Saturday, November 24, 2007

"The Service of Love"

Lest any Philadelphians have started to feel the usual local complex creep in -- i.e. that the last few hours were no more than one of those cruel dreams we're bound to wake up from, to find it wasn't real -- you actually are awake, and, indeed, you actually are looking at John Cardinal Foley.

The dream came true, folks... feel free to pinch yourselves (repeatedly, if necessary)... and how sweet it is.

With that reiterated, more from B16's homily:
Today as the Pope noted, “times have changed and the great family of Christ’s disciples are spread throughout the continents”. “The diversity of the members of the College of Cardinals – by their geographic and cultural origin highlight this while at the same time they underline the changing pastoral demands to which the Pope must respond. The universality, the Catholicity of the Church is well mirrored in the College of Cardinals”....
In reference to [Delly, the Chaldean patriarch], the Pope spoke of “Iraq’s dear Christian communities”. “These brothers and sisters in the faith are feeling with their own flesh the dramatic consequences of an enduring conflict. By calling the Patriarch of the Chaldean Church to enter into the College of Cardinals – he added – I intend to my spiritual closeness and affection for that population. Let us together reaffirm the solidarity of the whole Church with the Christians of that beloved land and invoke from the merciful God the coming of longed-for reconciliation and peace for all the peoples involved”. Shortly before, Card. Sandri had also evoked the “tears and blood” and the “painful exodus of the many Christians from which Abraham once departed”.

Benedict XVI reminded all of the newly created cardinals that “every true disciple of Christ may aspire to one thing only: the sharing of Christ’s passion, without any claim to recompense. The Christian is called to assume the condition of the servant, following in the footsteps of Jesus that is, freely and disinterestedly spending his whole life for others. It is not the quest for power and success, but the humble gift of self for the good of the Church that must characterise all our actions and every one of our words. True Christian greatness consists not in domination, but in service”.
“Dear brothers –he then said- in becoming part of the College of Cardinals, God asks of you and entrusts you the service of love: love for God, for His Church, for your brothers and sisters with the maximum dedication, "usque ad sanguinis effusionem" ["even to the shedding of your blood"], as the formula for the imposition of the biretta reads and as the crimson colour of your vestments show. You are the Apostles of God who is Love and witnesses of evangelical hope: this is what the Christian community expects from you”.
PHOTO 1: AP/Pier Paolo Cito
PHOTOS 2-3: Reuters/Tony Gentile