Pastor's Note For February 28,2013


Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I went home briefly to eat lunch and caught the final coverage of Pope Benedict XVI as he said goodbye to the faithful gathered in the square at Castel Gondolfo. I had the privilege of gathering below him in that very same square nearly three years ago to listen to a beautiful message which was particularly addressed to Catholics who weren't practicing their faith. I wish the tour guide leader we had in Siena had been there. We had a discussion about the state of Italy where sadly a great number of Italians no longer practice their faith. Here is an excerpt from Benedict's message that day.

Again, in Confessions, in the ninth book, our Saint records a conversation with his mother, St Monica, whose Memorial is celebrated on Friday, the day after tomorrow. It is a very beautiful scene: he and his mother are at Ostia, at an inn, and from the window they see the sky and the sea, and they transcend the sky and the sea and for a moment touch God's heart in the silence of created beings. And here a fundamental idea appears on the way towards the Truth: creatures must be silent, leaving space for the silence in which God can speak. This is still true in our day too. At times there is a sort of fear of silence, of recollection, of thinking of one's own actions, of the profound meaning of one's life. All too often people prefer to live only the fleeting moment, deceiving themselves that it will bring lasting happiness; they prefer to live superficially, without thinking, because it seems easier; they are afraid to seek the Truth or perhaps afraid that the Truth will find us, will take hold of us and change our life, as happened to St Augustine.
Dear brothers and sisters, I would like to say to all of you and also to those who are passing through a difficult moment in their journey of faith, to those who take little part in the life of the Church or who live "as though God did not exist" not to be afraid of the Truth, never to interrupt the journey towards it and never to stop searching for the profound truth about yourselves and other things with the inner eye of the heart. God will not fail to provide Light to see by and Warmth to make the heart feel that he loves us and wants to be loved.
What beautiful words reminding us of God's desire to help us through our difficulties. It is our responsibility and privilege as members of the Body of Christ to reflect God's love and concern to our brothers and sisters. This can only be done when we have an authentic and life-changing encounter with Christ. Once that happens then we too feel the warmth of God's love and can become credible witnesses to the Gospel

In the days ahead I invite you to join me in prayer as the Cardinals meet in Rome to elect a new Pope. Upon hearing the date of the conclave, we will begin 24 hour Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament until a new Pope is elected.

I hope you are enjoying a fruitful Lent!

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