Recalling the feast celebrated on Friday 23 June, Benedict XVI said: “The consecration of the Sacred Heart was – and still is in some countries – a tradition in some families, which kept an image of the same in their homes. The roots of this devotion are embedded in the mystery of the Incarnation; it is precisely through the Heart of Jesus that the Love of God for mankind is revealed in a sublime way.” Genuine worship of the Sacred Heart, which became widespread in the seventeenth century, “preserves all its validity”, continued the pope. It “attracts above all souls thirsty for God’s mercy, as they find there an infinite font from which to draw the water of Life, capable of irrigating the desert of the soul and of making hope blossom again.”
Benedict XVI also recalled that the solemn feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is also the World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests. He said: “I take the opportunity to invite all of you, dear brothers and sisters, to pray for priests always, that they may be valid witnesses to the love of Christ.
Turning to the feast of the birth of John the Baptist – marked yesterday – the pope highlighted the expression “He must increase, but I must decrease” (Jn 3:30). This expression, he said, “is programmed for each and every Christian”. The pope said: “Our life is always ‘relative’ to Christ and it is realized by welcoming Him, Word, Light and Spouse, of whom we are the voice, lamp and friends (cfr Jn1:1,23; 1:7-8; 3:29)”.
Dwelling on the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, the pontiff said: “Allowing the ‘I’ of Christ to replace our ‘I’ was, in exemplary manner, the ardent desire of the Apostles Peter and Paul, who the Church will venerate in a solemn feast on 29 June. St Paul wrote of himself: “It is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me. (Gal 2:20).”
Before the prayer of the Angelus, the pope also recalled the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, “Heart of a Mother, who continues to keep watch with tender concern over us all. May her intercession grant that we will always remain faithful to our Christian vocation.”
Sunday, June 25, 2006
From Asia News Italy: