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Pope Benedict at the Tomb of St. Augustine

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Zenit has published the English translation of Pope Benedict XVI’s homily during a visit at St. Augustine’s tomb in Pavia Italy last April 22, 2007. In that homily, he reminded the faithful of the importance of love in the life of a Christian at the same time pointing to his encyclical “Deus caritas est”, the first part of which — he said — was influenced by St. Augustine. The Zenit article is found here.

While you are at it, Catholic.ORG also has an article about the visit. The report is actually based on an interview with Robert Prevost, the General of the Order of St. Augustine. You can find the article here.

Update: May 11:2007, 8:48 PM

In one of the masses celebrated at Pavia, Pope Benedict XVI had an occassion to reflect on the conversion of St. Augustine. He observes that there were three stages in this conversion:

  • his conversion to Christianity motivated by the desire to know Christ
  • his founding of a community to “live with Christ for all”
  • his humility in recognizing the “bountiful mercy” of God

The report is found here dated April 29, 2007. I found it referenced in this blog.

Update: May 11, 2007, 10:11PM

In a blog entitled “Charity, the bond of perfection” we find mention of the context where Pope Benedict delivered the homily mentioned here. What I found interesting is the mention of a new cultural center that the Augustinians are dedicating to the Pope.

After his visit to the University of Pavia on Sunday, Benedict XVI traveled to the basilica of San Pietro in Ciel d’Oro to celebrate Vespers. Before entering the basilica, the Holy Father paused on the patio of the convent of St. Augustine where he blessed the cornerstone of a new Augustinian cultural center, which the Order intends to dedicate to him.

It would seem then that the immediate context of the homily is a gathering of the faithful headed by the Augustinian family. If this is so, to whom did the Pope address the following words?

May your membership of the Church and your apostolate always stand out for their freedom from any kind of personal interest and for their unreserved adhesion to Christ’s love. Young people in particular need to receive the announcement of freedom and joy, the secret of which is in Christ. He is the most authentic response to the expectations of their hearts which are troubled by the many questions they carry within.

Following the footsteps of St. Augustine, you too must be a Church that frankly announces the ‘good news’ of Christ. … The Church is not simply an organization for collective expression nor, at the other extreme, is she the sum of individuals living a private religion. The Church is a community of people who believe in the God of Jesus Christ and commit themselves to living in the world the commandment of love that He left us.”

Note the phrase in bold. If he is addressing the Augustinian community here, the Pope is verbalizing the Augustinian charism of “one mine and one heart intent upon God” as “being Church.” This is highly significant since it opens the door to a new understanding of the Augustinian charism.

Originally posted 2007-05-09 23:01:50. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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