Potpourri of Popery, Perpetual Felicity Edition

SS. of the Day:
Perpetua, Felicity and companions, about whose torments and ultimate martyrdom under Septimus Severus we know quite a bit --much of it from Perpetua's own hand. One little line in this brief account stood out given our contemporary manipulation of language:
Perpetua's old, pagan father kept persuading her to offer the required sacrifice. He used every ploy he could think of to break her will. But she stood firm. Pointing out an earthenware vessel nearby, she asked him, "Can that be called by any other name than what it is?" "No," he answered. "So also," she said, "I cannot call myself by any other name than what I am - a Christian."

Papal Teaching
The Angelus was about The Transfiguration, and the Pope picks up on an etymological subtlety:
There is another detail in St. Luke's narrative which is worth underlining: It indicates the object of Jesus' conversation with Moses and Elijah, who appeared next to him when transfigured. The Evangelist narrates that they "spoke of his departure (in Greek, 'exodos'), which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem" (9:31). Therefore, Jesus listens to the Law and the prophets that speak to him of his death and resurrection.

In other words, if we could read Greek, we would see how explicit is the connection the evangelists make between the Passover & Exodus and Christ's Passion. (For more on Christ's fulfillment of the Old Law, you must read this Tim Gray article on the Last Supper & the "todah" sacrifice.) The Pope then draws out the lesson for us:
In his intimate dialogue with his Father, he does not leave history, he does not flee from the mission for which he came into the world, though he knows that to attain glory he will have to go through the cross. What is more, Christ enters this mission more profoundly, adhering with all his being to the will of the Father, and he shows us that true prayer consists precisely in uniting our will to the Father's. Therefore, for a Christian to pray is not to evade reality and the responsibilities it entails, but to assume them to the end, trusting in the faithful and inexhaustible love of the Lord.
To sum up:
Prayer is not something accessory, it is not "optional," but rather a question of life or death.
Today's Angelus will be here soon, but from the Asia News account we learn that, having finished his walk through the apostles, the Pope will now begin teaching us about the 1st and 2nd generation apostolic fathers. He started today with St. Clement, 3rd pope after Peter, and someone who had firsthand experience with the apostles. The main themes of the address were apostolic succession and Christian relations with civil authority:

in the aftermath of persecution Christians still prayed for those same authorities who unjustly condemned them. The reason is primarily found in the Christological order: we must pray for our persecutors as Christ did on the cross.”

By praying for the authorities Clement recognises the legitimacy of the political authorities in the order established by God; at the same time, he expresses the concern that the authorities are open to God and that they use the power which He has granted them in peace and with pity.”

Then there's the Pope's address to Confessors.
We cannot preach pardon and reconciliation to others if we are not personally penetrated by it. As it is true that in our ministry there are various ways and instruments to communicate the merciful love of God to our brethren, it is, however, in the celebration of this Sacrament that we can do it in the most complete and eminent way.
Just for fun you can read the brief remarks B16 made at the close of his spiritual exercises. On Feb. 22 the Pope did one of his Q&A sessions --this time with the clergy of Rome. For the benefit of the clergy in question, the Vatican version (Spanish) merely summarizes the questions asked. Let's just say in the original there was no doubt as to the nationality of the questioners. (When there's an English version, we can talk about what he said: he's so good.)

And finally: March 13th. That's the official release date for the post-synodal exhortation Pope Benedict has written to conclude the Synod on the Eucharist. Also the date we'll know whether the accompanying hypothetical motu proprio permitting wide use of the old Roman Rite will or will not be released simultaneously, as per speculation. Place your bets. Unless, of course, you've given up gambling for Lent.