Posts Tagged ‘Pope Benedict XVI’

Generation Benedict

40 days, 40 reflections, 40 young people on how Pope Benedict has touched their hearts & why they are proud to be part of #GenerationBenedict

Pope Benedict has been responsible for the conversion, reversion, vocation and the deepening of faith of many young Catholics. At the time of his visit to the UK, many Catholics were luke-warm, even living their lives completely at odds to the Church. During this visit, and also World Youth Days in Cologne, Sydney and Madrid, he has connected with them through his eloquence, his love and genuine concern. Who is God calling you to be?

Pope Benedict will be truly missed by our generation. Those who have met him look upon him fondly as a gentle grandfatherly figure, as he has pointed us towards Christ, at a point in time when many of us were at a crossroads, telling us not to settle for second best, but to strive for sainthood.

Over the next 40 days of Lent, 40 young people from Generation Benedict will each be sharing how he has touched their hearts and changed their lives and changed their hearts.

Please visit our Lenten blog, our tribute to Pope Benedict. We invite you to comment and share your own experiences on the blog and on Twitter using #generationbenedict

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Pope Benedict

A Novena is 9 days of prayer, often said in the Catholic Church to obtain special graces. A novena can be said with a group of people, or in private. Below is a novena praying for protection, grace, and for the intentions of Pope Benedict. It is taken from praymorenovenas.com. Visit the website, sign up, and they will email the novena to you every day as a reminder! Why not suggest  you  pray the novena together with family and friends? If you are unable to meet for it, you could agree to pray at a certain time together- set a reminder on your phone!

Heavenly Father, Your Providence guides the Church and the successor to St. Peter, Pope Benedict XVI. May he be protected at all times from spiritual attacks so that he may lead Your Church to greater holiness and unity through your Holy Spirit.

Prince of Peace, we come to you today to ask for your grace of peace for our Holy Father. There are many problems in the world and in the Church that he must address everyday. We beg you for peace in the world, peace in our hearts as we face the brokenness of a fallen world and peace for the Pope as he shepherds your Church.

Dear Lord, your servant Benedict has given his life for the Church and for You. As he now steps down from leadership, please protect his health as he grows older so that he can continue to serve you in prayer.

Jesus, you gave to us a great Pope in Benedict XVI. You blessed him with wisdom, insight and intelligence to help guide your Church on an intellectual level. We pray for his ministry as a teacher specifically through his writing. We pray that his writings about you will reach the whole world with your saving message. We pray for a deeper understanding of our faith through the Pope’s writings.

Jesus, we pray for our beloved Pope and for his intentions. We pray for his personal intentions and for his recent decision to resign. That your will be done through the election of his successor.

Lord, source of eternal life and truth, give to your shepherd, Benedict XVI, a spirit of courage and right judgment, a spirit of knowledge and love. By governing with fidelity those entrusted to his care in these last days of his rule, may he, as successor to the Apostle Peter and the Vicar of Christ, build your Church into a sacrament of unity, love and peace for all the world.

[Insert your personal petitions for the Pope here]

Let us pray for Benedict, the pope.

May the Lord preserve him,
give him a long life,
make him blessed upon the earth,
and not hand him over
to the power of his enemies.

May your hand be upon your holy servant.
And upon your son, whom you have anointed.

Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Glory Be…

Amen.

Cardinals in Sistine Chapel

Heavenly Father, We, the People of God, gathered in solidarity as did the disciples in the Upper Room, pray for the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the cardinals who will be in conclave for the election of the next Vicar of our Lord Jesus Christ.

May the hearts of our cardinals be open to the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, beyond any human judgment, to elect the candidate most pleasing to You, Heavenly Father, and who will guide the Church at this momentous time in history at the beginning of the Third Millennium.

We invoke our Mother Mary, united in prayer with the disciples in the Upper Room, to intercede for our cardinals to select the next Holy Father in docility to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, her divine Spouse.

Holy Mary, Mother of God and of the Church, we entrust this conclave to your maternal and Immaculate Heart, and offer these prayers for your guidance and protection over the choosing of the next Vicar of your Son:

1 Our Father
1 Hail Mary
1 Glory Be

Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us!

Prayer taken from http://www.xt3.com/
 

Update 13/02/2013

The Liturgy Office of England and Wales has issued some prayer resources for the resignation of the Pope and the election of  a new one.

