Thanksgiving and Supplication

220px-SodanoHere is the translated text from Cardinal Sodano’s homily during the Mass for the Election of a Pope, given in Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome (via Vatican Radio):

Dear Concelebrants,
Distinct Authorities,
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

“Forever I will sing the mercies of the Lord” is the hymn that resounds once again near the tomb of the Apostle Peter in this important hour of the history of the Holy Church of Christ. These are the words of Psalm 88 that have flowed from our lips to adore, give thanks and beg the Father who is in heaven. “Misericordias Domini in aeternum cantabo”: is the beautiful Latin text that has introduced us into contemplation of the One who always watches over his Church with love, sustaining her on her journey down through the ages, and giving her life through his Holy Spirit.

Such an interior attitude is ours today as we wish to offer ourselves with Christ to the Father who is in heaven, to thank him for the loving assistance that he always reserves for the Holy Church, and in particular for the brilliant Pontificate that he granted to us through the life and work of the 265th Successor of Peter, the beloved and venerable Pontiff Benedict XVI, to whom we renew in this moment all of our gratitude.

At the same time today, we implore the Lord, that through the pastoral sollicitude of the Cardinal Fathers, He may soon grant another Good Shepherd to his Holy Church. In this hour, faith in the promise of Christ sustains us in the indefectible character of the church. Indeed Jesus said to Peter: “You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against her.” (Mt. 16:18).

My brothers, the readings of the World of God that we have just heard can help us better understand the mission that Christ has entrusted to Peter and to his successors.

The Message of Love
The first reading has offered us once again a well-known messianic oracle from the second part of the book of Isaiah that is known as “the book of consolation” (Isaiah 40-66). It is a prophecy addressed to the people of Israel who are in exile in Babylon. Through this prophecy, God announces that he will send a Messiah full of mercy, a Messiah who would say: “The spirit of the Lord God is upon me… he has sent me to bring good news to the poor, to bind up the wounds of broken hearts, to proclaim liberty to captives, freedom to prisoners, and to announce a year of mercy of the Lord” (Isaiah 61:1-3).

The fulfilment of such a prophecy is fully realized in Jesus, who came into the world to make present the love of the Father for all people. It is a love which is especially felt in contact with suffering, injustice, poverty and all human frailty, both physical and moral. It is especially found in the well known encyclical of Pope John Paul II, “Dives in Misericordia” where we read: “It is precisely the mode and sphere in which love manifests itself that in biblical language is called “mercy” (n. 3).

This mission of mercy has been entrusted by Christ to the pastors of his Church. It is a mission that must be embraced by every priest and bishop, but is especially entrusted to the Bishop of Rome, Shepherd of the universal Church. It is infact to Peter that Jesus said: “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?… Feed my lambs (John 21:15). In his commentary on these words, St. Augustine wrote: “May it be therefore the task of love to feed the flock of the Lord” (In Iohannis Evangelium, 123, 5; PL 35, 1967).

It is indeed this love that urges the Pastors of the Church to undertake their mission of service of the people of every age, from immediate charitable work even to the highest form of service, that of offering to every person the light of the Gospel and the strength of grace.

This is what Benedict XVI wrote in his Lenten Message for this year (#3). “Sometimes we tend, in fact, to reduce the term “charity” to solidarity or simply humanitarian aid. It is important, however, to remember that the greatest work of charity is evangelization, which is the “ministry of the word”. There is no action more beneficial – and therefore more charitable – towards one’s neighbour than to break the bread of the word of God, to share with him the Good News of the Gospel, to introduce him to a relationship with God: evangelization is the highest and the most integral promotion of the human person. As the Servant of God Pope Paul VI wrote in the Encyclical Populorum Progressio, the proclamation of Christ is the first and principal contributor to development (cf. n. 16).”

The message of unity
The second reading is taken from the letter to the Ephesians., written by the Apostle Paul in this very city of Rome during his first imprisonment (62-63 A.D.) It is a sublime letter in which Paul presents the mystery of Christ and his Church. While the first part is doctrinal (ch.1-3), the second part, from which today’s reading is taken, has a much more pastoral tone (ch. 4-6). In this part Paul teaches the practical consequences of the doctrine that was previously presented and begins with a strong appeal for church unity: “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.(Eph 4,1-3).

