Sunday, June 01, 2008

Zenit: B16--On the Sacred Heart

On the Sacred Heart

"Every Person Needs a 'Center' in His Life"

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 1, 2008 ( Here is a translation of the greeting Benedict XVI gave today before praying the Angelus with several thousand people gathered in St. Peter's Square.

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Dear Brothers and Sisters,

On this Sunday, the first day of June, I would like to note that this month is traditionally dedicated to the Heart of Christ, a symbol of the Christian faith that is dear to the faithful, to the mystics and to theologians because it expresses in a simple and authentic way the “glad tidings” of love, summarizing the mystery of the Incarnation and the Redemption in itself.

Friday we celebrated the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the third and final of the feasts that follow Easter, after the Most Holy Trinity and Corpus Christi. This succession of feasts brings to mind a movement toward the center: a movement of the Spirit that is guided by God himself.

From the infinite horizon of his love, in fact, God desired to enter into the limits of history and the human condition, he took on a body and a heart; thus we can contemplate and meet the infinite in the finite, the mystery of the invisible and ineffable human heart of Jesus, the Nazarene.

In my first encyclical on the theme of love, the point of departure was the gaze turned toward Christ’s pierced side, of which John speaks in his Gospel (cf. John 19:37; “Deus Caritas Est,” 12). And this center of the faith is also the font of the hope in which we have been saved, the hope that I made the object of my second encyclical.

Every person needs a “center” in his life, a source of truth and goodness to draw from in the flux of the different situations of everyday life and its toil. Everyone of us, when he pauses for a moment of silence, needs to feel not only the beating of his own heart, but more deeply, the beating of a trustworthy presence, perceptible to the senses of faith and yet more real: the presence of Christ, heart of the world.

And so I invite everyone to renew his devotion to the Sacred Heart of Christ in the month of June, making use of the traditional prayer of the offering of the day and keeping in mind the intentions that I have proposed to the whole Church.

Along with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the liturgy invites us to venerate the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Let us always entrust ourselves to her with great confidence.

Once again I would like to invoke the Virgin’s maternal intercession for the people of China and Myanmar, stricken by natural disasters, and for those who are dealing with the many situations of suffering, of sickness and material and spiritual misery that mark the journey of humanity.

[Translation by Joseph G. Trabbic]

[The Holy Father then greeted the people in several languages. In English, he said:]

I am happy to greet all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present for this Angelus. In today’s liturgy we are reminded that Jesus has opened the gates of the Kingdom of Heaven for all who come to believe. May we take the path that leads to the Kingdom by saying "yes" to Jesus, living according to his message and following his example. I wish you all a pleasant stay in Rome, and a blessed Sunday!

© Copyright 2008 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana

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