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During his papacy, Papa Benedetto taught, guided and encouraged the universal Church with his beautiful, both simple and profound, weekly catechesis (given at the Wednesday General Audiences). This podcast is in deep gratitude to Papa Ratzinger for being such a Holy Father to us all. Music for Catechesis in the Year of Faith - Credo by Ooberfuse. Music for Catechesis on the Saints - To the Ends of the Earth by Fr Rob Galea - ℗ 2011 Robert Galea - used with permission. For much more, visit To ...
 
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Pope Benedict XVI: "In the context of the Year for Priests, it is in my heart to pause to underline the apostolic zeal of St John Eudes, particularly directed to the formation of diocesan clergy. The saints are the true interpretation of Sacred Scripture. The saints have verified, in the experience of life, the truth of the Gospel; thus they introd…
 
Pope Benedict XVI: "She, who “believed” in the announcement of the Angel and made herself instrument so that the eternal Word of the Most High could be incarnated, also welcomed in her heart the wonderful prodigy of the human-divine birth, she meditated on it, she paused in reflection on what God was working in her, so as to welcome the divine will…
 
Papa Benedetto: "Colei, quindi, che “ha creduto” all’annuncio dell’Angelo e si è fatta strumento perché la Parola eterna dell’Altissimo potesse incarnarsi, ha anche accolto nel suo cuore il mirabile prodigio di quella nascita umano-divina, lo ha meditato, si è soffermata nella riflessione su quanto Dio stava operando in Lei, per accogliere la volon…
 
Pope Benedict XVI: "Since the first centuries of Christianity, this feast has always been deeply felt by the Christian people; as is well known, it celebrates the glorification, also bodily, of that creature whom God chose as Mother and whom Jesus on the Cross gave as Mother to all humanity. The Assumption evokes a mystery that interests each one o…
 
Papa Benedetto: "Questa festa è stata sempre molto sentita dal popolo cristiano, fin dai primi secoli del cristianesimo; essa, com’è noto, celebra la glorificazione anche corporale di quella creatura che Dio si è scelto come Madre e che Gesù sulla Croce ha dato per Madre a tutta l’umanità. L’Assunzione evoca un mistero che interessa ciascuno di noi…
 
Pope Benedict XVI: "Dear friends, this is the central question: what is really necessary in my life? I respond with St Alphonsus: “Health and all the graces that we need for that” (ibid); naturally, he means not only the health of the body, but above all that of the soul, which Jesus gives us. More than anything else we need his liberating presence…
 
Papa Benedetto: "Cari amici, questa è la questione centrale: che cosa è davvero necessario nella mia vita? Rispondo con sant’Alfonso: «La salute e tutte le grazie che per quella ci bisognano» (ibid); naturalmente, egli intende non solo la salute del corpo, ma anzitutto anche quella dell’anima, che Gesù ci dona. Più che di ogni altra cosa abbiamo bi…
 
Pope Benedict XVI: "St Alphonsus, above all in his main work entitled Moral Theology, proposes a balanced and convincing synthesis between the demands of God’s law, engraved on our hearts, fully revealed by Christ and authoritatively interpreted by the Church, and the dynamics of man's conscience and freedom, which precisely in adherence to truth a…
 
Pope Benedict XVI: "Dear friends, the solemnity of All Saints and the Commemoration of all the faithful departed tell us that only the one who can recognize a great hope in death can also live a life starting from hope. If we reduce man exclusively to his horizontal dimension, to that which can be perceived empirically, life itself loses its profou…
 
Pope Benedict XVI: "But now let us ask ourselves: what does Mary Queen mean? Is it only a title united to others, the crown, an ornament among others? What does it mean? What is this royalty? As already shown, it is a consequence of her being united to the Son, of her being in Heaven, that is in communion with God; she participates in God’s respons…
 
Papa Benedetto: "Che cosa vuol dire Maria Regina? E' solo un titolo unito ad altri, la corona, un ornamento con altri? Che cosa vuol dire? Che cosa è questa regalità? Come già indicato, è una conseguenza del suo essere unita al Figlio, del suo essere in Cielo, cioè in comunione con Dio; Ella partecipa alla responsabilità di Dio per il mondo e all'a…
 
