Jesus, the Desert,Temptation – Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

At the heart of all temptations … is the act of pushing God aside because we perceive him as secondary, if not actually superfluous and annoying, in comparison with all the apparently far more urgent matters that fill our lives. Constructing a world by our own lights, without reference to God, building on our own foundation; refusing to acknowledge the reality of anything beyond the political and material, while setting God aside as an illusion – that is the temptation that threatens us in many varied forms.
Moral posturing is part and parcel of temptation. It does not invite us directly to do evil – no, that would be far too blatant. It pretends to show us a better way, where we finally abandon our illusions and throw ourselves into the work of actually making the world a better place. It claims, moreover, to speak for true realism: What’s real is what is right there in front of us – power and bread. By comparison, the things of God fade into unreality, into a secondary world that no one really needs.
God is the issue: Is he real, reality itself, or isn’t he? Is he good, or do we have to invent the good ourselves? The God question is the fundamental question, and it sets us down right at the crossroads of human existence.
* This excerpt is from “Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration” by Pope Benedict XVI

PDF Jesus of Nazareth

At the Heart of All Temptation

At the heart of all temptations … is the act of pushing God aside because we perceive him as secondary, if not actually superfluous and annoying, in comparison with all the apparently far more urgent matters that fill our lives. Constructing a world by our own lights, without reference to God, building on our own foundation; refusing to acknowledge the reality of anything beyond the political and material, while setting God aside as an illusion – that is the temptation that threatens us in many varied forms.
Moral posturing is part and parcel of temptation. It does not invite us directly to do evil – no, that would be far too blatant. It pretends to show us a better way, where we finally abandon our illusions and throw ourselves into the work of actually making the world a better place. It claims, moreover, to speak for true realism: What’s real is what is right there in front of us – power and bread. By comparison, the things of God fade into unreality, into a secondary world that no one really needs.
God is the issue: Is he real, reality itself, or isn’t he? Is he good, or do we have to invent the good ourselves? The God question is the fundamental question, and it sets us down right at the crossroads of human existence.
* This excerpt is from “Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration” by Pope Benedict XVI

The Pope’s Painful Liturgies – Ethika Politika

I like the way the author of this piece looked beneath the surface of appearance for both the reason and the end, when making his observations and examining his own conceptions.

via The Pope’s Painful Liturgies – Ethika Politika.

……”.The pain I experience with seeing the new pope’s liturgies is probably more the result of his intense joy at all other times. I sense acutely that my desire to serve is much thinner than my affection for a beautiful Mass. And I’m aware that the joy I know is possible through a sacramental encounter with the Lord is not often enough reflected in my life with family and with others”…….

via The Pope’s Painful Liturgies – Ethika Politika.

PODCAzT 135: Encyclical Letter “Lumen fidei” – AUDIO files of entire encyclical | Fr. Z’s Blog

via PODCAzT 135: Encyclical Letter “Lumen fidei” – AUDIO files of entire encyclical | Fr. Z’s Blog.

“Posted on 7 July 2013 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Writes Fr. Z:

In my desire to get my ears and mind around the new encyclical, Lumen fidei, of Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, to sort the “voices” and get to know the trajectory of its arguments, I decided to read it aloud.

Wanna hear?PODCAzT 135: Encyclical Letter “Lumen fidei” – AUDIO files of entire encyclical | Fr. Z’s Blog

 

 Lumen fidei – Intro [ 10:56 ] Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download
 Lumen fidei – Ch. 1 [ 31:38 ] Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download
 Lumen fidei – Ch. 2 [ 36:26 ] Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download
 Lumen fidei – Ch. 3 [ 27:55 ] Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download
 Lumen fidei – Ch. 4 [ 24:17 ] Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download

Father Fessio’s Pope Benedict | Daily News | NCRegister.com

Father Fessio’s

A Way With Words

 

Father Fessio soon learned that the same luminous clarity enlivened Father Ratzinger’s published works.

“Back in 1968, when he published the Introduction to Christianity, the prose was already there,” said Father Fessio, referring to a work that remains a key textbook for graduate theological studies.

When the Catechism of the Catholic Church was completed in 1992, during the pontificate of Blessed John Paul II, Father Fessio reviewed the text and immediately noticed that it bore signs of Joseph Ratzinger’s distinctive ability to synthesize challenging material. At the time, then-Cardinal Ratzinger was the president of the catechism’s Preparatory Commission, which worked for six years to complete the project.

“When I first received the Catechism, I spent a whole retreat meditating on the Table of Contents — it was so beautiful. The Catechism wasn’t just a summary or a book of lists, it presented the faith as an organic whole,” said Father Fessio.

After his mentor was elected pope, Catholics across the globe had their first taste of Benedict’s literary gifts.

