Thursday, August 16, 2007

Church must bear the image of suffering Christ

Pope Benedict XVI celebrates Mass at the San Tommaso da Villanova church, at the Pontiff's summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, Italy, Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2007. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, HO)

~from Pope Benedict's homily yesterday for the Solemnity of the Feast of the Assumption. Via Papa Ratzinger Forum

The Pope said the modern-day dragon was "not only anti-
Christian forces but all the anti-Christian materialistic dictatorships of all time." In the past century, he said, "we saw the dictatorship of Nazism, of Stalin - how strong the dragon could be. But in the end, love was stronger than hate. Even now, the dragon may once again seem invincible, but love will triumph, not hate nor selfishness."

The Church and the faith, he said, "are like a helpless woman facing a dragon, without hope of surviving, much less winning. Who could oppose such a power? But in the end, we know that the woman triumphed, not selfishness or hate, but love of God, and the Roman empire itself opened up to the Christian faith."

Mary's example, he said, invites us to say, 'Bear up, take courage, in the end, life will triumph, the life that is true.'Have the courage to live that way even against all the powers of the dragon. That is the great sign of love, and of the victory of goodness and love."

The Pope said Mary represents "the pilgrim Church of all time'.In every generation, "Christ must be born anew, the Church must bear the image of Jesus in all his suffering through all its tribulations under varying circumstances in the world and in time.

"In the end, the Church triumphs as a guarantee of God's love against all the ideologies of hate and selfishness. Even today, the dragon would devour the God who became a baby, but never think that God can be overcome, because God is strong, the real strength, since love is stronger than hate."

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