Are you ready for these? I mean really and truly ready?
(okay, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. He’s a renegade, this one.)
1. “The conviction that the economy must be autonomous, that it must be shielded from ‘influences’ of a moral character, has led man to abuse the economic process in a thoroughly destructive way.”
(I don’t know if he’s necessarily feeling the Bern, but there are some less than capitalistic undertones to that one…)
2. “Charity in truth places man before the astonishing experience of gift. Gratuitousness is present in our lives in many different forms, which often go unrecognized because of a purely consumerist and utilitarian view of life.”
(I often find myself questioning my Target habits when I read this pope…)
3. “The sharing of goods and resources, from which authentic development proceeds, is not guaranteed by merely technical progress and relationships of utility, but by the potential of love that overcomes evil with good, opening up the path towards reciprocity of consciences and liberties.”
4. “Violence does not build up the kingdom of God, the kingdom of humanity. On the contrary, it is a favorite instrument of the Antichrist, however idealistic its religious motivation may be. It serves not humanity, but inhumanity.”
(Give peace a chance.)
5. “Evil draws its power from indecision and concern for what other people think.
(Love that off the cuff, man of the people vibe.)
6. “I would like everyone to feel loved by the God who gave his son for us and showed us his boundless love. I want everyone to feel the joy of being Christian.”
(He’s just so relatable! You can sense the love he has for each individual soul. What a pastor’s heart.)
7. “We are living in alienation, in the salt waters of suffering and death, in a sea of darkness without light. The net of the Gospel pulls us out of the waters of death and brings us into the splendor of God’s light, into true life. The modern world is … a spiritual and emotional desert of poverty, abandonment, loneliness… and destroyed love.
(Perhaps a subtle nod to the crisis of immigration and the cold indifference on the parts of so many of those in power?)
This man, with his words of compassion and his heart for the poor and marginalized, is truly a shepherd after Christ’s own heart. The Church – and the world – are lucky to have him. Even if he’s easily misunderstood by members of the faithful or willfully misrepresented by members of the media.
I am speaking, of course, of the author of the quotes listed above, that surprising and frequently misunderstood Holy Father…
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
(Or Fr. Joseph, as he would prefer to be called these days.)
Elected 11 years ago today, and retired now for the past 3. The more things change, the more they stay the same, eh?
Love you, Papa B. Keep those prayers coming for the Church, for Pope Francis, and for the world. God knows we all need ’em.