Gift of Shepherd Prayers

A few hours ago, on the Feast of our Lady of Lourdes and on the World day for the sick, Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation. As from 28th February 2013, at 8pm, the Chair of St Peter will be vacant. This is the first time in over 600 years that a Pope has resigned. Here is the full text of his declaration:

Dear Brothers,
I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.

From the Vatican, 10 February 2013
BENEDICTUS PP XVI

For many young people in the UK, and the world over, he is very much loved. For some, that may seem like a strange word to use for an aging religious man whom most have never met. However, for a vast number of young people, he has touched their lives, his words have spoken to their hearts, and he has been responsible for the conversion, reversion and deepening of faith of so many young people. For this, they have a great deal of affection for him, calling him El Papa, Papa B or even their German Shepherd. Some even see him as a grandfatherly figure.

Among many people there is confusion, shock and even tears. People are saddened  but we must recognise the bravery of His Holiness, who has sometimes been referred to as the reluctant Pope, in recognising his strength has deteriorated and making the decision to do something that is almost unheard of in the Catholic Church.

In the book, Light of the WorldPeter Seewald asked the Pope if he could imagine a situation in which he would consider his resignation appropriate. The Pope replied;

“Yes. If a Pope clearly realizes that he is no longer physically, psychologically, and spiritually capable of handling the duties of his office, then he has a right and, under some circumstances, also an obligation to resign.”

In his blog, On this Rock, Fr John Hollowell wrote a post over a year ago entitled Why it might be good if Pope Benedict does resign. The post points out

I believe that if Pope Benedict were to resign it could be very instructive and catechetical for both the Church and the world at large.

Blessed Pope John Paul II chose not to resign, and I think it was because his NOT resigning allowed him an opportunity to teach the world about suffering, about the dignity of the elderly, and it gave him a chance to put into practice the teaching on end of life issues (specifically the teaching he helped clarify – the idea that all people should be hydrated and fed until life is no longer sustainable).

Just as JP II clinging to his papacy to the very end served to educate the world, I think Benedict RESIGNING could serve as a very helpful and much needed teaching moment as well.

We must continue to pray for Pope Benedict. A worldwide rosary will be said today at 3pm GMT for the Pope and for the Church. We should also continue to pray for the cardinals, his successor and the Catholic Church.

Image

Pope Benedict XVI began tweeting in December 2012

I am relatively new to Twitter, a microblogging social network site. In plain English, that means you have 160 characters in which to say, or tweet, what’s on your mind. Pope Benedict joined Twitter in December 2012 and has since been regularly tweeting questions, thoughts, messages of encouragement and prayers to his 1 500 000 followers, and anyone else who searches for Pope Benedict or @Pontifex, as he is known on Twitter.

Since joining Twitter, I have come across two symbols, which are widely used. Firstly, the ‘@’ symbol is used to call out a username, when recognising people in re-tweets and messages referring to them.

Pope Benedict's Twitter header

Shout out to Pope Benedict by using @Pontifex in your tweet

Another commonly used symbol is the hashtag, the ‘#’ symbol. This is used before a keyword or phrase in order to categorise a tweet and help it appear in a search. Popular hashtagged words and phrases become trending topics, appearing in the sidebar as a window of what people are tweeting about at that moment. As I type this, the Dublin trends are #Grammys, #BAFTAS and #6Nations.

One thing that puzzled me was the question of which hashtags to use when I tweet. Where can I find a list of ‘Catholic hastags’? I never found one, but, for newbie Catholic Tweeters, I have compiled my list below!

Using a few hashtags where appropriate will mean that your tweet appears in a search and, if enough people use a hashtag at one time (e.g. an event such as Vigil4life), the hashtag show up in the sidebar of Twitter in that country as a popular topic of conversation.

In his message for the 47th World Communications Day, Pope Benedict said

The ability to employ the new languages is required, not just to keep up with the times, but precisely in order to enable the infinite richness of the Gospel to find forms of expression capable of reaching the minds and hearts of all. 

One simple way we can do this is by making our tweets identifiable to those who are searching.

Below is a list of the Catholic hashtags I have come across the most. This is by no means an exhaustive list. Please feel free to chip in with any that I have missed out!

