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    » 10/24/2007, 00.00

    VATICAN

    Pope: those who teach the faith cannot behave like a clown playing a part



    In his general audience Benedict XVI indicates St Ambrose as an example of how an “authentic witness” announces the Gospel with his life. The “historic event” of the meeting between Milan’s bishop and saint with Saint Augustine.

    Vatican City  (AsiaNews) – Those who teach the faith “cannot run the risk of appearing like a type of clown who is playing a part; rather he must be like the beloved disciple who rested his head on the Master’s heart and learned therein how to think, speak and act”.  Because “at the end of it all a true disciple is he who announces the Gospel in a credible and effective way”, in short “authentic witness”, as was the case with Saint Ambrose.

     

    The figure of the bishop and saint from Milan, who lived between 340 and 397, and in particular his influence on Saint Augustine’s conversion, was at the heart of Benedict XVI’s address to the 30 thousand people gathered today for the general audience.

     

    According to the Pope, an effective announcing of the Gospel can only occur there where the “witness” of the preacher’s life and the “exemplary conduct of the Christian community” are credible, as was the case with Saint Ambrose and his Church.  As Augustine himself writes in his ”Confessions” what urged the young sceptical and desperate African to convert was in fact “Saint Augustine’s witness and that of his Milanese Church, which sang and prayed as one united body, capable of resisting the arrogance of the Emperor and his mother”, who demanded a building for the Arians. But in that building “the people held vigil ready to die together with their bishop”. “It is all too clear – commented Benedict XVI – which the witness of the preacher and the exemplary conduct of the Christian community condition the effectiveness of the spreading of the faith”.

     

    What Augustine tells us of his meeting with Ambrose, defined as “an historical event in the history of the Church”, Benedict XVI highlighted among other things, the “the singular capacity of reading and familiarity with the Scriptures” to underline that kind of “reading where the heart commits itself to intelligently reach the Word of God”.  It is the “prayerful reading” of the Sacred Scripture which is particularly dear to the Pope and figures often throughout his speeches.  With reference to this today he recalled “Dei Verbum”, the document on the Sacred Scripture of the Second Vatican Council:  “it is necessary that all catechists and those who legitimately take part in the liturgy of the Word, engage constantly in the Scriptures, through deep and spiritual reading and careful study so they do not become a vain preacher of the Lord’s Word on the outside without ever hearing it within”.

    PHOTO: Credit CPP

     

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    See also

    30/01/2008 VATICAN
    Pope: Faith and reason must be harmonised, they are not opposed
    At the general audience, Benedict XVI continued to illustrate the figure of Saint Augustine, emphasizing his unyielding efforts in the search for truth, and the meaning, in this context, of the statements "believe in order to understand", but also and inseparably, "understand in order to believe".

    06/06/2012 VATICAN
    Pope: no future for humanity without family, "first cell of man and civilization"
    At the general audience, Benedict XVI retraces the highlights of the World Meeting of Families. Institutions need to support the person, beginning with the right to life and recognition of the identity of the family founded on marriage between a man and a woman ","first cell of man and civilization. "" A message hope, which is possible and joyful, even if challenging, the experience of lasting faithful love. "The 'arrogance' of work commitments:" Sunday is the day of the Lord and of man, a day when all must be free, for the family and for God. Defending Sunday, we defend the freedom of man. "

    31/08/2005 vatican
    Benedict XVI : declining birthrates deprive many countries of their future


    20/02/2008 VATICAN
    Pope: Saint Augustine also teaches what true secularism is
    Benedict XVI continues his reflections for the general audience on the bishop of Hippo, an author who is also fundamental for the formation of all Western culture. The dialogue with God in the Confessions and "the relationship between the political sphere and the sphere of the faith and of the Church" in "De Civitate Dei".

    25/08/2010 VATICAN
    Pope St. Augustine for non-believers: Do not be afraid of the Truth
    A general audience addressed to those who live as if God did not exist and who participate little in the life of the Church. The experience of the saint of Hippo contrasts with relativism today. Silence is important to let God speak, defeating illusions, the fleeting moment, superficiality. The saints as "fellow travelers". An appeal for Somalia.



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