidied up the grounds and garden of the Pope's "true home" in Pentling in advance of his visit there tomorrow.

While the theme of his Bavarian homecoming was announced as "He Who Believes is Not Alone," one of the traveling retinue has come up with another: "Find a Place For God in the World." And today's talk at Insliger Field -- the final Mass of the pilgrimage through the places which provided the backdrop for Joseph Ratzinger's first five and a half decades -- is hitting both these messages right square on the head.

In a meditation based on the Apostles' Creed and today's feast of the Holy Name of Mary, the Pope declared that man is not "the chance result of evolution, and therefore equally meaningless." "When God is subtracted," Benedict said, "something doesn't add up -- for man, for the world, for the universe."

The believer's leap is worth it, the pontiff told another mammoth home-state crowd which came to see him. "With this faith, we have no reason to hide or fear of ending up in a dead end -- we can rejoice that we know God.... This creative reason is goodness, it is love -- it has a face. God doesnt leave us groping in the dark, but he shows us his face as a man."

You'll see the fulltext in short order... feel free to hold your breath. As expected, all mantillaed out in the front pew were the usual suspects: Alessandra Borghese and her "apostle" Gloria von Thurn und Taxis, princesses both.

It should be noted that, while a whiff of clericalism has been detected in the air, the music and aesthetics for the liturgies of this trip have been downright superlative -- a tribute to both the extensive Bavarian tradition and the conciliar imperative for liturgical participation.

What's the Bavarian dialect for "Well done"? ...and how about, "Are Chico and Igor ready?"

SVILUPPO: Fulltext is up -- link opens as a PDF, so be forewarned.... Here's a snip:
We are gathered for a celebration of faith. But the question immediately arises: What do we actually believe? What does it mean to have faith? Is it still something possible in the modern world? When we look at the great Summae of theology compiled in the Middle Ages, or we think of the number of books written each day for or against faith, we might lose heart and think that it is all too complicated. In the end, we can no longer see the forest for the trees. True enough: faith’s vision embraces heaven and earth; past, present and future; eternity - and so it can never be fully exhausted. And yet, deep down, it is quite simple. The Lord tells us so when he says to the Father: “you have revealed these things to the simple - to those able to see with their hearts” (cf. Mt 11:25). The Church, for her part, has given us a little Summa in which everything essential is expressed. It is the so-called “Apostles’ Creed”, which is usually divided into twelve articles, corresponding to the twelve Apostles. It speaks of God, the creator and source of all that is, of Christ and his work of salvation, and it culminates in the resurrection of the dead and life everlasting. In its basic structure, the Creed is composed of only three main sections, and as we see from its history, it is merely an expansion of the formula for Baptism which the Risen Lord entrusted to his disciples for all time when he told them: “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19).

Once we realize this, two things become clear. First, faith is simple. We believe in God - in God, who is the Beginning and End of human life. We believe in a God who enters into a relationship with us human beings, who is our origin and future. Consequently, faith is, always and inseparably, hope: the certainty that we have a future and will not end up as nothing. And faith is love, since God’s love is “contagious”.
As to snip Ratzi is to do him an injustice, read it all.

AP/Frank Augstein