Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Full Translation of Pope Benedict's Holy Week Wednesday Audence

There is a ton here. The Holy Father walks us through the next few days of Holy Week At the end is the statement on Tibet that the media is talking about. Thanks to the Ratzinger Forum for the translation and pics.
The General Audience this week was again divided into two. At 10:15, the Holy Father greeted participants of the 2008 University Encounter UNIV inside St. Peter's Basilica. Afterwards, he proceeded to Aula Paolo VI for the regular catechesis, in which he offered a meditation on the meaning of the Paschal Triduum, which culminates the Lenten journey. Here is a translation of the Holy Father's words.


The first part was delivered in English:

Dear Friends, I offer a cordial welcome to all of you who have come to Rome from various countries and universities to celebrate Holy Week together, and to take part in the International UNIV Congress. In this way, you will be able to benefit from moments of common prayer, cultural enrichment and a helpful exchange of the experiences gained from your association with the centres and activities of Christian formation sponsored by the Prelature of Opus Dei in your respective cities and nations.

He continued in Spanish:

You all know that with serious personal commitment, inspired by Gospel values, it is possible to respond adequately to the great questions of our present time. The Christian knows that there is an inseparable link between truth, ethics and responsibility. Every authentic cultural epxression contributes to shape conscience and stimulates the individual to surpass himself in order to help improve society. In this way, one takes responsibility with respect to the truth, in the service of which one must place his personal freedom. It certainly means a committed mission, and to realize this, the Christian is called on to follow Jesus, to cultivate an intense friendship with him through prayer and meditation. To be friends with Christ and give testimony of him wherever weare, also requires of us the effort to go against the current, remembering the words of the Lord: you are in the world but you are not of the world (cfr Jn 15,19). Therefore, do not be afraid when necessary to be non-conformists in the university, at school and everywhere else

He ended in Italian:

Dear young people of UNIV, be the yeast of hope in this world which yearns to meet Jesus even if it is not always aware of it. In order to make a better world, try above all to change yourselves first through an intense life in the sacraments, expecially availing of the sacrament of Penance and taking part assiduously in Eucharistic celebration. I entrust each of you and your families to Mary, who never stops conemplating the face of her Son Jesus. On all of you, I invoke the protection of St. Josemaria (Escriva de Balaguer) and all the saints of your native countries. I wish you all a happy Easter.

Dear brothers and sisters,

We have reached the eve of the Paschal Triduum. The next three days have been commonly called 'holy' because we relive the central event of our Redemption: they lead us, in fact, to the essential nucleus of the Christian faith - the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. These are days we may consider as a single day: they constitute the heart and fulcrum of the entire liturgical year and of the life of the Church.

At the end of the Lenten itinerary, we are entering ourselves into the same atmosphere that Jesus experienced in those days in Jerusalem. We want to revive in us the living memory of the sufferings which the Lord underwent for us and to prepare ourselves to celebrate with joy next Sunday "the true Passover, which the Blood of Christ has covered with glory, the Passover on which the Church celebrates the Feast that is the origin of all feasts," as it is written in the Preface for Easter of the Ambrosian rite.

Tomorrow, Maundy Thursday, the Church remembers the Last Supper during which the Lord, on the eve of his passion and death, instituted the sacrament of the Eucharist and that of the ministerial priesthood. On that same night, Jesus left us the new commandment - mandatum novum - the commandment of fraternal love. Before entering the Holy Triduum, but already closely linked to it, every diocesan community will celebrate tomorrow morning the Mass of the Chrism, during which the Bishop and the priests of the diocese will renew the vows of Ordination.

The Mass will also feature the blessing of the oils for sacramental celebrations: the oil for the catechumens, for the sick and the sacred Chrism. It is a moment that is highly significant for every diocesan community who, gathered around its pastor, strengthens its unity and faithfulness to Christ, the one Supreme and Eternal Priest. In the evening, at the Mass of the Lord's Supper, we remember the Last Supper, when Christ gave himself to all of us as the food of salvation, as the drug of immortality - this is the mystery of the Eurcharist, source and summit of Christian life.

In this sacrament of salvation, the Lord has offered and realized for all who believe in him the most intimate union possible between our life and his. With the humble but thereby even more expressive act of washing the disciples' feet, we are invited to remember how much the Lord did for his Apostles: in washing their feet, he proclaimed concretely the primacy of love - a love that serves even to the point of giving oneself for others - anticipating the supreme sacrifice of his life which would be fulfilled the next day on Calvary.

According to a beautiful tradition, the faithful close Maundy Thursday with a prayer vigil and Eucharistic adoration to relive more intimately the agony of Jesus at Gethsemane. Good Friday commemorates the passion, crucifixion and death of Jesus. On this day, the liturgy of the Church does not call for the celebration of Holy Mass, but the Christian congregation gathers together to meditate on the great mystery of evil and sin which oppress humanity, in order to relive - in the light of the Word of God and helped by emotion-filled liturgical acts, the sufferings of r=the Lord which expiated all evil.

