Pointing at the bulletin letter's date (link) at left will display it's title.
April 27, 2008
Benedict’s Visit - A Message of Peace
The visit of Pope Benedict was a momentous occasion for the millions of Catholics in the United States. Considering the fact that he is 81 years old, he appeared to maximize his time to the full. He met with several groups, visited various places of importance and celebrated Mass in at least three different locations. There are not many of us who would be able to follow such a tedious itinerary even if we are considerably younger than he.
Besides wooing the crowds and seeming fully engaged with all he met, perhaps the most striking factor related to his visit was his message. Not one day went by that we didn’t hear or read from the media that Benedict had spoken on the theme of Peace. Although he did not fail to present a very strong message of reconciliation with respect to the sexual abuse scandal, even that was strongly tinged with the message of Peace. Our Pope clearly understands that his American flock has been seriously damaged by this scandal and only God’s all embracing love and peace will help us to heal. There is no Peace without Reconciliation
The message of Peace carried through from the political arena when meeting with President Bush and his message to the UN, and followed through to the psychological, emotional and very importantly to the spiritual. Why did the Pope choose this message for his visit to the U.S.? Of course we have no problem seeing our need for Peace on an international front. It is certainly first and foremost on the minds and in the hearts of all Americans. But is that the only meaning the Pope had in mind as he repeatedly addressed the crowds in Washington and New York? Probably not.
Before we can ever expect to experience Peace on a national and international level, we must first realize this peace deep within ourselves. The pope’s visit gave us a challenge we cannot minimize. We must take this challenge to heart. It is imperative that we be conscientious on this matter. The question is: “How do we go about attaining this Peace”? It is clearly not a commodity we can purchase, nor is it simply an idea that can become a reality by being willed into being. Where, then, do we get it and, at what cost?
Peace is the gift that Jesus Christ offered his church from its beginnings. He offered it to the Apostles and has continued to offer it to successive generations throughout the centuries. The problem is not with God, it is with us. He continues to offer the gift and we continue to refuse it or at least to pass it up for the time being. We do not seem to want peace in our lives. We almost seem to conceptualize it as a nuisance to be tolerated. Why is that?
Peace is a gift that involves Faith. In order to experience we must believe with our whole heart and mind that there is a God who exists and loves us. Peace also involves Trust in God. We cannot say that we want peace and proceed to take matters into our own hands. Eventually we come to the point of frustration and anxiety. We are not God and we must acknowledge that fact. Lastly, Peace entail a quieting of our lives. This could be very difficult for many of us. We are constantly running ourselves ragged. When will we realize what we are doing to ourselves? Will there ever be Peace, the answer depends on you and me.
Lorette P. Nault