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"God is love". A new appeal for an end to conflict in the Mid-East
Asia News ^ | August 9, 2006 | Benedict XVI

Posted on 08/09/2006 7:49:54 PM PDT by ELS

9 August, 2006
VATICAN - MIDDLE EAST
Pope: "God is love". A new appeal for an end to conflict in the Mid-East

At the end of a meeting dedicated to catechesis, Benedict affirmed that a ceasefire "is possible" if "reason, goodwill, faith in the other, implementation of commitments assumed and cooperation between responsible partners" prevail. His teaching was focused on the apostle John and the love of God, a unique element of Christianity.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Citing Paul VI and John Paul II, Benedict XVI today renewed his appeal for peace in the Middle East at the end of his weekly catechesis held in Paul VI Hall. "Dear brothers and sisters," said the pope, "my mind, full of concern, is turned once again to the beloved region of the Middle East. With reference to the tragic ongoing conflict, I put forward again the words of Pope Paul VI to the UN in October 1965: 'No longer one against the other, no longer, ever! ... If you want to be brothers, let the arms fall from your hands.' In the face of efforts under way to finally reach a ceasefire and a just and lasting solution to the conflict, I repeat, together with my immediate predecessor John Paul II, that it is possible to change the course of events when reason, goodwill and faith in the other prevail, as well as the implementation of commitments assumed, and cooperation between responsible partners (cfr Address to the Diplomatic Corps, 13 January 2003). To all, I renew my exhortation to intensify prayer to obtain the desired gift of peace."

Benedict XVI arrived from his summer residence of Castel Gandolfo by helicopter. In Paul VI Hall, packed with pilgrims from all over the world, the pontiff continued his analysis of the figures of the apostles, dedicating today’s teaching to the contents of John’s writings, the gospel and the letter, of which "the characteristic topic... is love". He said: "It is not by chance that I wanted to start my first encyclical letter with the words of this Apostle: 'God is love' (Deus caritas est); 'those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them' (1 Jn 4:16). It is very difficult to find such writings in other religions. And so such expressions bring us face to face with a fact that is truly unique to Christianity."

Starting out not from "an abstract treatment, but from a real experience of love, with direct and concrete reference, that may even be verified, to real people", John highlights the components of Christian love that the pope summed up in three points. The pontiff said: "The first regards the very Source of love that the Apostle places in God, reaching the point where he affirms that 'God is love' (1 Jn 4:8,16). John is the only writer of the New Testament who gives us definitions of God. He says, for example, that 'God is Spirit' (Jn 4:24) or that 'God is light' (1 Jn 1:5). Here he proclaims with striking intuition that 'God is love'. Take note: this is not a simple affirmation that 'God loves', still less is it that 'love is God'! In other words: John does not limit himself to describing divine conduct, he goes right to its roots. Further, he does not intend to attribute a divine quality to a generic, perhaps impersonal love; he does not rise from love to God, but he turns directly to God to define his nature with the infinite dimension of love. By this, John wants to say that the essential constituent of God is love and hence all the activities of God are born from love and are stamped with love: everything God does, he does for love and with love."

The second point, continued the pope, is that God, in his love, "did not limit himself to verbal statements, but he truly committed himself and he 'paid' himself. As John in fact writes, 'God so loved the world (that is, all of us) that he gave his only Son' (Jn 3:16). Now, the love of God for mankind is concretized and manifested in the love of Jesus himself. Once again, it is John who writes: Jesus, 'having loved his own who were in the world, loved them to the end' (Jn 13:1). In virtue of this sacrificial and total love, we are all radically saved from sin, as the Apostle writes once again: 'My little children... if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world' (1 Jn 2:1-2; cfr 1 Jn 1:7). This is how far the love of Jesus went for us: until the shedding of his own blood for our salvation! The Christian, pausing in contemplation before this "excess" of love, cannot but ask himself what a dutiful response would be."

The third moment of the "dynamic of love" is that in which "as receptive recipients of a love that precedes and overpowers us, we are called to a commitment of active response, which to be adequate can only be an answer of love. John talks about a 'commandment'. He refers in fact to these words of Jesus: 'I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another' (Jn 13:34). Where is the novelty that Jesus is referring to? It lies in the fact that he was not content to repeat what had already been asked in the Old Testament and which we read in the other Gospels too: 'Love your neighbour as yourself' (Lev. 19:18; cfr Mt 22:37-39; Mk 12:29-31; Lk 10:27). In the old precept, the normative criterion was inferred by man ('as yourself'), while in the precept mentioned by John, Jesus presents himself as the motive and norm of our love. And this is how love becomes truly Christian: in the sense that it must be addressed towards everyone without distinction and especially in as much as it reaches the extent of extreme consequence, not having any other measure than being without measure. These words of Jesus, 'as I have loved you', invite us and unnerve us at the same time; they are a Christological goal that may appear unreachable, but at the same time they are a stimulus that does not allow us to stop and rest on what we have been able to achieve."


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; General Discusssion; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: apostle; audience; benedictxvi; catechesis; middleeast; paulvihall; pope; popebenedictxvi; stjohn; vatican

Pope Benedict XVI is greeted by Chinese dancers of the Lan Yang Catholic Youth Center during his weekly general audience in Paul VI hall at the Vatican, August 9, 2006. Pope Benedict on Wednesday backed moves to create a ceasefire in Lebanon and said reason and goodwill could end the 'tragic conflict' in the Middle East. REUTERS/Tony Gentile (VATICAN)

Pope Benedict XVI poses with Chinese dancers of the Lan Yang Catholic Youth Center during his weekly general audience in Paul VI hall at the Vatican, August 9, 2006. Pope Benedict on Wednesday backed moves to create a ceasefire in Lebanon and said reason and goodwill could end the 'tragic conflict' in the Middle East. REUTERS/Tony Gentile (VATICAN)

In this picture made available by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2006, Pope Benedict XVI prays inside the Virgin Mary of Tufo sanctuary church, in Rocca di Papa, near Rome, Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2006. The Pontiff kept up his appeals on Wednesday for prayers for peace in the Middle East, saying goodwill and trust are needed to obtain a cease-fire and a 'just and lasting solution of the conflict.''(AP Photo/L' Osservatore Romano)
1 posted on 08/09/2006 7:49:57 PM PDT by ELS
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To: clockwise; bornacatholic; Miss Marple; bboop; PandaRosaMishima; Carolina; MillerCreek; ...
Weekly audience ping!

Here is an article about today's audience. No transcript yet at the Vatican Web site.

Please let me know if you want on or off of this list.

2 posted on 08/09/2006 7:57:24 PM PDT by ELS (Vivat Benedictus XVI!)
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To: ELS
Our God is Peace Love Creation, and Light!

The mooseslime gawd is hate death destruction and darkness!

How do you make peace with satan?

3 posted on 08/09/2006 8:09:04 PM PDT by rawcatslyentist (I'd rather be carrying a shotgun with Dick, than riding shotgun with a Kennedyl! *-0(:~{>)
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To: rawcatslyentist

The secular world refuses to accept that we are in a spiritual battle of good vs. evil. They, in their relativistic and politically correct mindset, can't accept that one side is completely wrong. In their blindness, they find all sorts of ways to spin the truth.


4 posted on 08/09/2006 8:17:38 PM PDT by ELS (Vivat Benedictus XVI!)
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To: ELS

Kumbaya bump


5 posted on 08/09/2006 8:34:40 PM PDT by Dajjal
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To: ELS

Their god is not our God....Our God is LOVE...PURE LOVE...their god is pure HATE.


6 posted on 08/09/2006 8:44:03 PM PDT by Suzy Quzy ("When Cabals Go Kaboom"....upcoming book on Mary McCarthy's Coup-Plotters.)
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To: ELS

God bless the Love Pope. May his exhortation to intensify prayers for peace be heeded by all who hear his words.


7 posted on 08/09/2006 9:55:17 PM PDT by LordBridey
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To: rawcatslyentist
How do you make peace with satan?

By first making peace with Our Lord, Jesus Christ. Then, satan is made effectively obsolete.