After listening to the narration of the passion of Christ, the community prays for all the needs of the Church and of the world, it adores the Cross and comes to the Eucharist, partaking of the species from the Mass of the Lord's Supper the day before. As an additional invitation to meditate on the passion and death of the Redeemer and to express the love and participation of the faithful in the sufferings of Christ, Christian tradition has given birth to various manifestations of popular piety, processions and sacred presentations aimed to impress more profoundly on toe spirit of the faithful a feeling of true participation in the redemptive sacrifice of Christ.

Among such practices, the Way of the Cross stands out as a pious exercise which in the course of centuries has been enriched with multiple spiritual and artistic expressions according to the sensibilities of different cultures. Thus, in many countries, shrines have been established called 'Calvary' which the faithful reach by climbing a hill to recall the sorrowful path of Christ's Passion, allowing the faithful to participate in the Lord's climb towards the mount of the Cross, the mount of love offered to the very end. Holy Saturday is marked by profound silence.

The Churches are stripped and no particular liturgies are prescribed. While awaiting the great event of the Resurrection, believers persevere with Mary, praying and meditating during the wait. Indeed, there is need for a day of silence to meditate on the reality of human life, on the power of evil and the greater power of the good that flows from the Passion and Resurrection of the Lord.

Great importance is given on this day to participating in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the indispensable way to purify the heart and predispose it to celebrate Easter intimately renewed. At least once a year, we need this interior purification, this self-renewal.

This Saturday of silence, of meditation, of forgiveness and reconciliation, leads to the Easter Vigil, which introduces the most important Sunday in history, the Sunday of Christ's Passover. The Church holds vigil next to the newly blessed fire and meditates on the great promise contained in the Old and New Testaments, of the conclusive liberation from the ancient slavery to sin and death. In the darkness of the night, the Easter candle is lit from the new fire as a symbol of Christ who rises again in glory. Christ the light of mankind disperses the shadows from the heart and spirit, and enlightens every man who comes into this world.

Next to the Easter candle now resounds the great Easter proclamation: Christ is truly risen, death no longer has power over him. With his death, he defeated evil for always, and made a gift to all men of the life of God himself. By ancient tradition, it is during the Easter Vigil that the catechumens receive Baptism, to underscore the participation of Christians in the mystery of the death and resurrection of Christ,.

From the brilliant night of Easter, the joy, the light and the peace of Christ expand into the life of the faithful in every Christian community and reach every point of space and time. Dear brothers and sisters, in these singular days, let us orient our life decisively in generous and convinced adherence to the plans of the heavenly Father.

Let us renew our 'Yes' to the divine will as Jesus did with his sacrifice on the Cross. The evocative rites of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, the prayer-rich silence of Holy Saturday, and the solemn Easter Vigil offer us the opportunity to deepen our understanding of the sense and value of our Christian calling, which flows from the Easter mystery, and to concretize it by faithfully following Christ in every circumstance, and as he did, even to the generous gift of our existence.

To commemorate the mysteries of Christ also means to live in profound and harmonious adherence to the story, convinced that what we celebrate is living actual reality. So let us bear in our prayers the tragedy of the facts and situations which afflict so many of our brothers in every part of the world today. We know that hatred, divisions, and violence will never have the last word in historical events. These days revive great hope in us: Christ who was crucified has risen and has conquered the world. Love is stronger than hatred, it has triumphed, and we should associate ourselves with this victory of love.

We should therefore start out with Christ, and work in communion with him for a world based on peace, justice and love. In this commitment which must involve us all, let us allow ourselves to be guided by Mary, who accompanied her divine Son on the way of his Passion and the Cross, and took part, with the power of faith, in the realization of his plan of salvation. With these sentiments, I express my most heartfelt wishes for a happy and blessed Easter to all of you, to those dear to you and to your communities.

In English, he said:

Dear Brothers and Sisters, The Easter Triduum, which the Church now prepares to celebrate, invites us to share in the mystery of Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection. These days are the heart of the liturgical year. On Holy Thursday the Church recalls the Last Supper. At the Chrism Mass, the Bishop and his priests renew their priestly promises and the sacramental oils are blessed. The Mass of the Lord’s Supper commemorates Jesus’ institution of the sacrament of his Body and Blood and his commandment that we should love one another.

On Good Friday, we ponder the mystery of sin as we listen to the account of the Lord’s passion and venerate the wood of his Cross. Holy Saturday, a day of silence and prayer, prepares for the joy of the Easter Vigil, when the light of Christ dispels all darkness, and the saving power of his Paschal Mystery is communicated in the sacrament of Baptism. May our sharing in these solemn celebrations deepen our conversion to Christ, particularly through the sacrament of Reconciliation, and our communion, in the hope of the resurrection, with all our suffering brothers and sisters throughout the world.

I offer a cordial welcome to the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today’s Audience, especially the pilgrims from Ireland, Canada and the United States. Upon you and your families I cordially invoke an abundance of joy and peace in the Lord!

After his last greeting, directed to Italian-speaking pilgrims, he made this appeal:

I am following with great trepidation the news which has been coming from Tibet these days. My heart as a father feels sorrow and pain in the face of suffering by so many people. May the mystery of the passion and death of Jesus, which we are reliving this Holy Week, help us to be particularly sensitive to their situation. Problems are not resolved with violence, which can only aggravate them. I ask you to join me in prayer. Let us ask almighty God, source of light, to enlighten the minds of everyone and give each one the courage to choose the way of dialog and tolerance.

No comments: