Cor ad Cor Loquitur – Pope Speaks ‘Heart to Heart’

Pope Benedict addressed the College of Cardinals this afternoon in the Clementine Hall, with a parting message of love and gratitude, translation by Radio Vaticana:

clementine hall, Benedict and Cardinals

Dear beloved brothers

I welcome you all with great joy and cordially greet each one of you. I thank Cardinal Angelo Sodano, who as always, has been able to convey the sentiments of the College, Cor ad cor loquitur. Thank you, Your Eminence, from my heart.

And referring to the disciples of Emmaus, I would like to say to you all that it has also been a joy for me to walk with you over the years in light of the presence of the Risen Lord. As I said yesterday, in front of thousands of people who filled St. Peter’s Square, your closeness, your advice, have been a great help to me in my ministry. In these 8 years we have experienced in faith beautiful moments of radiant light in the Churches’ journey along with times when clouds have darkened the sky. We have tried to serve Christ and his Church with deep and total love which is the soul of our ministry. We have gifted hope that comes from Christ alone, and which alone can illuminate our path. Together we can thank the Lord who has helped us grow in communion, to pray to together, to help you to continue to grow in this deep unity so that the College of Cardinals is like an orchestra, where diversity, an expression of the universal Church, always contributes to a superior harmony of concord. I would like to leave you with a simple thought that is close to my heart, a thought on the Church, Her mystery, which is for all of us, we can say, the reason and the passion of our lives. I am helped by an expression of Romano Guardini’s, written in the year in which the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council approved the Constitution Lumen Gentium, his last with a personal dedication to me, so the words of this book are particularly dear to me .

Guardini says: “The Church is not an institution devised and built at table, but a living reality. She lives along the course of time by transforming Herself, like any living being, yet Her nature remains the same. At Her heart is Christ. ”

This was our experience yesterday, I think, in the square. We could see that the Church is a living body, animated by the Holy Spirit, and truly lives by the power of God, She is in the world but not of the world. She is of God, of Christ, of the Spirit, as we saw yesterday. This is why another eloquent expression of Guardini’s is also true: “The Church is awakening in souls.” The Church lives, grows and awakens in those souls which like the Virgin Mary accept and conceive the Word of God by the power of the Holy Spirit. They offer to God their flesh and in their own poverty and humility become capable of giving birth to Christ in the world today. Through the Church the mystery of the Incarnation remains present forever. Christ continues to walk through all times in all places. Let us remain united, dear brothers, to this mystery, in prayer, especially in daily Eucharist, and thus serve the Church and all humanity. This is our joy that no one can take from us.

Prior to bidding farewell to each of you personally, I want to tell you that I will continue to be close to you in prayer, especially in the next few days, so that you may all be fully docile to the action of the Holy Spirit in the election of the new Pope. May the Lord show you what is willed by Him. And among you, among the College of Cardinals, there is also the future Pope, to whom, here to today, I already promise my unconditional reverence and obedience. For all this, with affection and gratitude, I cordially impart upon you my Apostolic Blessing.

Below is a Vatican Radio translation of the farewell discourse by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals to Pope Benedict XVI:


With great trepidation the cardinals present in Rome gather around you today, once again to show their deep affection and express their heartfelt gratitude for your selfless witness of apostolic service, for the good of the Church of Christ and of all humanity.

Last Saturday, at the end of the Spiritual Exercises in the Vatican, you thanked your collaborators from the Roman Curia, with these moving words: My friends, I would like to thank all of you not only for this week but for the past eight years, during which you have carried with me, with great skill, affection, love and loyalty, the weight of the Petrine ministry.

Beloved and revered Successor of Peter, it is we who must thank you for the example you have given us in the past eight years of Pontificate. On 19 April 2005 you joined the long line of successors of the Apostle Peter, and today, 28 February 2013, you are about to leave us, as we wait for the helm of the Barque of Peter to pass into other hands. Thus the apostolic succession continues, which the Lord promised His Holy Church, until the voice of the Angel of the Apocalypse is heard proclaim on earth : ” Tempus non erit amplius … consummabitur mysterium Dei” (Ap 10, 6-7) “there is no longer time.: the mystery of God is finished.” So ends the history of the Church, together with the history of the world, with the advent of a new heaven and a new earth.

Holy Father, with deep love we have tried to accompany you on your journey, reliving the experience of the disciples of Emmaus who, after walking with Jesus for a good stretch of road, said to one another: “Were not our hearts burning [within us] while he spoke to us on the way?” (Luke 24:32).

Yes, Holy Father, know that our hearts burned too as we walked with you in the past eight years. Today we want to once again express our gratitude.

Together we repeat a typical expression of your dear native land “Vergelt’s Gott” God reward you!

Let us continue our prayers for Pope Benedict XVI, and the electing Cardinals that in the words of the Holy Father, may be docile to the Holy Spirit in the coming days.


Saturday with Mary

It has come through a several mediations this past week for me to pick up again Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort’s True Devotion to Mary.

On the title page to de Montfort’s preliminary remarks, he is quoted:

“The more the Holy Spirit finds Mary, His dear and inseparable spouse, in any soul, the more active and mighty He becomes in producing Jesus Christ in that soul, and that soul in Jesus Christ.”

These words remind me very much of the role of Mary by her participation in the mystery of the incarnation, the Word – Christ Jesus – made flesh:

“Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:30-33).

The Holy Spirit is Mary’s Spouse. Where Mary is, her Spouse is. And, with them, Jesus Christ.

A side thought that came, reflecting on these words in view of the Incarnation:

no Mary – no Jesus; know Mary – know Jesus

To come to know Mary we surprisingly find her always pointing us to her Son. May she intercede for us, that her Spouse the Holy Spirit enlighten our hearts and minds to know and love her Son, our Lord Jesus.

Give Praise to the Creator

The Responsorial Psalm of today‘s Mass reminded me of this simple song to the Holy Spirit, a reminder that all is created by a higher power than ourselves. If we deny this truth, we ultimately run the risk of giving control of our lives to mere human beings and human structures, rather than rely upon the Lord of Life who endowed us with our very being.

Let us take a moment to give thanks to our Creator – to God – who breathes life into us anew each day through His Most Holy Spirit (translation follows):

(walk according to the Spirit)
By your Spirit, Lord, the earth is full.
By your Spirit, Lord, the earth is full.

Bless the Lord, my soul.
Lord God you are Great!
How immense and splendid
are all your works and all creatures

By your Spirit, O Lord, the earth is full.

If you take away your breath, everything dies,
and fades away into the earth.

Your Spirit descends and all is recreated;
and all is renewed.

By your Spirit, O Lord, the earth is full.

Your glory, O Lord, exists for ever.
God rejoices in His creation.

This simple song rises up to the Lord,
“You are our Joy!”

By your Spirit, O Lord, the earth is full. (repeat)

Holy Spirit Prayer:

Holy Spirit,
heat and fire
spilling out from Christ,
give light and vigor to my spirit
and discernment to my soul,
small and poor,
ignorant and weak,
distracted in the world, I am
humble and living,
show me your untiring love.

Holy Spirit,
Spirit of Love,
that I might possess you always,
your love,
single, comprehensive, decisive,
for my life.
In love Your being is consumed in me,
through service Your being is expressed
in my being in You.

Enter, O Light of God,
chase away the shadows
that are in us.
Make bloom in our lives
a new desire to live.

Enter, O Light of God,
scourge the depth of our heart.
Encourage anew,
liberate the sleeping energy,
change all of our days
so to make them pieces of a puzzle
that seeks only to be found
in You.

The Holy Spirit Prayer is written by a Canossian Sister. All rights reserved.