8 posted on 08/09/2006 10:00:34 PM PDT by LordBridey
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To: ELS

This love theme the pope is on is some super heavy duty stuff. It would be very meritorious for eternal salvation were we to integrate the pope's teachings into our minds and wills. He is saying something he thinks is very important.


9 posted on 08/09/2006 10:33:11 PM PDT by LordBridey
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To: ELS
If you want to be brothers, let the arms fall from your hands.' In the face of efforts under way to finally reach a ceasefire and a just and lasting solution to the conflict, I repeat, together with my immediate predecessor John Paul II, that it is possible to change the course of events when reason, goodwill and faith in the other prevail, as well as the implementation of commitments assumed, and cooperation between responsible partners

Maybe the Pope just doesn't get it...The muzlims do NOT want to be brothers...They want all Jews dead...And they will kill all Christians if given the opportunity...

10 posted on 08/09/2006 11:04:05 PM PDT by Iscool
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To: LordBridey
Praise the Lord,
Pass the Ammunition!

Evil does NOT coexist with goodness. You can be holier than me, It doesn't bother me in the least. I will not surrender to IS=slime by laying down arms!

To do so is the same as suicide, for they will shurely murder you!

11 posted on 08/09/2006 11:20:21 PM PDT by rawcatslyentist (I'd rather be carrying a shotgun with Dick, than riding shotgun with a Kennedyl! *-0(:~{>)
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To: ELS

There will never be peace between the descendants of Abraham. If you read your bible Ishmael tried to kill the child Isaac and is still trying to kill the children of Abraham and Sara.


12 posted on 08/09/2006 11:50:25 PM PDT by John 6.66=Mark of the Beast?
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To: John 6.66=Mark of the Beast?

I know that there is a prophecy in Genisis about Ishmael and his decendents are going to be against everyone.


13 posted on 08/10/2006 4:39:20 AM PDT by Biggirl (A biggirl with a big heart for God's animal creation.)
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To: John 6.66=Mark of the Beast?

Also if my memory is correct, Sarah had ordered that Hagar and Ishmael leave because Ishmael was taking advantage of little Issac. Genisis also records that Sarah ordered Abraham to remove both Hagar and Ishmael. The present conflicts between Jews and Christians and Muslims began with Sarah and Hagar.


14 posted on 08/10/2006 4:42:39 AM PDT by Biggirl (A biggirl with a big heart for God's animal creation.)
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To: ELS

This pope is a realist and knows about the dangers of Islam. What he is calling in "God is love" is repentence and conversion of all to the true God of faith, hope, and love.


15 posted on 08/10/2006 4:45:25 AM PDT by Biggirl (A biggirl with a big heart for God's animal creation.)
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To: ELS
I expect the Holy Father to get trashed and crapped on by the usual armchair hawks. The Pope prays for peace; others are praying for an all-out World War III; salivating over all the bloodshed.

Some on FR like to call themselves Christians while at the same time ranting about the need to wipe out all the "slimy ragheads", even the ones un-involved in this conflict.

I'll stick with the Pope on this one.
16 posted on 08/10/2006 5:25:02 AM PDT by Conservative til I die
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To: rawcatslyentist
I will not surrender to IS=slime by laying down arms!

Laying down arms? Are you on active duty in Iraq or something? Or just an armchair warrior like most here.
17 posted on 08/10/2006 5:26:21 AM PDT by Conservative til I die
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To: Biggirl
This pope is a realist and knows about the dangers of Islam. What he is calling in "God is love" is repentence and conversion of all to the true God of faith, hope, and love.

This is FR. That God is love crap is passe. Many here are absolutely itching for a nuclear armageddon. Like I mean, they really want it to happen! Don't ask me why.
18 posted on 08/10/2006 5:27:33 AM PDT by Conservative til I die
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To: LordBridey
"This saying is hard; who can accept it?" Thank you for your posts.
19 posted on 08/10/2006 6:00:19 AM PDT by Nihil Obstat
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To: Conservative til I die
More like Armed Chair!

Which part of the statement "Death to America" gives you hope for a peaceful outcome to is-slimes declared and koranusanaly commanded war?

20 posted on 08/10/2006 6:10:19 AM PDT by rawcatslyentist (I'd rather be carrying a shotgun with Dick, than riding shotgun with a Kennedyl! *-0(:~{>)
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To: Biggirl
The present conflicts between Jews and Christians and Muslims began with Sarah and Hagar.

...and Abraham for taking Hagar and not waiting until the appointed time for THE son of the promise to be born. He was the head of the household and the one on good terms with God, he could have told Sarah "no" when she told him to have a child with Hagar.

21 posted on 08/10/2006 6:14:13 AM PDT by madison10
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To: madison10

Abraham's problems with Sarah and Hagar, Ishmael, and Issac is truly a lesson from God on the need for being patient and to wait for God to respond.


22 posted on 08/10/2006 6:32:34 AM PDT by Biggirl (A biggirl with a big heart for God's animal creation.)
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To: madison10

Abraham's problems with Sarah and Hagar, Ishmael, and Issac is truly a lesson from God on the need for being patient and to wait for God to respond.


23 posted on 08/10/2006 6:33:00 AM PDT by Biggirl (A biggirl with a big heart for God's animal creation.)
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To: Conservative til I die

Cannot blame you for what you have said. It would not surprise me if the "itching" for a nuclear armageddon has gotten stronger since the the British anouced that a massive terror plot has been crushed this morning.


24 posted on 08/10/2006 6:36:29 AM PDT by Biggirl (A biggirl with a big heart for God's animal creation.)
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To: Conservative til I die
This is FR. That God is love crap is passe. Many here are absolutely itching for a nuclear armageddon. Like I mean, they really want it to happen! Don't ask me why.

They think Jesus will return in the wake of such an Armageddon, and that He will place them above their enemies. Pretty much the same thing Ahmadinejad thinks - with different names attached to the players.

I think we need to convert the whole lot of them to Zen Buddhism before they do any more damage. ;)

25 posted on 08/10/2006 6:41:05 AM PDT by Mr. Jeeves ("When the government is invasive, the people are wanting." -- Tao Te Ching)
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To: Biggirl

Then why doesn't he just say so.
That is the problem with the Pope and Roman Catholicism.
They " really mean" something other than what they say. You and other Roman Catholics "know" what this verbiage really means.
Well, if he wants to be a Christian witness, perhaps he should shout There is no Allah. Islam is an evil death cult. Truth must stand against it. But instead he says incoherent things like"..the implementation of commitments assumed..." There is no language anything like this in the Gospel. None. It is a bizarre construct.
Language is for communication. It can be misused to obscure, mitigate and minimize. The effect that this "teaching" will have can only be as clear as it is.


26 posted on 08/10/2006 6:53:19 AM PDT by Bainbridge
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To: ELS

I pray for Israel. They are surrounded by those who want to see them exterminated. That is why no one is helping them and they MUST do it alone...

...God Bless ISRAEL...
...God Bless ISRAEL...
...God Bless ISRAEL...
...God Bless ISRAEL...


27 posted on 08/10/2006 9:47:09 AM PDT by Mrs. Darla Ruth Schwerin
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To: ELS

The Holy Father enjoys his vacation at Disneyland.


28 posted on 08/10/2006 12:45:49 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Peace begins in the womb.)
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To: Bainbridge
But instead he says incoherent things like"..the implementation of commitments assumed..." There is no language anything like this in the Gospel.

If you read the article carefully, you will see that those were words of John Paul II to the Diplomatic Corps in 2003. If you are waiting for the Pope to say, "Death to Muslims!" you will be waiting for the rest of eternity. It is not going to happen.

Benedict's pleas for peace are not meant to be Church teachings. If you want to read some of Benedict's catecheses, you can check these out (beginning with April 27, 2005 and proceeding to the present) or some of his homilies.

29 posted on 08/10/2006 12:49:23 PM PDT by ELS (Vivat Benedictus XVI!)
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To: ELS

I read it.
As I said- he associates himself with those remarks
effectively incoherent remarks.
Muslims who actually believe the Koran believe that Jews and Chrisitans must be defeated.
Better figure this out.


