Monday, 2 June 2008

Presence of Christ Needed

Even though the presence of Christ is only perceptible through faith, it's a deeper and more trustworthy presence that everyone needs, says Benedict XVI.

The Pope said this today before praying the Angelus with the crowds gathered in St. Peter's Square, encouraging the faithful to renew their devotion to the Sacred Heart of Christ this month.

He recalled that June is traditionally dedicated to the devotion of the heart of Christ, which he said is "a symbol of the Christian faith that is dear to the faithful, to the mystics and to theologians because it expresses in a simple and authentic way the 'glad tidings' of love, summarizing the mystery of the Incarnation and the Redemption in itself."

The Holy Father explained that the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, celebrated Friday, along with the solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity and Corpus Christi, "brings to mind a movement toward the center: A movement of the Spirit that is guided by God himself."

He continued, "From the infinite horizon of his love, in fact, God desired to enter into the limits of history and the human condition, he took on a body and a heart; thus we can contemplate and meet the infinite in the finite, the mystery of the invisible and ineffable human heart of Jesus, the Nazarene.

"In my first encyclical on the theme of love, the point of departure was the gaze turned toward Christ’s pierced side, of which John speaks in his Gospel. [...] And this center of the faith is also the font of the hope in which we have been saved, the hope that I made the object of my second encyclical."

"Every person needs a 'center' in his life," he said, "a source of truth and goodness to draw from in the flux of the different situations of everyday life and its toil. Everyone of us, when he pauses for a moment of silence, needs to feel not only the beating of his own heart, but more deeply, the beating of a trustworthy presence, perceptible to the senses of faith and yet more real: the presence of Christ, heart of the world."

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