Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Final Words From Our Pastor

One of the best ways to understand and fall in love with our Catholic faith is to listen to the words of our pastor.  And not just the pastor of our local Church, but the pastor of our one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church, the successor of St. Peter, chief of the Apostles: Pope Benedict XVI.

Think about it.  Our Church isn't just St. Vincent de Paul or St. Charles Borromeo.  These are just particular gatherings of members of the Church.  In reality, the Church has over 1 billion visible members.  We can't all fit into one building.  So, we gather where we are.  But we do have one head, one shepherd, and one true, high Priest: Jesus Christ; who gives others a share in his ministerial priesthood.  And to one in particular, through the Holy Spirit, he elects as his Vicar: the Pope, the pastor of our Church.

So, our Church will soon have a new pastor, a new Pope, I would like to recommend reading the Pope's words from his weekly general audiences every Wednesday and his weekly Angelus message every Sunday.

Here is the text from Pope Benedict's greeting to the English speaking pilgrims at today's Wednesday general audience, his last:

Saint Peter's Square
Wednesday, 27 February

"Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I offer a warm and affectionate greeting to the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors who have joined me for this, my last General Audience. Like Saint Paul, whose words we heard earlier, my heart is filled with thanksgiving to God who ever watches over his Church and her growth in faith and love, and I embrace all of you with joy and gratitude.

During this Year of Faith, we have been called to renew our joyful trust in the Lord’s presence in our lives and in the life of the Church. I am personally grateful for his unfailing love and guidance in the eight years since I accepted his call to serve as the Successor of Peter. I am also deeply grateful for the understanding, support and prayers of so many of you, not only here in Rome, but also throughout the world.

The decision I have made, after much prayer, is the fruit of a serene trust in God’s will and a deep love of Christ’s Church. I will continue to accompany the Church with my prayers, and I ask each of you to pray for me and for the new Pope. In union with Mary and all the saints, let us entrust ourselves in faith and hope to God, who continues to watch over our lives and to guide the journey of the Church and our world along the paths of history.

I commend all of you, with great affection, to his loving care, asking him to strengthen you in the hope which opens our hearts to the fullness of life that he alone can give. To you and your families, I impart my blessing. Thank you!"

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