Pope Benedict’s Prayer to Mary

Mary, Mother who said Yes, you have listened to Jesus, know the tone of his voice and the beating of his heart.

Morning star, talk to us about him and tell us about the journey following him on the path of faith.

Mary, who lived with Jesus in Nazareth, etch your feelings in our lives,

May your meekness, your listening silence, make the Word blossom in truly free choices.

Mary, tells us about Jesus, so that the freshness of our faith shines in our eyes and warms the heart of those who are with us, as you did on visiting Elizabeth who in her old age rejoiced with you for the gift of life.

Mary, Virgin of the Magnificat, help us bring joy to the world and, as at Cana, lead every youth who is committed to the service of his brothers do only what Jesus says.

Mary, look upon on the Agora [gathering] of Youth so that it will be fertile ground for the Italian Church.

Pray that Jesus, who died and has risen, is reborn in us, and transform us in a night full of light, full of him.

Mary, Our Lady of Loreto, heaven’s gate, help us raise our eyes.

We want to see Jesus; talk to him; proclaim his love to everyone. 

Q & A with Pope Benedict: Mother Teresa and God’s Silence

One of the hallmarks of this papacy is his question and answer sessions which bring his message right to the heart of real questions. Yesterday he addressed the issue that has been in the news all week in the U.S.-Mother Teresa’s dark night…from Asia News Italy:

The vigil, which included chanting and music, saw some speakers bear witness as to what it means to be young today, addressing questions to the Pope. From the southern Italian city of Bari, Piero, an engineer, and Giovanna, a social worker from the city’s slums, were the first to speak. After talking about their own commitment, they asked: “How is it possible to hope when reality takes away whatever dream for happiness you may have, denies you a chance to plan your life?”

In his reply the Pope said that the anxiety the question betrays did not need any theoretical or feel-good answer. Putting aside his prepared text, the Holy Father spoke about marginalisation and ghettoisation, tragedies caused by the inaction of centres of power. He went on to say that the institutions that should take care of the powerless like the family and the parish church have been weakened. He further stressed that for the Church no one is an outsider and everyone is part of the whole. Christ was born in Nazareth, a place far from any centre of power; and yet he “revolutionised the world.” The Church should go back into the poorer neighbourhoods and with Christ’s help rebuild the social fabric of their inhabitants. For this reason young people he said must “change the world,” starting in its poorest corners, places time forgot.

When it was her turn, Sara, a 24-year-old office worker from Genoa, spoke about young people’s confusion, about the violence they experience and the lack of educators “as good and credible reference points to whom one may turn with one’s pain is too much. . . .  Holy Father, in this silence so heavy for me and my faith, where is everybody? Above all, where is God?”

“Every believer knows about God’s silence,” said the Pontiff answering off the cuff. “With all her charity, even Mother Teresa suffered from God’s silence.” But he recalled a story about Pope John Paul II, when he was still Cardinal Wojtyla. A scientist told him that he was “certain” that God did not exist but that “whenever he looked out at the mountains, he saw that He existed.” In truth, “the beauty of creation,” the Pope said, “is a sign of God’s goodness.” Not only do we meet God in creation, but we feel his “presence in the liturgical celebrations and in the Word,” he said. We have the same experience in the “great music by Bach, Mozart, and Haendel.” Listening to them we discover that God is the source of everything. Also there is friendship and companionship in faith and travel like what young people in Loreto have experienced. “God,” he said, “wants us to bear witness to our faith and be a light” onto others.

Acknowledging that “it is hard to talk to our friends about God and the Church,” a God “of prohibitions” and “a Church that imposes,” he urged his audience to “try to experience the living Church, not the image of a Church that is a centre of power.”

Remembering his visit to Fazenda Esperanza in Brazil, a drug rehab centre, he said that “the certainty in God’s existence means salvation from desperation.” God “broadens life,” he noted; “drugs destroy it.”

He concluded saying that “Christ came to create a network of communion in the world so that we can all help each other. In so doing we discover that the commandments and the relationship to God are in reality a path to joy.”

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