Monday, April 03, 2006

"Fidelity" and "Commitment"

Zenit News Agency has Pope Benedict XVI's address on the anniversary of Pope John Paul the Great's death.

This is the gem I love:
How can the evangelical testimony of this great Pontiff be summarized? I will attempt to do so in two words: "fidelity" and "commitment"; total fidelity to God and commitment without reservations to his mission as Pastor of the universal Church. Fidelity and commitment which were even more convincing and moving in the last months, when he embodied in himself what he wrote in 1984 in the apostolic letter "Salvifici Doloris": "suffering is present in the world in order to release love, in order to give birth to works of love toward neighbor, in order to transform the whole human civilization into a 'civilization of love'" (No. 30).

His illness, faced with courage, made everyone pay more attention to human pain, to all physical and spiritual pain; he gave suffering dignity and value, demonstrating that man is not of worth for his efficiency or his appearance, but for himself, because he has been created and loved by God.

With his words and gestures, our beloved John Paul II did not tire of pointing out to the world that, if man allows himself to be embraced by Christ, it does not mortify the richness of his humanity; if he loves Him with all his heart, he will lack nothing. On the contrary, the encounter with Christ makes our life more exciting.

Precisely because he drew ever closer to God in prayer, in contemplation, in love of the Truth and of Beauty, our beloved Pope was able to makes himself a fellow traveler of each one of us and to speak with authority even to those who are distant from the Christian faith.

On the first anniversary of his return to the Father's House, we are invited this evening to take up again the spiritual heritage he left us. He stimulates us, among other things, to live tirelessly seeking Truth, as it alone can satisfy our hearts. He encourages us not to be afraid to follow Christ to take the proclamation of the Gospel to all, which is the leaven of a more fraternal and solidaristic humanity.
Read the whole thing!