30 posted on 08/10/2006 3:27:01 PM PDT by Bainbridge
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John, the theologian

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Before the holidays I had begun sketching small portraits of the Twelve Apostles. The Apostles were Jesus' travelling companions, Jesus' friends. Their journey with Jesus was not only a physical journey from Galilee to Jerusalem, but an interior journey during which they learned faith in Jesus Christ, not without difficulty, for they were people like us.

But for this very reason, because they were Jesus' travelling companions, Jesus' friends, who learned faith on a journey that was far from easy, they are also guides for us, who help us to know Jesus Christ, to love him and to have faith in him.

I have already commented on four of the Twelve Apostles: Simon Peter; Andrew, his brother; James, the brother of St John; and the other James, known as "The Lesser", who wrote a Letter that we find in the New Testament. And I had started to speak about John the Evangelist, gathering together in the last Catechesis before the holidays the essential facts for this Apostle's profile.

I would now like to focus attention on the content of his teaching. The writings that we want to examine today, therefore, are the Gospel and the Letters that go under his name.

If there is one characteristic topic that emerges from John's writings, it is love. It is not by chance that I wanted to begin my first Encyclical Letter with this Apostle's words, "God is love (Deus caritas est); he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him" (I Jn 4: 16). It is very difficult to find texts of this kind in other religions. Thus, words such as these bring us face to face with an element that is truly peculiar to Christianity.

John, of course, is not the only author of Christian origin to speak of love. Since this is an essential constituent of Christianity, all the New Testament writers speak of it, although with different emphases.

If we are now pausing to reflect on this subject in John, it is because he has outlined its principal features insistently and incisively. We therefore trust his words. One thing is certain: he does not provide an abstract, philosophical or even theological treatment of what love is.

No, he is not a theoretician. True love, in fact, by its nature is never purely speculative but makes a direct, concrete and even verifiable reference to real persons. Well, John, as an Apostle and a friend of Jesus, makes us see what its components are, or rather, the phases of Christian love, a movement marked by three moments.

The first concerns the very Source of love which the Apostle identifies as God, arriving at the affirmation that "God is love" (I Jn 4: 8, 16). John is the only New Testament author who gives us definitions of God. He says, for example, that "God is spirit" (Jn 4: 24) or that "God is light" (I Jn 1: 5). Here he proclaims with radiant insight that "God is love".

Take note: it is not merely asserted that "God loves", or even less that "love is God"! In other words: John does not limit himself to describing the divine action but goes to its roots.

Moreover, he does not intend to attribute a divine quality to a generic and even impersonal love; he does not rise from love to God, but turns directly to God to define his nature with the infinite dimension of love.

By so doing, John wants to say that the essential constituent of God is love and hence, that all God's activity is born from love and impressed with love: all that God does, he does out of love and with love, even if we are not always immediately able to understand that this is love, true love.

At this point, however, it is indispensable to take another step and explain that God has concretely demonstrated his love by entering human history through the Person of Jesus Christ, incarnate, dead and risen for us.

This is the second constitutive moment of God's love. He did not limit himself to verbal declarations but, we can say, truly committed himself and "paid" in the first person.

Exactly as John writes, "God so loved the world", that is, all of us, "that he gave his only Son" (Jn 3: 16). Henceforth, God's love for humanity is concretized and manifested in the love of Jesus himself.

Again, John writes: "Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end" (Jn 13: 1). By virtue of this oblative and total love we are radically ransomed from sin, as St John writes further: "My little children... if any one does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous; and he is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world" (I Jn 2: 1-2; cf. I Jn 1: 7).

This is how Jesus' love for us reaches us: by the pouring out of his own Blood for our salvation! The Christian, pausing in contemplation before this "excess" of love, cannot but wonder what the proper response is. And I think each one of us, always and over and over again, must ask himself or herself this.

This question introduces us into the third moment of the dynamic of love: from being the recipients of a love that precedes and surpasses us, we are called to the commitment of an active response which, to be adequate, can only be a response of love.

John speaks of a "commandment". He is, in fact, referring to these words of Jesus: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another" (Jn 13: 34).

Where is the newness to which Jesus refers? It lies in the fact that he is not content with repeating what had already been requested in the Old Testament and which we also read in the other Gospels: "You shall love your neighbour as yourself" (Lv 19: 18; cf. Mt 22: 37-39; Mk 12: 29-31; Lk 10: 27).

