2008-06-04 12:33:37

Pope Benedict XVI Holds Weekly General Audience

(04 Jun 08 - RV) Pope Benedict held his weekly General Audience this Wednesday in St. Peter’s Square, during which he spoke to the gathered faithful about the literary legacy of Pope St. Gregory the Great, who reigned from 590 to 604 and was the first pope from a monastic background.

Pope Benedict said Pope St. Gregory’s constant aim was to present the Church’s teaching on the ways that lead to the contemplation of God.

His Homilies on Ezekiel, and his Moral Commentary on Job present a model of spiritual life which integrates prayer and action. In his Homilies on the Gospels Saint Gregory explained how the preacher’s own spiritual experience of Christ should form the basis of his exhortations. The Pastoral Rule describes the ideal Bishop as a teacher and guide who leads by example and adapts his preaching to the specific background of those he addresses.

The Pope went on to talk about the great saint’s Dialogues, a collection of narratives that describe the lives of the saints of the great Pope’s day.

The Dialogues, a work full of rich theological and spiritual insights, describe the lives of the saints of Gregory’s epoch. In all things he insists on intellectual humility as a key to the meaning of Scripture, and proposes to Pastors and the faithful alike, the continual practise of lectio divina in order to better understand and follow God’s will.

The Holy Father also talked about the exemplary way in which Pope St. Gregory carried out the duties of the papal office.

Pope Gregory defended the prerogatives of the See of Rome, but with humility as the servant of the servants of God, and respected the rights of other Pastors, especially the Patriarchs of Constantinople and Alexandria. May the life and teaching of Saint Gregory guide and inspire us on our way to the joyous contemplation of God in eternity!

In his remarks to the faithful in Polish, the Holy Father recalled a more recent reformer, Blessed John XXIII, who passed away 45 years ago this week.

Up PBXVI in Polish… Pope Benedict recalled how Pope John XXIII called the 2nd Vatican Council, which began the renewal of the Church, and the reform of the Church’s structures and liturgy. The Holy Father prayed that the renewal bear fruits in all the faithful and in the whole Church in the 3rd Millennium.

After the catechesis, Pope Benedict greeted pilgrims in many languages, including English…

I offer a warm welcome to all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors here today, including the groups from England, Australia, Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Canada and the United States.

I extend special greetings to the group of Episcopalian pilgrims from Jerusalem, and to the many student groups present at this audience. May God bless you all!

This week’s Catechesis was the Holy Father’s second on Pope St. Gregory the Great, and the latest in a series of talks dedicated to great figures from the 1st millennium of the Church’s history.

I’m Chris Altieri RealAudioMP3

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