July 2007



On Saint Basil

"He Shows Us How to Be Real Christians"

Vatican City, July 4, 2007 (Zenit.org).- In his reflection on St. Basil, Benedict XVI concluded with the following appeal to young people to attend World Youth Day '08 in Australia:

Dear Young People,

One year from now we will meet at World Youth Day in Sydney!  I want to encourage you to prepare well for this marvelous celebration of the faith, which will be spent in the company of your bishops, Religious, youth leaders and one another.  Enter fully into the life of your parishes and participate enthusiastically in diocesan events!  In this way you will be equipped spiritually to experience new depths of understanding of all that we believe when we gather in Sydney next July.

"You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8).  As you know, these words of Jesus form the theme of World Youth Day 2008.  How the Apostles felt upon hearing these words, we can only imagine, but their confusion was no doubt tempered with a sense of awe and of eager anticipation for the coming of the Spirit.  United in prayer with Mary and the others gathered in the Upper Room (cfr Acts 1:14), they experienced true power of the Spirit, whose presence transforms uncertainty, fear and division into purpose, hope and communion.


My dear young people, until we meet in Sydney, may the Lord protect you all.  Let us entrust these preparations to Our Lady of the Southern Cross, Help of Christians.  With her, let us pray: 'Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of your love'."

Common Declaration of Pope and Chrysostomos II

"We Thank God With Joy for this Fraternal Meeting"

Vatican City, July 5, 2007 (Zenit.org).- A common declaration signed by Benedict XVI and Chrysostomos II, Orthodox archbishop of New Justiniana and all Cyprus, during the latter's June 16 visit to Rome concluded with:

Let us address together this prayer to the Lord of history, so that he will strengthen our Churches' witness in order that the Gospel proclamation of salvation may reach the new generations and be a light for all men and women.  To this end, we entrust our desires and commitments to the Theotokos, the Mother of God, Hodegetria, who points out the way to Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Explanatory Letter on "Summorum Pontificum"

"Growth and Progress But No Rupture"

Vatican City, July 7, 2007 (Zenit.org).- In his address to all the bishops of the world concerning his apostolic letter issued "motu proprio," Benedict stated:

Dear Brothers, with gratitude and trust, I entrust to your hearts as pastors these pages and the norms of the Motu Proprio.  Let us always be mindful of the words of the Apostle Paul addressed to the presbyters of Ephesus: "Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made overseers, to care for the Church of God which he obtained with the blood of his own Son" (Acts 20:28).

I entrust these norms to the powerful intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church, and I cordially impart my apostolic blessing to you, dear brothers, to the parish priests of your dioceses, and to all priests, your co-workers, as well as to your faithful.

On Being Missionaries of Christ

"In God's Field There Is Work For Everyone"

Vatican City, July 8, 2007 (Zenit.org).- In his address before reciting the midday Angelus, Benedict stated:

In this connection I would like to recall the fifth Pilgrimage of Young People to the Cross of Adamello, where twice the Holy Father John Paul II went.  The pilgrimage took place recently and a short while ago culminated in the Holy Mass celebrated at a height of 3,000 meters.  In greeting the archbishop of Trent and the general secretary of the Italian bishops' conference, as well as the government officials of Trent, I also renew my appointment with all Italian young people for two days at Loreto, Sept. 1-2.

May the Virgin Mary always protect us, whether on mission or in just repose, so that we may carry out our task with joy and with fruit in the vineyard of the Lord.

Papal Address to Bishops of Togo

"Visible Communion of Christ's Disciples Is Essential"

Vatican City, July 16, 2007 (Zenit.org).- In his message to the bishops of Togo, in Rome for their five-yearly visit Benedict XVI concluded with the following:

I entrust each one of your Dioceses to the motherly intercession of the Virgin Mary, and I willingly impart an affectionate Apostolic Blessing to you as well as to the priests, men and women religious, catechists and all the lay faithful of your Dioceses.

Papal Message to Franciscan General Chapter

"To Everyone Take Peace, Received and Given"

Vatican City, July 18, 2007 (Zenit.org).-  In his message on June 17, Benedict XVI addressed the participants of the general chapter of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual during the Pope's trip to Assisi, and concluded with:

Thinking of the Immaculate Virgin, the "Tota Pulchra," and imploring the intercession of St. Francis and of St. Clare, to whom I entrust the success of the work of this General Chapter, I impart as a pledge of my special affection to you, Most Reverend Father, to the Chapter Fathers, and to all the members of the Order my Apostolic Blessing.

