Pope Benedict XVI: April 2007 Archives

Our Wounded God

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Christ's Holy and Glorious Wounds

I was present in Saint Peter's Square last Sunday when, in the course of Holy Mass, Pope Benedict XVI preached the mystery of the Wounds of Christ. "He is a wounded God," said the Holy Father,"He let Himself be wounded through His love for us."

The Paschal Candle

All through Paschaltide the liturgy invites us to contemplate the Holy and Glorious Wounds of the Lord symbolized by the "wounds" in the "flesh" of the Paschal Candle. The Paschal Candle is an image of the Risen Christ who stands before His Father in the heavenly sanctuary and in the midst of His Church on earth, displaying His glorious wounds.

Benedict XVI Echoes the Experience of the Saints

The saints -- from Saint Bernard in the twelfth century and Saint Francis in the thirteenth to the Servant of God Marie-Marthe Chambon in the nineteenth and Saint Pio of Pietrelcina in the twentieth centuries -- teach us to fix our gaze on the wounds of Christ, Priest and Victim. The Holy Father's homily was in mystic continuity with the experience of the saints:

The Lord took His wounds with Him to eternity.
He is a wounded God; He let Himself be wounded through His love for us.
His wounds are a sign for us that He understands
and allows Himself to be wounded out of love for us.

These wounds of His: how tangible they are to us in the history of our time!
Indeed, time and again He allows himself to be wounded for our sake.
What certainty of His mercy, what consolation do his wounds mean for us!
And what security they give us regarding His identity: "My Lord and my God!".

And what a duty they are for us,
the duty to allow ourselves in turn to be wounded for Him!
God's mercy accompanies us daily.
To be able to perceive His mercy it suffices to have a vigilant heart.

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Reflections on Sacramentum Caritatis

With the approach of Maundy Thursday — the solemn commemoration of the institution of the Most Holy Eucharist and of the Priesthood — I feel compelled to return to the Pope Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis in search of whatever may be helpful to me personally, and to other priests desirous of growing in the friendship of Christ.

The Priest, Friend of the Bridegroom

The theme that emerges straightaway is that of the friendship of Christ. Before all else, the priest — every priest — is The Friend of Christ or, as Saint John the Baptist puts it, “the friend of the Bridegroom” (Jn 3:29).

Amazed By the Sacrament of Charity

“1. The sacrament of charity, the Holy Eucharist is the gift that Jesus Christ makes of Himself, thus revealing to us God's infinite love for every man and woman. This wondrous sacrament makes manifest that "greater" love which led Him to "lay down His life for his friends" (Jn 15:13). Jesus did indeed love them "to the end" (Jn 13:1). In those words the Evangelist introduces Christ's act of immense humility: before dying for us on the Cross, He tied a towel around himself and washed the feet of His disciples. In the same way, Jesus continues, in the sacrament of the Eucharist, to love us "to the end," even to offering us his body and his blood. What amazement must the Apostles have felt in witnessing what the Lord did and said during that Supper! What wonder must the eucharistic mystery also awaken in our own hearts!”

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Yesterday, in his Palm Sunday homily, Pope Benedict XVI returned to what has become a leitmotif in his preaching: the Face of God. The Holy Father's words were, in fact, reminiscent of the message he gave last September on the occasion of his pilgrimage to to the Sanctuary of the Holy Face in Manoppello.

Alluding to the traditional rites of Palm Sunday during which the subdeacon (or priest) would strike the door of the church with the foot of the processional cross, Pope Benedict explained that by means of the Cross, Christ knocks at the door of God in the name of all mankind, and knocks at door of mankind, and of every human heart, in the name of God.

Seek the Face of God

"Who may go up the mountain of the Lord?" the psalm asks, and it indicates two essential conditions. Those who ascend and really want to get to the top, to arrive at the true height, must be persons who ask themselves about God. They must be persons who look about themselves in search of God, in search of His Face. My dear young friends, how important this is today: not allowing yourselves to be carried here and there by life; not being satisfied with what everyone thinks, says and does. Be attentive to God, seek God. We must not let the question about God dissolve in our souls. The desire for what is greater. The desire to know Him — his Face.

About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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