Pope Benedict XVI on Truth in Love: Fidelity # 1 of 2
In pursuit of the truth - cinops be gone - Wednesday, June 27, 2012
From Ordinary Correspondence, No. 23, October 25, 1979*
One who preaches to the people the word of faith is not saying things that are likely to please them, but must expect to meet with opposition. Jesus did not promise upholstered chairs or Cabinet posts, but only his Baptism and his chalice.
In saying that, we have identified two fundamental sacraments. Baptism and Holy Eucharist, as the essence of his gift to humanity. But we have also made clear what it means to receive Baptism and Holy Eucharist: being ready to suffer for the truth and for love.
The Pope knows this. That is why, in an address to the American bishops, he alluded to the words of Saint Paul: “Brothers in Christ, when we preach the truth in love, we must expect to be criticized, for we cannot please everyone.
But we do, nevertheless, have a genuine contribution to make to the salvation of everyone. For that reason, we are humbly convinced that God is with us in our service to the truth and he ‘does not give us the spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and self-discipline’ (2 Tim 1:7) The spirit of cowardice - that is assuredly not a characteristic that one would attribute to John Paul II.
That is why it had to be realized from the beginning [of his papacy] that one day, sooner or later, he would have to face opposition. Significantly, that opposition was strongest when the Pope, in his talks in America, addressed the world that is typically Western - when he addressed our world, when he brought into it the salt of the Gospel, when he exposed our wounds to the light of Christ’s message and revealed them as wounds.
In this criticism there are some elements that we might even find humorous. In the so-called “position papers” with which we were bombarded before the papal election., we were told: above all, a Pope must be open to the world.
And I find it somewhat comical that the same people are telling him now that he should not go so much into world, but should spend more time at home and read. We were also told: the Pope must be charismatic, not bureaucratic . And I find it amusing that it is precisely the individual who customarily speaks of the hierarchy as a “Church of wolves” who now remind the Pope that the Church cannot be led by charisma alone…
George H. Kubeck, * Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, “Co-Workers of the Truth” Meditations for Every Day of the Year, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1972. This book is a must read and a classic.