» 01/23/2013, 00.00
Pope: Believers in God, have values that go against prevailing fashions and opinions
General audience, Benedict XVI opens a series of reflections on the "Creed"." In many of our societies become the great God absentee and has been replaced by many idols ... above possession and autonomous ego. "Appeal for Indonesia hit by a major flood.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Believing in God "makes us carries of values which often do not coincide with the prevailing fashion and opinion and "requires us to adopt criteria and a conduct which do not belong to the common way of thinking", and not fear going "against the grain" to live our faith, resisting the temptation to "conform".
This is the real meaning of the "I believe in God," which begins with the Creed, the basic profession of faith to which Benedict XVI has announced that, in this Year of Faith, he will dedicate a series of general audience catechesis. In today's audience, the Pope also had a thought for Indonesia, which was hit by a "great flood that has devastated the capital Jakarta." Expressing his "closeness" to the people affected, he launched an appeal for solidarity "so no one lacks the necessary aid."
The "I believe in God", at the centre of his reflections today with the eight thousand people present in the Paul VI, is "a fundamental affirmation, deceptively simple in its essence, but which opens the infinite world of our relationship with the Lord and with His mystery. Believing in God implies attachment to him, welcoming his Word and joyful obedience to His revelation. "
It is God who "speaks to men as friends, speaks to us so that, in faith and with faith, we enter into communion with Him", he speaks in Sacred Scripture. And in the Letter to the Hebrews, the first example of the great biblical figures who "believe and trust in God" is Abraham, "the father of all believers." In response to the divine call, he " he went out, not knowing where he was to go....". But "How would we respond to an invitation like that? It is, in fact, a departure in the dark, not knowing where God will lead him, it is a journey that calls for obedience and radical trust, which only faith can access".
Then, "when we say, "I believe in God," we say, like Abraham: "I trust you, I entrust myself to You, Lord," but not as Someone to run to only in times of difficulty or to whom to dedicate a few moments of the day or of the week. Saying "I believe in God" means grounding my life in Him, letting His Word guide each day, in the concrete choices without fear of losing something of myself".
"Faith makes us pilgrims on earth, inserted into the world and history, but on the way to the heavenly homeland".
"In many societies God has become the "great absentee" and there are many and diverse idols now in His place, above all possession. And also the significant and positive progress in science and technology have created in humans an illusion of omnipotence and self-sufficiency, and a growing self-centeredness, which has created many imbalances within relationships and social behaviours".
"And yet, the thirst for God (cf. Ps 63.2) has not been extinguished and the Gospel message continues to resonate through the words and deeds of many men and women of faith. Abraham, the father of believers, continues to be the father of many children who are willing to walk in his footsteps and set out in obedience to the divine call, trusting in the benevolent presence of the Lord and accepting His blessing to be a blessing for all. It is the blessed world of faith to which we are all called, to walk without fear following the Lord Jesus Christ. And sometimes it is difficult journey, one that even knows trial and death, but one that is open to life, in a radical transformation of reality that only the eyes of faith can see and enjoy in abundance".
Pope: even in the midst of the most difficult problems we have to trust in God
This is the Christmas message of which Benedict XVI spoke in the first general audience of the year. The "true origin" of Jesus is the Father, through the Incarnation, "the veil that hid God was lifted revealing the unfathomable and inaccessible mystery that touches us: God became Emmanuel, God with us."
Pope: the Bible is not a textbook of science, but indicates the real truth of things
At the General Audience, Benedict XVI says that the phrase of the Creed referring to God as "the Creator of heaven and earth," tells us the world was created by the "eternal Reason of God, who continues to sustain the universe," that all men are equal because equally made of "dust" that the "breath" breathed on them by God motivates "the inviolability of human dignity against any attempt to assess the person according to a utilitarian criteria or the criteria of power."
Pope: Women were the first witnesses of the Resurrection, and are fundamental to the faith today
At the general audience, Francis takes up the catechesis for the Year of Faith, commenting on the words of the Creed: "On the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures. "The reference to women is a proof of the historicity of the Gospels. Before the empty tomb, "the women are driven by love and know how to accept this proclamation with faith: they believe, and immediately transmit it, they do not keep it for themselves." Youth "carry forth this certainty. The Lord is Alive and he walks with us in life! This is your mission. "
Pope: learning about Christianity, to counter relativism and "do it yourself" religion
Benedict XVI begins a series of catechesis dedicated to the faith, in this Year called to rediscover the joy of believing in Jesus. Believers today and especially young people are not free from the effects of secularization and a widespread nihilistic mentality, "without clear ideals and solid hopes, in fluid social and family ties. " "Forms of barbarism, which pass under the sign of the conquests of civilization."
Pope: God's omnipotence is expressed in the love and freedom he gifts us
At the general audience, Benedict XVI continues to reflect on the Creed. Today, especially in the West, it is not easy to talk about fatherhood, but biblical revelation "shows us what it really means to be a father," a father "who loves us so much that he gave His only Son for our salvation." Several theologians say that God is not omnipotent otherwise there would not be so much evil in the world. But God's ways are different from ours, and also "his omnipotence is different: it is not expressed as a automatic or arbitrary force, but is marked by a loving and fatherly freedom."
Card. Tong’s article on China-Holy See dialogue, arouses joy and dismay
The Hong Kong bishop’s optimism over a change in the method of appointing bishops and the function of the Patriotic Association. But it is unclear whether it is real change or just nominal, in words. Underground bishops are patriotic and love their country, but the Party is suspicious of them. Freedom in episcopal appointments is “essential", but the bishops are not free to exercise their ministry. Patriotic bishops controlled in their visits with members of the universal Church. The "bugs" (hidden microphones) in a bishop’s office.
Card. Tong: The future of Sino-Vatican dialogue from an ecclesiological point of view
Card. John Tong
The Hong Kong Cardinal outlines the steps that hope to propel dialogue between China and the Holy See. Themes include the Pope's role in the appointment of bishops; A change of vision in the Patriotic Association; the possible integration of the underground bishops in the Episcopal Conference. A new article by card. John Tong, following a previous article published a few months ago on "Communion of the Church in China with the universal Church."
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