Pope Benedict XVI: July 2008 Archives

All Things New and Better

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Mary Coredemptrix

I thrilled to the passage from Saint Bernard that I read this morning at Matins of the Saturday Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Mellifluous Doctor attributes the work of redemption to one Man and one Woman, to Jesus and Mary.

Later in the day, reading the Holy Father's homily at Mass in Saint Mary's Cathedral in Sydney, I discovered that His Holiness spoke of the same mystery: the new Eve cooperating with the new Adam in reversing the disobedience of our first parents.

Saint Bernard this morning at Matins:

"Dearly beloved brethren, one man and one woman grievously harmed us, but, thanks be to God, by one Man and one Woman all things are restored unto us, and there remaineth still due from us a great debt of gratitude. For not as the offence, so was the gift (Rom 5, 15) but the greatness of the benefit far outweigheth the amount of the loss. Thus did it please our most wise and merciful Creator; that which was shaken, He did not break, but made all things new and better, making for us a new Adam out of the old, and changing Eve for Mary."

Pope Benedict XVI this morning in Sydney:

"Dear friends, let me conclude these reflections by drawing your attention to the great stained glass window in the chancel of this cathedral. There Our Lady, Queen of Heaven, is represented enthroned in majesty beside her divine Son. The artist has represented Mary, as the new Eve, offering an apple to Christ, the new Adam. This gesture symbolizes her reversal of our first parents' disobedience, the rich fruit which God's grace bore in her own life, and the first fruits of that redeemed and glorified humanity which she has preceded into the glory of heaven."

Pope Benedict XVI to Priests

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This particular teaching of the Holy Father went straight to my heart. It is, I think, a confirmation of the service I am called to offer in the diocese of Tulsa, Oklahoma: Eucharistic adoration, and the spiritual support of my brother priests and deacons.

Become Masters of Prayer

Dear brother priests, if your faith is to be strong and vigorous, as you well know, it must be nourished with assiduous prayer. Thus be models of prayer, become masters of prayer. May your days be marked by times of prayer, during which, after Jesus' example, you engage in a regenerating conversation with the Father.

The Most Important Time in a Priest's Life

I know it is not easy to stay faithful to this daily appointment with the Lord, especially today when the pace of life is frenetic and worries absorb us more and more. Yet we must convince ourselves: the time he spends in prayer is the most important time in a priest's life, in which divine grace acts with greater effectiveness, making his ministry fruitful. The first service to render to the community is prayer. And therefore, time for prayer must be given a true priority in our life.

God is the First Priority

I know that there are many urgent things: as regards myself, an audience, a document to study, a meeting or something else. But if we are not interiorly in communion with God we cannot even give anything to others. Therefore, God is the first priority. We must always reserve the time necessary to be in communion of prayer with our Lord.

To the Priests, Deacons and Seminarians of Brindisi
June 15, 2008

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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