Thursday, September 06, 2007

Looking at Christ

~Via Papa Ratzinger Forum:
"Looking at Christ" -
The Motto of the Papal Visit

The motto highlights the cornerstone and the major issues of this pontificate. In the world we live in, especially here in Europe, the main questions revolve around the meaning and foundation of Christian faith. It is all about Jesus Christ.

The new book Jesus of Nazareth by the Holy Father moves the core of Christian faith to centre stage. It is a source of inspiration, both for the spiritual preparation for the visit of the Holy Father to Austria, and for the faithful and those looking for faith. With his book, the Pope takes the readers on his personal search for Jesus Christ.

On Central European Catholic Day on May 22, 2004, in Mariazell, the bishops of eight countries issued a joint message in which they proposed seven answers to today's challenges for Christians in Europe. The first and foremost mission of the faithful is to show Christ to the people. This is in line with the word of God, when He says: "And ye shall be witnesses unto Me."

On September 8, the faithful and Pope Benedict XVI will go on a pilgrimage to Mariazell, a place of meeting and reconciliation where pilgrims have prayed and thanked God, and where Christians from Austria and Central Europe as a whole have found support and comfort for centuries. They all look at the holy image of Mariazell, which represents the Mother of God, who shows Jesus Christ to the pilgrims.

Since December 8, the faithful have been preparing for the visit of the Pope through a prolonged novena. They look at a picture of the Marian statue of Mariazell and pray to Mary, the Mother of God, with the words of Pope Benedict XVI:

Show us Jesus. Lead us to him.
Teach us to know and love him,
so that we too can become
capable of true love
and be fountains of living water
in the midst of a thirsting world.

(from the Encyclical Deus Caritas Est)

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