General

#Advent, #Bible, #Catholic, #CathYM, #Christian, #Christmas, #Church, #Cross, #Easter, #Eucharist, #Faith, #Feastday, #Lent,

#Resurrection, #Truth, #YearofFaith

Prayer

#Adoration, #BlesstheLord, #ComeHolySpirit, #DeoGratias, #Prayer, #PrayForPope, #PrayForUs, #Rosary, #Stormheaven

Prolife

#40daysforlife, #Marchforlife2013, #Prolife, #Prolifearmy, #Vigil4Life

Evangelisation

#Evangelisation, #Evangelization, #Knowwhatyoubelieve, #Newevangelisation,

Marriage

#Marriage, #Onemanonewoman

People

#Christ, #God, #HolySpirit, #Jesus, #Mary, #Saints, #Trinity

Misc

#CathMedia, #Excited, #Thingscatholicgirlssay

'Fasting' doesn't mean eating fast food!

Lent is nearly upon us, only one week away. It is a period of 40 days, to prepare ourselves for the pinnacle of the liturgical year- the Resurrection, when Christ overcame death on the Cross offer us salvation. Pretty amazing as far as pinnacles go…

If I am being honest with myself, there are some years where I have really looked forward to the hope and joy of the Resurrection, and there have been other years where, as Easter Sunday drew closer, I realised that I was not ready to celebrate this great day because I was unprepared. This was  perhaps the year where I decided what to give up for Lent whist eating pancakes, or the year I decided what to give up based on my new diet regime, or the year I decided to do something extra… which never materialised.

So, this year, I am carefully planning my Lenten preparations, to avoid any snap Ash Wednesday decisions!

A great way to prepare for Lent is to read Pope Benedict’s Lent 2013 message, which can be found here.

Also, I came across an Our Sunday Visitor video, in which Fr Jim Shafer suggests a simple 1-1-1 plan;

  • Focus on one sin that gets in the way of becoming closer to God
  • Add in one new faith habit, like daily Mass or prayer
  • Give up one thing– Check out the Lifeteen website for some creative ideas (like giving up the elevator/lift, the snooze button or even pillows!) or weird ideas (like leaving post-it notes with positive messages on wherever you go or don’t eat your last bite of food) which will make you holier!
Volunteers arriving for European meeting

Volunteers arriving for European meeting

Each year, young people from across the continent and beyond gather for Taize’s European meeting, held in a different city each year. This year, for the fourth time, the meeting was held in Rome. On Saturday evening after the period of silence during the prayer service, Br Alois, prior of the Taize community, greeted Pope Benedict. 

Greeting to the Holy Father by Brother Alois
Most Holy Father,Today a significant milestone in our “pilgrimage of trust on earth” is taking place. We have come from all over Europe and from other continents too, from various Church affiliations. What unites us is stronger than what divides us: one baptism and the same Word of God unite us. We have come here this evening to celebrate this unity around you, a unity which is real even if it is not yet fully realized. It is when we turn together towards Christ that it grows deeper.

Brother Roger left a legacy to our community—his desire to communicate the Gospel to young people in particular. He was deeply aware that the divisions between Christians are a barrier to handing on the faith. He opened paths of reconciliation that we have not yet finished exploring. Inspired by his testimony, there are very many people who want to anticipate reconciliation by their lives, to live already as people who are reconciled.Reconciled Christians can become witnesses to peace and communion, bearers of a new solidarity among human beings.

Seeking a personal relationship with God is the basis of this approach. This ecumenism of prayer does not encourage a facile tolerance. It promotes a mutual listening which is demanding, and a true dialogue.Praying here tonight, we cannot forget that the last letter written by Brother Roger, just before his violent death, was addressed to you, Holy Father, to tell you that our community wanted to walk in communion with you. Nor can we forget how, after his tragic death, your support was invaluable to encourage us to move forward. So I would like to express once again the deep affection of our hearts for your person and for your ministry.

Finally, I would like to bring the witness to hope of the many young Africans with whom we met a month ago at Kigali, Rwanda. They came from 35 countries, including Congo, North Kivu, to undertake a pilgrimage of reconciliation and peace. The great vitality of these young Christians is a promise for the future of the Church.These young Africans wanted us to bring back a sign of their hope, sorghum seeds, so that they could grow in Europe. Can I take the liberty, Holy Father, of giving you, from them, a small traditional Rwandan basket called “agaseke” with some of these seeds of hope from Africa? Perhaps they could be planted in the Vatican gardens and blossom there?