Pope Benedict XVI: "These reflections, characteristic of a lover of Jesus and Mary like St Bernard, in a salutary way provoke still today not only theologians, but all believers. Sometimes one pretends to have resolved the fundamental questions about God, about man and about the world with the sole forces of reason. Instead St Bernard, solidly foun…
 
Papa Benedetto: "Queste riflessioni, caratteristiche di un innamorato di Gesù e di Maria come san Bernardo, provocano ancor oggi in maniera salutare non solo i teologi, ma tutti i credenti. A volte si pretende di risolvere le questioni fondamentali su Dio, sull’uomo e sul mondo con le sole forze della ragione. San Bernardo, invece, solidamente fond…
 
Pope Benedict XVI: "Man is by his nature religious, he is homo religiosus just as he is homo sapiens and homo faber: “The desire for God” the Catechism further affirms, “is written in the heart of man, because man is created by God and for God” (n 27). The image of the Creator is imprinted on his being and he feels the need to find a light so as to…
 
Papa Benedetto XVI: "L’uomo è per sua natura religioso, è homo religiosus come è homo sapiens e homo faber: “il desiderio di Dio – afferma ancora il Catechismo – è inscritto nel cuore dell’uomo, perché l’uomo è stato creato da Dio e per Dio” (n 27). L’immagine del Creatore è impressa nel suo essere ed egli sente il bisogno di trovare una luce per d…
 
Pope Benedict XVI: "Dear friends, in these examples of prayers from different epochs and civilizations emerges the awareness that the human being has of his condition as a creature and of his dependence on an Other superior to him and source of every good. The man of every age prays because he cannot help but wonder what is the meaning of his exist…
 
Papa Benedetto XVI: "Cari amici, in questi esempi di preghiere delle diverse epoche e civiltà emerge la consapevolezza che l’essere umano ha della sua condizione di creatura e della sua dipendenza da un Altro a lui superiore e fonte di ogni bene. L’uomo di tutti i tempi prega perché non può fare a meno di chiedersi quale sia il senso della sua esis…
 
Pope Benedict XVI: "What made the Curé of Ars holy was his humble faithfulness to the mission to which God had called him; it was his constant abandonment, full of trust, into the hands of divine Providence. He succeeded in touching people's hearts not by strength of his own human gifts, nor by relying exclusively on an effort, however laudable, of…
 
Pope Benedict XVI: "In this first meeting I would like first of all to dwell upon the name that I chose on becoming Bishop of Rome and universal Pastor of the Church. I wanted to call myself Benedict XVI so as to connect myself in spirit to venerated Pope Benedict XV, who guided the Church in a period troubled because of the First World War. He was…
 
Pope Benedict XVI: "On the one hand the Nativity, a central point of Christ's love for humanity, but equally the vision of the Crucified One inspires in Anthony thoughts of gratitude to God and of esteem for the dignity of the human person, thus that everyone, believers and non-believers, can find in the Crucified One and in his image a meaning tha…
 
Pope Benedict XVI: "The intimate structure of her praying song is, therefore, praise, thanksgiving, grateful joy. But this personal witness is not solitary and intimate, purely individualistic, because the Virgin Mother is conscious of having a mission to accomplish for humanity and her story is inserted within the history of salvation. And thus sh…
 
Pope Benedict XVI: "The seat of Rome, after these migrations by St Peter, was thus recognized as that of the successor of Peter, and the "chair" of its bishop represents that of the Apostle instructed by Christ to graze his whole flock. The most ancient Fathers of the Church attest to this, as for example St Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, but who came …
 
Pope Benedict XVI: "All the other titles attributed to Our Lady find their foundation in her vocation to be the Mother of the Redeemer, the human creature elected by God to realise the plan of salvation, centered on the great mystery of the incarnation of the divine Verb. In these festive days we have stopped to contemplate in the crib the represen…
 
Pope Benedict XVI: "From the love for Christ is born love towards persons and also towards all God's creatures. Here is another characteristic trait of Francis' spirituality: the sense of universal brotherhood and love for created matter, which inspired his famous Canticle of creatures. It is a very timely message. As I recalled in my recent encycl…
 
Papa Benedetto: "Cari amici, Francesco è stato un grande santo e un uomo gioioso. La sua semplicità, la sua umiltà, la sua fede, il suo amore per Cristo, la sua bontà verso ogni uomo e ogni donna l’hanno reso lieto in ogni situazione. Infatti, tra la santità e la gioia sussiste un intimo e indissolubile rapporto. Uno scrittore francese ha detto che…
 
Pope Benedict XVI: "On the basis of these simple findings that result from the Gospel, we can advance a pair of reflections. The first is that Jesus welcomed into the group of his close friends a man who, according to the concepts in vogue in Israel at that time, was considered a public sinner. Matthew, in fact, not only handled money deemed impure…
 
Pope Benedict XVI: "When Dominic died in 1221 in Bologna, the city that declared him its Patron, his work had already had great success. With the support of the Holy See, the Order of Preachers had spread to many countries in Europe for the benefit of the entire Church. Dominic was canonized in 1234 and it is he himself who, with his holiness, indi…
 
Pope Benedict XVI: ".. Dear friends, we too, with St Therese of the Child Jesus, must be able to repeat to the Lord every day that we want to live of love for him and for others, to learn at the school of the saints to love in an authentic and total way. Therese is one of the Gospel's “little ones" who let themselves be led by God into the depths o…
 
Papa Benedetto XVI: ".. Cari amici, anche noi con santa Teresa di Gesù Bambino dovremmo poter ripetere ogni giorno al Signore che vogliamo vivere di amore a Lui e agli altri, imparare alla scuola dei santi ad amare in modo autentico e totale. Teresa è uno dei “piccoli” del Vangelo che si lasciano condurre da Dio nelle profondità del suo Mistero. Un…
 
Pope Benedict XVI: ".. Returning to the scene of the vocation, the Evangelist tells us that, when Jesus sees Nathanael approaching him, he exclaims: "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile!" (Jn 1, 47). This is a eulogy that recalls the text of a Psalm: "Blessed is the man... in whose spirit there is no deceit" (Ps 32, 2), but provo…
 
Pope Benedict XVI: ".. According to tradition, John is the "beloved disciple", who in the Fourth Gospel lays his head on the Master's breast during the Last Supper (cf Jn 13, 21), stands at the foot of the Cross together with the Mother of Jesus (cf Jn 19, 25) and lastly is witness both of the empty tomb and of the very presence of the Risen One (c…
 
Pope Benedict XVI: ".. Peter thus learnt what it means to truly follow Jesus. It is his second call, analogous to the call of Abraham in Genesis 22, after that of Genesis 12: "If any man wishes to come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me. Because whoever wants to save his life, will lose it; but whoever loses his own lif…
 
Pope Benedict XVI: ".. Then there is the well-known and proverbial scene of the doubting Thomas, that occurred eight days after Easter. Initially, he had not believed that Jesus had appeared in his absence, and had said: "Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I …
 
Pope Benedict XVI: ".. We can thus learn many things from Saint James: promptness in welcoming the Lord's call even when he asks us to leave the "boat" of our human securities, enthusiasm in following him on the roads that He indicates to us beyond any of our illusory presumption, readiness to witness to him with courage, if necessary, all the way …
 
Pope Benedict XVI: ".. Benedict describes the Rule as "minimal, tracing only an initial outline" (73, 8); in reality, however, it offers useful directions not only to monks, but also to all those who seek guidance on their pathway to God. For its measure, humanity and sober discernment between the essential and the secondary in spiritual life, it h…
 
Pope Benedict XVI: ".. .. In this time of Lent, in the Year of faith, we renew our commitment on the pathway of conversion, so as to overcome the tendency to close in on ourselves and to make, instead, space for God, looking with his eyes at daily reality. The alternative between the closing in of our egoism and the opening to the love of God and o…
 
Pope Benedict XVI in the Year of Faith: ".. The Logos, who is with God, the Logos who is God, the Creator of the world (cf Jn 1, 1), for whom all things were created (cf Jn 1, 3), who has accompanied and accompanies men in their history with his light (cf Jn 1, 4-5; 1, 9), became one among others, took up his dwelling amongst us, becoming one of us…
 
Pope Benedict XVI in the Year of Faith: ".. So let us return to the question with which we begun, the one about the origin of Jesus, synthesized by Pilate’s question: “Where are you from?” From our reflections it appears clear, right from the beginning of the Gospels, what the true origin of Jesus is: He is the Only-Begotten Son of the Father, He c…
 
Pope Benedict XVI in the Year of Faith: ".. Faced with all this, we can ask ourselves: how was Mary able to live this pathway alongside her Son with a faith so strong, even in obscurity, without losing full trust in the action of God? There is an underlying attitude that Mary assumes in the face of what happens in her life. At the Annunciation she …
 
Pope Benedict XVI in the Year of Faith: "This “design of benevolence” did not remain, so to speak, in the silence of God, in the heights of his Heaven, but He made it known by entering into relationship with man, to whom He revealed not only something, but His very self. He did not simply communicate a set of truths, but communicated himself to us,…
 
Papa Benedetto: ".. Perché l’Apostolo eleva a Dio, dal profondo del suo cuore, questa benedizione? Perché guarda al suo agire nella storia della salvezza, culminato nell’incarnazione, morte e risurrezione di Gesù, e contempla come il Padre celeste ci abbia scelti prima ancora della creazione del mondo, per essere suoi figli adottivi, nel suo Figlio…
 
Pope Benedict XVI in the Year of Faith: "How to speak of God today? The first response is that we can speak of God, because He has spoken with us. The first condition for speaking of God is therefore to listen to what God himself has said. God has spoken with us! God is thus not a distant hypothesis about the origin of the world; He is not a mathem…
 
Pope Benedict XVI in the Year of Faith: "Catholic tradition has from the very beginning rejected what is called fideism, which is the will to believe against reason. Credo quia absurdum (I believe because it is absurd) is not a formula that interprets the Catholic faith. Indeed, God is not absurd, rather He is mystery. Mystery, in turn, is not irra…
 
Pope Benedict XVI in the Year of Faith: "Last Wednesday we reflected on the desire for God that the human being carries within the depths of himself. Today I would like to continue and deepen this aspect by briefly meditating with you upon some ways of arriving at the knowledge of God. I would like to remember, however, that the initiative of God a…
 
Pope Benedict XVI in the Year of Faith: "The pathway of reflection that we are making together in this Year of Faith leads us to meditate today on a fascinating aspect of human and Christian experience: man bears within himself a mysterious desire for God. In a very significant way, the Catechism of the Catholic Church opens precisely with this con…
 
Papa Benedetto: "Il cammino di riflessione che stiamo facendo insieme in quest’Anno della fede ci conduce a meditare oggi su un aspetto affascinante dell’esperienza umana e cristiana: l’uomo porta in sé un misterioso desiderio di Dio. In modo molto significativo, il Catechismo della Chiesa Cattolica si apre proprio con la seguente considerazione: «…
 
Pope Benedict XVI in the Year of Faith: ".. Lastly, I would like to emphasize that it is in the ecclesial community that personal faith grows and matures. It is interesting to observe how in the New Testament the word “saints” refers to Christians as a whole, and certainly not everyone would have had the qualities to be declared saints by the Churc…
 
Papa Benedetto: ".. Vorrei, infine, sottolineare che è nella comunità ecclesiale che la fede personale cresce e matura. E’ interessante osservare come nel Nuovo Testamento la parola «santi» designa i cristiani nel loro insieme, e certamente non tutti avevano le qualità per essere dichiarati santi dalla Chiesa. Che cosa si voleva indicare, allora, c…
 
Pope Benedict XVI in the Year of Faith: ".. Faith, then, is an assent with which our minds and our hearts say their “yes” to God, by confessing that Jesus is Lord. And this “yes” transforms life, opens the road towards a fullness of meaning, renders it thus new, rich in joy and trustworthy hope. Dear friends, our time requires Christians who have b…
 
Papa Benedetto: ".. La fede allora è un assenso con cui la nostra mente e il nostro cuore dicono il loro "sì" a Dio, confessando che Gesù è il Signore. E questo «sì» trasforma la vita, le apre la strada verso una pienezza di significato, la rende così nuova, ricca di gioia e di speranza affidabile. Cari amici, il nostro tempo richiede cristiani che…
 
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