On Catholic Teachers of Medicine

"To Reveal Christ the Healer"

Vatican City, July 21, 2007 (Zenit.org).- In a message written by Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragán, the president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry on the profile of the Catholic teacher of medicine, mention was made of the Virgin Mary:

In this calling from God, we discover three essential moments which make it up and which we can summarize in three words: "BEING," "WITH," "FOR."  We are thus called to be (to exist), with God, for others.

We can verify this is Christ's call to his apostles (Mark 3:14-15), and most especially his call to the Virgin Mary to be the Mother of God, the Messiah (Luke 1:26-38).  But it is a paradigm that spreads throughout the history of salvation.

We are going to use these three words of the Vocation as a guideline to reflect on the pontifical doctrine on the identity of the Catholic Physician which we set out in the Charter of the Pontifical Council.

On War

Lorenzago di Cadore, Italy, July 22, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI, before reciting the midday Angelus in the Piazza Calvi of Lorenzago di Cadore, near the spot where the Pope was vacationing in northern Italy, made the following appeal:

From this place of peace here in the north of Italy, where one feels even more vitally how unacceptable the "useless bloodbaths" are, I renew the call to follow with tenacity the way of law, to firmly renounce the arms race, to reject in general the temptation to face new situations with old systems,

With these thoughts and wishes in our heart we now offer up a special prayer for peace in the world, entrusting it to Mary Most Holy, Queen of Peace.

The Eucharist and the Virgin Mary - Sacramentum caritatis, July 22, 2007.-

33. From the relationship between the Eucharist and the individual sacraments, and from the eschatological significance of the sacred mysteries, the overall shape of the Christian life emerges, a life called at all times to be an act of spiritual worship, a self-offering pleasing to God. Although we are all still journeying towards the complete fulfilment of our hope, this does not mean that we cannot already gratefully acknowledge that God's gifts to us have found their perfect fulfilment in the Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our Mother. Mary's Assumption body and soul into heaven is for us a sign of sure hope, for it shows us, on our pilgrimage through time, the eschatological goal of which the sacrament of the Eucharist enables us even now to have a foretaste.

In Mary most holy, we also see perfectly fulfilled the "sacramental" way that God comes down to meet his creatures and involves them in his saving work. From the Annunciation to Pentecost, Mary of Nazareth appears as someone whose freedom is completely open to God's will. Her immaculate conception is revealed precisely in her unconditional docility to God's word. Obedient faith in response to God's work shapes her life at every moment. A virgin attentive to God's word, she lives in complete harmony with his will; she treasures in her heart the words that come to her from God and, piecing them together like a mosaic, she learns to understand them more deeply (cf. Lk 2:19, 51); Mary is the great Believer who places herself confidently in God's hands, abandoning herself to his will. (102) This mystery deepens as she becomes completely involved in the redemptive mission of Jesus. In the words of the Second Vatican Council, "the blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son until she stood at the Cross, in keeping with the divine plan (cf. Jn 19:25), suffering deeply with her only-begotten Son, associating herself with his sacrifice in her mother's heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of the victim who was born of her. Finally, she was given by the same Christ Jesus, dying on the Cross, as a mother to his disciple, with these words: ‘Woman, behold your Son."' (103) From the Annunciation to the Cross, Mary is the one who received the Word, made flesh within her and then silenced in death. It is she, lastly, who took into her arms the lifeless body of the one who truly loved his own "to the end" (Jn 13:1).

Consequently, every time we approach the Body and Blood of Christ in the eucharistic liturgy, we also turn to her who, by her complete fidelity, received Christ's sacrifice for the whole Church. The Synod Fathers rightly declared that "Mary inaugurates the Church's participation in the sacrifice of the Redeemer." (104) She is the Immaculata, who receives God's gift unconditionally and is thus associated with his work of salvation. Mary of Nazareth, icon of the nascent Church, is the model for each of us, called to receive the gift that Jesus makes of himself in the Eucharist.

Message For World Youth Day 2008

Vatican City, July 26, 2007 (VIS) - In his message dated July 20 in Lorenzago di Cadore, Italy, Pope Benedict XVI said, among other things:

Attentive listening to the Word of God concerning the mystery and action of the Holy Spirit opens us up to great and inspiring insights. ... The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the nascent Church was the fulfillment of a promise made much earlier by God, announced and prepared throughout the Old Testament.

In 'the fullness of time,' the angel of the Lord announced to the Virgin of Nazareth that the Holy Spirit, 'the power of the Most High,' would come upon her and overshadow her.  The child to be born would be holy and would be called Son of God. ... Before His death on the Cross, He would tell his disciples several times about the coming of the Holy Spirit, the 'Consoler' Whose mission would be to bear witness to Him and to assist believers by teaching them and guiding them to the fullness of truth.

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