Sunday, March 12, 2006

46 Days Post-Encyclial: God Is (Still) Love

Last evening, fresh from a week of seclusion for the annual Lenten exercises, the Pope prayed the Rosary with college students gathered in the Nervi, joined by groups linked via satellite in Owerri (Nigeria), Abidjan (Ivory Coast), Dublin, Salamanca, Munich, Freibourg, St. Petersburg, Sofia, Antananarivo and Bonn.

Here's a snip (Whispers translation) of Benedict's remarks:
Dear friends, in a little bit I will give my Encyclical Deus caritas est to some of you. In this, symbolically, it's my intent to give it to all the university students of Europe and of Africa, with the wish that the fundamental truth of the Christian faith -- God is love -- may illumine the way of each of you and may radiate throughout your testimony to your classmates. This truth on the love of God, origin, sense and end of the universe and of history, was revealed in Jesus Christ, with the word and with life, culminating in the Pasch of his death and resurrection. This is the base of Christian wisdom which, when alive, is made to ferment each human culture, for there it expresses the best of itself and cooperates toward the growth of a more just and peaceful world.

Dear students, in giving you the Encyclical, I prospose also my Message for the 21st World Youth Day, which we will celebrate next Palm Sunday. I dedicated this Message to the importance of the world of God, and for this reason I gave it the title of the verse of the 118th Psalm that says: "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." In preparation for Palm Sunday, I invite you to the traditional gathering of all the young, which will take place on the afternoon of Saturday, 6 April, in St. Peter's Square. We will welcome the Pilgrim Cross given by Cologne and will remember with a grateful heart, a year after his death, my great predecessor John Paul II.

May Mary, Seat of Wisdom, obtain for you in this Lent a profound spiritual renewal, that you may always live and offer your studies to the glory of God. Toward that end, I assure you that I'll keep a place for you in my prayers, while from my heart I bless all of you and your families.

Elvis has left the building.....

AP/Plinio Lepri
PHOTO 2: Reuters/Alessia Pierdomenico