“Love is possible, and we are able to practice it because we are created in the image of God. To experience love and in this way to cause the light of God to enter into the world — this is the invitation I would like to extend with the present encyclical,” wrote Pope Benedict XVI in Deus Caritas Est, his first encyclical.

“He is like a painter using his palette to produce a portrait,” said Father Fessio, noting that the Pope also managed to work his magic in collaborative synodal documents as well as his encyclicals.

“He uses simple images — light and dark. You notice the same thing when you open up The Lord of the Rings and begin reading a paragraph: The majority of words are one syllable, and they convey profound thoughts and emotions.”

Thus, when Pope Benedict was enthroned in 2005, “he talked about the pallium, and, when he spoke to the cardinals, he noted that red is for martyrdom.”

Same Man, Different Settings

Over the course of more than 40 years, Father Fessio has stayed in touch with his former professor, meeting with other students from Regensburg for annual gatherings and collaborating on a variety of projects. During that time, the priest said, he has witnessed very little change in the man who will resign from the Petrine office on Feb. 28.

“He was always a theologian of the Church,” he said. “I saw the same man doing the same thing in different settings. He is a faithful servant, and Blessed John Paul II relied on him a good deal.

“But look how the liturgy changed as soon as Benedict was made pope. Chant was introduced. It means that he was not in favor of the kind of liturgies that Pope John Paul II celebrated, but he accepted it. And when he was pope, he acted differently.”

Indeed, while media commentators still dredge up Cardinal Ratzinger’s nickname of “God’s Rottweiler” from his days as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Father Fessio has “never heard him raise his voice. He was always a listener, even at the CDF.”

“I wouldn’t call him shy; I would call him reserved. He is not someone who would enjoy a cocktail party,” said Father Fessio.

“Yes, he is firm. He has tremendous confidence because he has confidence in Christ. Friendship in Christ: It is the bass note in all his work.”

The resulting spiritual serenity sustained him amid the tumultuous decades following the Second Vatican Council, when the German cardinal sparked animosity by insisting that the Council did not constitute a break with the continuity of Catholic Tradition.

Father Fessio recalled a remark the Pope made during a meeting some time after his election.

Another Catholic publisher asked the Holy Father why only Ignatius Press was publishing his works. Father Fessio recalled  that the Pope calmly responded, “Because when no one else cared, they published my works.’”

When Father Fessio learned that the Pope would resign during Lent, he quickly grasped the significance of his timing.

“He was born during Holy Week,” he said. “And I am confident he chose the time for his resignation because he wanted the next pope as an ‘Easter’ pope, with time for reflection.”

Added Father Fessio, “His life begins and ends with the Paschal mystery.”

Joan Frawley Desmond is the Register’s senior editor.

 

 

 

 

Read more: Pope Benedict | Daily News | NCRegister.com.

Will Benedict Still Be ‘Pope’? | Daily News | NCRegister.com

Will Benedict Still Be ‘Pope’? | Daily News | NCRegister.com.

In his letter, Pope Benedict announced that he would step down from “the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of St. Peter, entrusted to me by the cardinals on April 19, 2005, in such a way, that as from Feb. 28, 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of St. Peter, will be vacant and a conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff …”

The Pope signed his letter of resignation “BENEDICTUS PP. XVI,” and Bishop Paprocki noted that it “simply means that he is the sixteenth pope by the name ‘Benedict.’ That is a historical fact that will never change.”

Term of Endearment

Bishop Paprocki then suggested that Catholics should view the word “pope” as “an honorific, even a term of endearment (‘papa’ in Italian). It is not the title of an ecclesiastical office.”

Thus, just as Catholics continue to call a priest “Father,” even though “he has resigned from the office of pastor,” so Italians probably “will continue to call Pope Benedict Papa Benedetto even after he leaves office as the Bishop of Rome,” predicted the bishop, who lived in Rome for three and a half years while studying canon law.

“I don’t think people will have a hard time wrapping their minds around having a pope who is no longer the Roman pontiff, bishop of Rome, etc. Certainly, in direct address, one would never address him as anything but ‘Your Holiness.’”

That said, Bishop Paprocki added that it “would be best to know what Pope Benedict himself wants to be called after February 28, and I hope he will tell us.”

While some experts have said that the Pope should be called “Cardinal Ratzinger” after he formally resigns, Bishop Paprocki did not think term seemed “correct.”

“If he had resigned before reaching the age of 80, after which a cardinal may no longer vote in a papal conclave, I do not think he would have, should have or could have donned a red cassock and entered the conclave in the Sistine Chapel to vote for his successor.

“Instead, at 8pm Rome time on Feb. 28, 2013, Pope Benedict XVI will have a new identity to which we will have to become accustomed: His Holiness, Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI, former Roman/supreme pontiff, bishop emeritus of Rome.”

Read more: National Catholic Register