Saturday, June 30, 2012

Pope: among the many rulers that want to direct us, Christians see God as our only Lord

Pope Benedict XVI waves as he leads his Wednesday general audience in Paul VI hall at the Vatican'God, "is the only Lord of our lives, in the midst of so many "masters" who want to direct and guide. For this reason it is important to have a scale of values ​​in which primacy belongs to God."

The "spiritual testament" of St. Paul in the Letter to the Philippians, was the focus of Benedict XVI'a general audience before seven thousand people present in the Paul VI at the Vatican.

The Apostle writes from prison, "probably in Rome and feeling close to death", but despite this, he "expresses the joy of being a disciple of Christ", to the point of  "seeing death as a gain." Paul says that "joy is a feature of being a Christian," "always be happy in the Lord, again I say rejoice." 

"From where, or rather, from whom does St. Paul draw the serenity, strength, courage to go to meet his martyrdom, and the shedding of his blood?". The answer is Jesus, and for this reason, the Letter to the Philippians is a "Christological hymn, a hymn in which all attention is centred on the Christ's "sentiments", that is, on his thinking and his lived and concrete experience " (cf. Philip. 2 ).

"Have among yourselves the same attitude of Jesus," is the exhortation of St. Paul. "It is not simply a case of following the example of Jesus, as a moral thing, but to involve all of our existence in our way of thinking and acting. Prayer should lead to an ever deeper knowledge and union of love with the Lord, to be able to think, act and love like Him, in Him and for Him. Exercising this learning the sentiments of Jesus is the path of Christian life. "

The Pope also highlighted several points: the first is that "comes from his being " in the form of God," or better in the condition of God.  Jesus, true God and true man, does not live his "being like God" to triumph or to impose his supremacy, he does not consider it a possession, a privilege, a precious treasure. Indeed, he "divested," emptied himself, taking on the' form of a slave," human reality marked by suffering, poverty, death". "As a servant dedicated to the service of others "

"St. Paul continues by outlining the "historical" framework in which this abasement of Jesus," who "humbled himself unto death, in complete obedience and loyalty to the will of the Father, even to the supreme sacrifice, even unto death, death on the cross: the highest degree of humiliation, because it was the punishment reserved for slaves. " 

In this way, "man is redeemed and the experience of Adam is overturned: Adam, created in the image and likeness of God, claimed to be like God on his own strengths, to replace God, and so lost the original dignity that had been bestowed on him. Jesus, however, was in that condition but he lowered himself, he immersed himself in the human condition, with unswerving fidelity to the Father, to redeem Adam who is in us and restore the dignity he had lost. The Fathers emphasize that He became obedient, restoring to human nature, through his humanity and obedience, what had been lost through the disobedience of Adam. "

"In prayer, in relationship with God, we open our mind and heart, to the will of the Holy Spirit to enter this same dynamic of life." The human logic " Human logic, however, often seeks self-realization in power, dominion, in powerful means. Man still wants to build the tower of Babel on his own to reach the heights of God himself to be like God. The Incarnation and the Cross remind us that full realisation is found in conforming our human will to the Father, in the emptying of one's selfishness, to be filled with love, God's charity and thus truly become able to love others".

The second indication is the "exhaustion", the "bending of every knee in heaven and on earth, which attracts an expression of the prophet Isaiah, which indicates that all creatures should worship God. Genuflecting before the Blessed Sacrament or kneeling in prayer expresses an attitude of adoration before God, even with the body. Hence the importance of making this gesture not out of habit and not in a hurry, but with deep awareness. When we kneel before the Lord, we confess our faith in Him, we recognize that He is the only Lord of our lives."

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