In the ancient precept the standard criterion was based on man ("as yourself"), whereas in the precept to which John refers, Jesus presents his own Person as the reason for and norm of our love: "as I have loved you".

It is in this way that love becomes truly Christian: both in the sense that it must be directed to all without distinction, and above all since it must be carried through to its extreme consequences, having no other bounds than being boundless.

Those words of Jesus, "as I have loved you", simultaneously invite and disturb us; they are a Christological goal that can appear unattainable, but at the same time they are an incentive that does not allow us to ensconce ourselves in what we have been able to achieve. It does not permit us to be content with what we are but spurs us to keep advancing towards this goal.

In The Imitation of Christ, that golden text of spirituality which is the small book dating back to the late Middle Ages, on this subject is written: "The love of Jesus is noble and generous: it spurs us on to do great things, and excites us to desire always that which is most perfect. Love will tend upwards and is not to be detained by things beneath. Love will be at liberty and free from all worldly affections... for love proceeds from God and cannot rest but in God above all things created. The lover flies, runs and rejoices, he is free and not held. He gives all for all and has all in all, because he rests in one sovereign good above all, from whom all good flows and proceeds" (Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, Book III, Chapter V, 3-4).

What better comment could there be on the "new commandment" spelled out by John? Let us pray to the Father to be able, even if always imperfectly, to live it so intensely that we share it with those we meet on our way.


To special groups

I offer a warm welcome to all the English-speaking visitors and pilgrims pres-ent at today's Audience, including the groups from Scotland, Ghana, China, India, Korea and Canada. May your pilgrimage renew your love for the Lord and his Church, after the example of the Apostle St John. May God bless you all!

***
Appeal for peace in the Middle East

My ardent thoughts go once again to the beloved region of the Middle East. With regard to the tragic conflict under way, I propose anew the words of Pope Paul VI to the United Nations Organization in October 1965. On that occasion he said: "No more against one another, no more, never again!... If you want to be brothers and sisters, let the weapons fall from your hands".

In the face of the efforts being made to obtain a ceasefire and a just and lasting solution to the conflict, I repeat, with my immediate Predecessor the great Pope John Paul II, that it is possible to change the course of events when reason, good will, trust in others, fidelity to commitments and cooperation between responsible partners prevail (cf. Address to Diplomatic Corps, 13 January 2003; L'Osservatore Romano English edition, 15 January, n. 5, p. 4). What John Paul II said then, also applies today, to everyone. I renew to all the exhortation to intensify prayer in order to obtain the gift of desired peace.

***

Lastly, as usual, I address a greeting to you, dear young people, sick people and newly-weds. Today, we are celebrating the Feast of St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Edith Stein, Co-Patroness of Europe. May this heroic witness of the Gospel help each one of you to always have trust in Christ and to incarnate his message of salvation in your own lives.

© Copyright 2006 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

31 posted on 08/23/2006 5:27:22 PM PDT by ELS (Vivat Benedictus XVI!)
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Weekly audience (August 9, 2006) ping!

The Vatican finally posted the English translation of the catechesis given two weeks ago. It is at reply #31.

Please let me know if you want on or off of this list.

32 posted on 08/23/2006 5:30:06 PM PDT by ELS (Vivat Benedictus XVI!)
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To: All
Previous catecheses on the Apostles:
Profile of St. Peter (May 17, 2006)
On Peter, the Apostle (May 24, 2006)
The Custodian of the Communion With Christ (Peter, the Rock) (June 7, 2006)
St. Andrew, the First Called (June 14, 2006)
James the Greater (June 21, 2006)
James the Less (June 28, 2006)
John, Son of Zebedee (July 5, 2006)
33 posted on 08/23/2006 5:31:42 PM PDT by ELS (Vivat Benedictus XVI!)
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To: rawcatslyentist
Evil does NOT coexist with goodness.

You are exactly correct. There can never be any peace between Heaven and Hell. Islam is the enemy. Where is Pope Urban II when you need him?

34 posted on 08/23/2006 6:03:46 PM PDT by stripes1776
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