St. Paul then explains that in the unity of the Church, there is a diversity of gifts, according to the manifold grace of Christ, but this diversity is in function of the building up of the one body of Christ. “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up (Eph 4:11-12).

In our text, St. Paul teaches that each of us must work to build up the unity of the Church, so that “From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work (Eph 4:16). Each of us is therefore called to cooperate with the Successor of Peter, the visible foundation of such an ecclesial unity.

The Mission of the Pope
Brothers and sisters in Christ today’s Gospel takes us back to the Last Supper, when the Lord said to his Apostles: “This is my commandment: that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12). The text is linked to the first reading from the Messiah’s actions in the first reading from the prophet Isaiah, reminding us that the fundamental attitude of the Pastors of the Church is love. It is this love that urges us to offer our own lives for our brothers and sisters. Jesus himself tells us: “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:12).

The basic attitude of every Shepherd is therefore to lay down one’s life for his sheep (John 10:15). This also applies to the Successor of Peter, Pastor of the Universal Church. As high and universal the pastoral office, so much greater must be the charity of the Shepherd. In the heart of every Successor of Peter, the words spoken one day by the Divine Master to the humble fisherman of Galilee have resounded: “Diligis me plus his? Pasce agnos meos… pasce oves meas”; “Do you love me more than these? Feed my lambs… feed my sheep!” (John 21:15-17)

In the wake of this service of love toward the Church and towards all of humanity, the last popes have been builders of so many good initiatives for people and for the international community, tirelessly promoting justice and peace. Let us pray that the future Pope may continue this unceasing work on the world level.

Moreover, this service of charity is part of the intimate nature of the Church. Pope Benedict XVI reminded us of this fact when he said: “The service of charity is also a constitutive element of the Church’s mission and an indispensable expression of her very being; (Apostolic Letter in the form of a Motu Proprio Intima Ecclesiae natura, November 11, 2012, introduction; cf. Deus caritas est,n. 25).

It is a mission of charity that is proper to the Church, and in a particular way is proper to the Church of Rome, that in the beautiful expression of St. Ignatius of Antioch, is the Church that “presides in charity” “praesidet caritati” (cf. Ad Romanos (preface).; Lumen Gentium, n. 13).

My brothers, let us pray that the Lord will grant us a Pontiff who will embrace this noble mission with a generous heart. We ask this of the Lord, through the intercession of Mary most holy, Queen of the Apostles and of all the Martyrs and Saints, who through the course of history, made this Church of Rome glorious through the ages. Amen.

inside-the-sistine-chapel-130311-conclave

Pro Eligendo Romano Pontifice

The Conclave is upon us. Most of us in the United States will be asleep as the day for the Cardinal Electors gets underway, however, here is the rundown for the first day, and where to catch it:

inside-the-sistine-chapel-130311-conclave

If you like to have English translation: EWTN will broadcast live.

If you prefer to watch without commentary, the Vatican Radio will also be broadcasting live.

Rome Time / East Coast
10:00am  /  5:00am Solemn Mass for the Election of the Roman Pontiff (broadcast live from Saint Peter’s Basilica).If you wish to follow along, the Booklet is available in PDF at the Vatican Website. , and the College of Cardinals processing from the Pauline Chapel to the Sistine Chapel at 4:30pm (Rome Time).
3:45pm  /  10:45am Depart from Hotel to Apostolic Palace
4:30pm  /  11:30am Procession of the Cardinal Electors from the Pauline Chapel to the Sistine Chapel. The Cardinals will be accompanied in procession with the song of the Litany of Saints. Upon arrival at the Sistine Chapel, the Veni Creator hymn will be sung.The booklet of prayer for this procession and entrance into Conclave is available in PDF at the Vatican website.
4:45pm  / 11:45am Oaths, followed by a meditation by Cardinal Prosper Grech. First Ballot (if decided to do so; it is not mandatory the first ballot be cast this afternoon)
7:00pm  /  2:00pm The burning of first ballots (if a vote takes place).
7:15pm  /  2:15pm Vespers in the Sistine Chapel.

Let us unite our day with the Cardinals. Remember to Pray for the Election of the Roman Pontiff:

Deus, qui, pastor aeternus,
gregem tuum assidua custodia  gubernas,
eum immense tua pietate concedes Ecclesiae pastorem,
qui tibi sanctitate placeat,
et vigili nobis
sollicitudine prosit.
Per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum Filium tuum,
Qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.Amen
O God, eternal shepherd,
Who govern your flock with unfailing care,
Grant in your boundless fatherly love a pastor for your Church
who will please you by his holiness and to us show watchful care.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ,
your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.Amen.

Mary, Queen of Apostles, Pray for us!

Mary, Mother of the Church, Pray for Us!

An alphabetical List of Cardinals‘ first names in Latin. h/t: The Crescat

calltoprayer

An Invitation by Cardinals to Pray

The Cardinals in Rome propose that today’s afternoon’s session be dedicated to prayer in Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and they invite the whole Universal Church to join them – wherever we may be – at 5:00pm Rome Time.

The structure of the Cardinals’ prayer will include the recitation of the Glorious Mysteries of the Holy Rosary, Solemn Vespers and the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with a time of Adoration.

Vatican Radio will be video broadcasting live from Saint Peter’s.

EWTN will also be broadcasting live.

Bernini's Baldacchino
Credit: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/italy/rome-st-peters-basilica

When?  5pm Rome Time | 11am EST | 8am PST

Many of us in the States will be working at that hour, but that doesn’t mean we cannot unite our efforts for the sake of the Cardinals’ intentions for the Universal Church. 

What an opportunity to stand together and pray for the coming Conclave!

Commit to pray at that hour in some way. What way will you choose?

Pope Benedict to Step Down

P. Benedict XVI, 2010My heart is heavy with the announcement by our beloved Pope Benedict XVI that he will resign as Pontiff on February 28. In his announcement spoken in Latin to a small gathering of Cardinals, he said:

Dear Brothers,
I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.
Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.
From the Vatican, 10 February 2013

BENEDICTUS PP XVI

As the conclave prepares to gather, let us begin our prayer for the election for the new pope:

PeterO Lord, with suppliant humility we entreat Thee, that in Thy boundless mercy Thou wouldst grant the most holy Roman Church a pontiff, who, by his zeal for us, may be pleasing to Thee, and by his good government may ever be honored by Thy people for the glory of Thy name. Through our Lord. (Collect)

Amen.

This too is still an appropriate prayer for the Pope.

Shameless Popery posted this prayer.

Vatican Radio Reports

Dolan: “Thank God for the gift of Pope Benedict”

The Pope’s Paper: “Benedict Leaves” (Rocco Palmo)

Papal Conclave Electors and Other Information (Dr. Edward Peters)

On Pope’s Resignation

Notes About the Upcoming Conclave (Fr. Zuhlsdorf)

Habemus Papam – What a Day that Was!

Over at The Last Papist Standing, we are reminded that today is the sixth anniversary of the election of our dearly beloved Pope Benedict XVI:

And what a day that was! I remember it well. I was living in Rome at the time, finishing my studies at the Angelicum. It was a Saturday morning, and I decided to walk down to Saint Peter’s Square. When I asked my Sisters if any of them wanted to come, they all declined thinking that it was too early in the election process for the conclave to come to a decision.

Just as I entered the square a group of teenage boys were exiting the columns, jumping up and down, yelling, “Abbiamo Papa! Abbiamo Papa!”  We have a Pope! We have a Pope!” I quickly entered the square which was still pretty empty, and saw the last of the smoke coming out of the temporary chimney to the Sistine Chapel, where the Conclave is held. I remember speculating with others waiting who they thought it would be. Many believed it would be Cardinal Ratzinger.

The square filled quickly, and the atmosphere was joyful, as though Christmas had come early, yet there was more. I ended up standing between two very different men. One was a Jew. The other was a Muslim. They came because they knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime event, and they wanted to be a part of it. We were part of that crowd in the video, exclaiming joyfully together the good news that a Pope has been chosen. When the name of Cardinal Ratzinger was announced, these two men, along with most of the crowd, started jumping up and down, yelling, “We have a Pope! We have a Pope!” I asked them both, “Wait. You’re a Jew. You’re a Muslim.” but they both replied, “Today, it doesn’t matter. We have a Pope!”

It was truly a moment where all of Rome was united in a way that I’ve never known before, or have experienced again. But a day is yet to come, when we will put all else aside, and proclaim together “We have the same Lord.” This is the hope I carry in my heart every day. It will be in Christ, our true unity will come.
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