Tuesday, 27 November 2007
Message from the past for the National Conference of Bishops - Plus "The Answer is Love" says His Holiness.
"True knowledge is [that which consists in] the doctrine of the apostles, and
the ancient constitution of the Church throughout all the world, and the
distinctive manifestation of the body of Christ according to the successions of
the bishops, by which they have handed down that Church which exists in every
place, and has come even unto us, being guarded and preserved without any
forging of Scriptures, by a very complete system of doctrine, and neither
receiving addition nor [suffering] curtailment [in the truths which she
believes]; and [it consists in] reading [the word of God] without falsification,
and a lawful and diligent exposition in harmony with the Scriptures, both
without danger and without blasphemy; and [above all, it consists in] the
pre-eminent gift of love, which is more precious than knowledge, more glorious
than prophecy, and which excels all the other gifts [of God]."
--Irenaeus,Against Heresies,4:33: 8(A.D. 180)
The Pope affirmed this Saturday during his homily in St. Peter's Basilica.He said: "Be apostles of God, who is love, and witnesses of evangelical hope: The Christian people expect this of you."It is not the quest for power and success, but the humble gift of self for the good of the Church that should characterize each gesture and each word of ours."
In his homily, the Pontiff commented on this formula: “In entering the College of Cardinals, the Lord asks of you and gives to you the service of love: love for God, love for his Church, love for our brothers, with a total and unconditional dedication, ‘usque ad sanguinis effusionem’ [even to the shedding of blood], as is said in the formula for the imposition of the biretta and as is shown in the garments that you will put on.”“True Christian greatness, in fact, does not consist in dominating but in serving,” the Pope added.
During his homily the Pontiff also recalled Bishop Ignacy Jez of Koszalin-Kolobrzeg, Poland, who died Oct. 16 at 93, one day before the Pope made the names of the new cardinals known.