Friday, January 20, 2006

I wonder if the Pope "went forward"?

In a very courageous move, Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa spoke in a December 16 Advent service before Pope Benedict XVI and the Pope's closest aides. He pulled no punches and presented the gospel to them in that sermon, which you can read about here.

The following are quotes from that sermon:
  1. Christianity does not start with that which man must do to save himself, but with what God has done to save him.
  2. Gratuitous justification through faith in Christ is the heart and it is a shame that this has been practically absent from the ordinary preaching of the church.
  3. The Protestant Reformation debate over the role of faith and works led the Catholic Church to focus so much on the need for the demonstration of faith in actions that it practically ignored the need for faith in the first place.
  4. Conversion to the fact that faith in Christ is the only means of salvation "is the conversion most needed by those who already are following Christ and have lived at the service of his church."

Father Cantalamessa told a familiar Italian story about the shepherds near Bethlehem going to visit the newborn Jesus, each of them trying to outdo the others with the beauty of the gifts they offered. One poor shepherd had nothing and was ashamed. "Mary could not figure out how to accept all the gifts, since she was holding the baby in her arms," he said. "So, seeing the poor shepherd with his hands free, she handed Jesus to him." Having his hands free was his fortune and it should be ours as well.

There was no mention on what invitation hymn was used.

1 comment:

Chuck said...

I didn't see anything about him coming forward. Quick! Somebody get the Pope a *Chick Tract*!. If he reads that thing from front to back he should be covered.