Benedict and Baby in Fatima
Benedict has Flown to Portugal
Half a million pilgrims turned out to celebrate mass (full text of homily here) with Pope Benedict XVI on this “whopper” of a day, the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, the anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun in Fatima. #Fatima was trending on Twitter today, where I also learned that today is Shavuot, which commemorates the anniversary of the day God gave the Torah to the Israelite nation at Mount Sinai. So that’s kind of neat.
As ever, Whispers in the Loggia is the place to go for up-to-the-minute full and partial texts of the Pope’s talks during his visit.
For those who think of the church as women-hating and who dismiss the pope as hopelessly retrograde, you might be interested to read his thoughts on the Maternity of God as a counter-sign to egoism:
In the teeth of a world inclined to sacrifice unity “on the altar of base egoisms of nation, race, ideology, the group and the individual,” Pope Benedict XVI today proposed Fatima as a counter-sign of the “wondrous maternity of God.”
. . . Benedict’s use of feminine imagery was striking, though in context the phrase “maternity of God” appeared to refer to Mary’s role as the Mother of God. Benedict said that Mary testifies to the “sweet joys” of God’s love for humanity.
The pope lauded the three young visionaries of Fatima, saying they had “an experience of grace.” At the same time, the pontiff insisted that Christian faith does not depend upon such dramatic confirmation.
God, the pope said, “has the power to reach us through the interior senses, so that the soul receives the gentle touch of a reality that lies beyond sensible things.” To perceive that invisible presence of God, Benedict said, requires “an internal vigilance of the heart.” That disposition to seek God’s “gentle touch,” the pope said, is precisely what’s often missing in the modern world.
“Who has the time to listen to God’s word and to be carried away his love?” the pope asked. “Who stays vigilant, in the night of doubt and uncertainty, with a heart extended in prayer? Who awaits the dawn of a new day, keeping the flame of the faith alive?”