Pope Benedict then addressed the community, and the 45 000 young pilgrims, Christian, Protestant and Orthodox, who gathered in St Peter’s Square. Below is the text of his address to the young people.

 rome vigil

Thank you, dear Brother Alois, for your warm words, full of affection.

Dear young people, dear pilgrims of trust, welcome to Rome!You have come in great numbers, from all over Europe and from other continents, to pray at the tombs of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul. In fact, in this city both shed their blood for Christ. The faith that motivated these two great apostles of Christ is the same that compelled you to start out on this journey. During the year that is about to begin, you are proposing to uncover the well springs of trust in God in order to live it in your everyday life. It gladdens me that in this way, you have embraced the aims of the Year of Faith which began in October.

This is the fourth European meeting to be held in Rome. On this occasion, I would like to repeat the words my predecessor, John Paul II to young people during your third Meeting in Rome: “The Pope feels deeply committed together with you all on this pilgrimage of trust on earth … I too am called to be a pilgrim of trust in the name of Christ”. (30 December 1987).

 

ENGLISH 
Just over seventy years ago, Brother Roger established the Taizé Community. Thousands of young people from all over the world continue to go there to seek meaning for their lives. The Brothers welcome them to share in their prayer and provide them with an opportunity to experience a personal relationship with God. It was to support these young people on their journey to Christ that Brother Roger had the idea of starting a “pilgrimage of trust on earth”.A tireless witness to the Gospel of peace and reconciliation, ardently committed to an ecumenism of holiness, Brother Roger encouraged all those who passed through Taizé to become seekers of communion. We should listen in our hearts to his spiritually lived ecumenism, and let ourselves be guided by his witness towards an ecumenism which is truly interiorized and spiritualized. Following his example, may all of you be bearers of this message of unity. I assure you of the irrevocable commitment of the Catholic Church to continue seeking the paths of reconciliation leading to the visible unity of Christians. And so this evening I greet with special affection those among you who are Orthodox or Protestants.

FRENCH

Today, Christ is asking you the same question he asked his disciples, “Who am I to you?”. Peter, at whose tomb we are gathered at this moment, replied: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mt 16:15-16). His whole life became a concrete answer to this question. Christ also wants to receive a response from each of you born of a deep inner freedom and not of compulsion or fear. In responding to that question your life will find its strongest meaning. The text of the Letter of St. John that we have just heard helps us understand with great simplicity how to respond: “What we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another” (3:23). Have faith and love God and others! What could be more exciting? What could be more beautiful?During these days in Rome, let this Yes to Christ grow in your hearts, above all by taking advantage of the long moments of silence that are an integral part of your community prayers, after having listened to the Word of God. This Word, says the Second Letter of Peter, is “like a lamp shining in a dark place,” which you do well to be attentive to “until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” (1.19). You have to understand: if the morning star must arise in your hearts it is because it is not always present there. Sometimes the evil and suffering of the innocent create doubt and confusion in you. And saying Yes to Christ can become difficult. But these doubts do not make you non-believers! Jesus did not reject the man in the Gospel who shouted: “I do believe, help my unbelief!” (Mk 9:24).

GERMAN
So that you do not lose faith during this battle, God never leaves you alone and isolated. He gives us all the joy and comfort of the communion of the Church. During your stay in Rome, thanks to the generous hospitality of many parishes and religious communities, you are undergoing a new experience of being Church. On your return home, to your various countries, I invite you to discover that God is making you all co-responsible for His Church, in all the variety of vocations. This communion which is the Body of Christ needs you and you all have a place in it. Starting with your gifts, from what is specific to each of you, the Holy Spirit forms and breathes life into this mystery of communion which is the Church, in order to convey the Good News of the Gospel to the world today.

POLISH
Together with silence, song has an important place in your community prayers. In these days the songs of Taizé fill the basilicas of Rome. Song is a support and incomparable expression of prayer. Singing to Christ, you open yourselves to the mystery of His hope. Do not be afraid to precede the dawn in praise of God, you will not be disappointed.Dear young friends, Christ does not remove you from the world. He sends you there where His light is missing, so that you may bring it to others. Yes, you are all called to be small lights to those around you. With your attention to a more equitable distribution of the goods of the earth, with your commitment to justice and a new human solidarity, you will help those around you to better understand how the Gospel leads us to God and at the same time to others. So, with your faith, you will contribute to uncovering the wellsprings of trust on earth.

Be full of hope. God bless you, your family and friends!