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THE POPE’S PILGRIMAGE TO...
from issue no. 04 - 2010

“It is beautiful to be a friend of Jesus”


Some excerpts from the speeches of Benedict XVI during his apostolic journey to Portugal


by Pope Benedict XVI


Benedict XVI during his apostolic journey to Portugal [© Osservatore Romano]

Benedict XVI during his apostolic journey to Portugal [© Osservatore Romano]

Neither Mary nor we have a light of our own: we receive it from Jesus
“Dear pilgrims
All of you, standing together with lighted candles in your hands, seem like a sea of light around this simple chapel, lovingly built to the honour of the Mother of God and our mother, whose path from earth to heaven appeared to the shepherd children like a way of light. However, neither Mary nor we have a light of our own: we receive it from Jesus. His presence within us renews the mystery and the call of the burning bush which once drew Moses on Mount Sinai and still fascinates those aware of the light within us which burns without consuming us (cf. Ex 3, 2-5). We are merely a bush, but one upon which the glory of God has now come down. To him therefore be every glory, and to us the humble confession of our nothingness and the submissive adoration of the divine plan which will be fulfilled when ‘God will be all in all’ (cf. 1 Cor 15, 28). The matchless servant of that plan is the Virgin full of grace: ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord: let it be done to me according to your word’ (Lk 1, 38)”

Recitation of the Holy Rosary on the Esplanade of the Shrine of Fatima, 12 May


The faith in many places of the world seems like a light in danger of being snuffed out for ever
“In our time, in which the faith in many places of the world seems like a light in danger of being snuffed out for ever, the highest priority is to make God visible in the world and to open to humanity a way to God. And not to any god, but to the God who had spoken on Sinai; the God whose face we recognize in the love borne to the very end (cf. Jn 13, 1), in Jesus Christ crucified and risen. Dear brothers and sisters, worship Christ the Lord in your hearts (cf. 1 Pt 3, 15)!”

Recitation of the Holy Rosary on the Esplanade of the Shrine of Fatima, 12 May


Attacks on the Pope and the Church come not only from without, but the sufferings of the Church come precisely from within the Church, from the sin existing within the Church
[Replying to a question of Father Lombardi about the third secret of Fatima]
“Consequently, I would say that, here too, beyond this great vision of the suffering of the Pope, which we can in the first place refer to Pope John Paul II, an indication is given of realities involving the future of the Church, which are gradually taking shape and becoming evident. So it is true that, in addition to the moment indicated in the vision, there is mention of, there is seen, the need for a passion of the Church, which naturally is reflected in the person of the Pope, yet the Pope stands for the Church and thus it is sufferings of the Church that are announced. The Lord told us that the Church would constantly be suffering, in different ways, until the end of the world. The important thing is that the message, the response of Fatima, in substance is not directed to particular devotions, but precisely to the fundamental response, that is, to ongoing conversion, penance, prayer, and the three theological virtues: faith, hope and charity. Thus we see here the true, fundamental response which the Church must give – which we, every one of us, must give in this situation. As for the new things which we can find in this message today, there is also the fact that attacks on the Pope and the Church come not only from without, but the sufferings of the Church come precisely from within the Church, from the sin existing within the Church. This too is something that we have always known, but today we are seeing it in a really terrifying way: that the greatest persecution of the Church comes not from her enemies without, but arises from sin within the Church, and that the Church thus has a deep need to relearn penance, to accept purification, to learn forgiveness on the one hand, but also the need for justice. Forgiveness does not replace justice”

Interview with the journalists during the flight to Portugal, 11 May


Benedict XVI during his apostolic journey to Portugal <BR>[© Osservatore Romano]

Benedict XVI during his apostolic journey to Portugal
[© Osservatore Romano]

In this way the Church herself accepted and refashioned the best of the requirements of modernity
“‘The Church’ – wrote Pope Paul VI – ‘must enter into dialogue with the world in which she lives. The Church becomes word, she becomes message, she becomes dialogue’ (Encyclical Ecclesiam Suam, 67)... Precisely so as ‘to place the modern world in contact with the life-giving and perennial energies of the Gospel’ (John XXIII, Apostolic Constitution Humanae Salutis, 3), the Second Vatican Council was convened. There the Church, on the basis of a renewed awareness of the Catholic tradition, took seriously and discerned, transformed and overcame the fundamental critiques that gave rise to the modern world, namely the Reformation and the Enlightenment. In this way the Church herself accepted and refashioned the best of the requirements of modernity by transcending them on the one hand, and on the other by avoiding their errors and dead ends”

Meeting with the world of culture, Lisbon, 12 May


Often we are anxiously preoccupied with the social, cultural and political consequences of the faith, taking for granted that faith is present
“Often we are anxiously preoccupied with the social, cultural and political consequences of the faith, taking for granted that faith is present, which unfortunately is less and less realistic. Perhaps we have placed an excessive trust in ecclesial structures and programmes, in the distribution of powers and functions; but what will happen if salt loses its flavour?”

Homily during the Holy Mass, Lisbon, 11 May


Benedict XVI during his apostolic journey to Portugal [© Osservatore Romano]

Benedict XVI during his apostolic journey to Portugal [© Osservatore Romano]

Tell your contemporaries that it is beautiful to be a friend of Jesus and that it is well worth following him
“Dear brothers and sisters, dear young friends, Christ is always with us and always walks with his Church, accompanies her and guards her, as he has told us: ‘I am with you always, to the close of the age’ (Mt 28, 20). Never doubt his presence! Always seek the Lord Jesus, grow in friendship with him, receive him in communion. Learn to listen to and know his word and also to recognize him in the poor. Live your lives with joy and enthusiasm, sure of his presence and of his unconditional, generous friendship, faithful even to death on the cross. Bear witness to all of the joy that his strong yet gentle presence evokes, starting with your contemporaries. Tell them that it is beautiful to be a friend of Jesus and that it is well worth following him. With your enthusiasm, demonstrate that, among all the different ways of life that the world today seems to offer us – apparently all on the same level – the only way in which we find the true meaning of life and hence true and lasting joy, is by following Jesus. Seek daily the protection of Mary, Mother of the Lord and mirror of all holiness. She, the all-holy one, will help you to be faithful disciples of her Son Jesus Christ”

Homily during the Holy Mass, Lisbon, 11 May


It was only He, from the shore of the Lake of Galilee right up to the squares of Jerusalem, alone or almost alone at the decisive moments: He, in union with the Father; He, in the power of the Spirit
“The ‘disproportion’ between the forces on the field, which we find so alarming today, astounded those who saw and heard Christ two thousand years ago. It was only He, from the shore of the Lake of Galilee right up to the squares of Jerusalem, alone or almost alone at the decisive moments: He, in union with the Father; He, in the power of the Spirit. Yet it came about, in the end, that from the same love that created the world, the newness of the Kingdom sprang up like a small seed which rises from the ground, like a ray of light which breaks into the darkness, like the dawn of an unending day: it is Christ Risen. And he appeared to his friends, showing them the need for the Cross in order to attain the resurrection”

Homily at the Holy Mass, Porto, 14 May


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