Potpourri of Popery, New Swiss Guard Edition

New recruits, image shamelessly pinched from Fr. Z.

My favorite papal text for the week is last Sunday's homily at the ordination of 29 priests for the Diocese of Rome in St. Peter's. The theme is joy and the Pope is himself so evidently happy... a mood that carries over into his Regina Caeli address directly afterwards in the piazza. From the homily:
I would like immediately to draw attention to the sentence that ends the first part of the text: "The rejoicing in that town rose to fever pitch" (v. 8). This expression does not communicate an idea or a theological concept but refers to a circumstantiated event, something that changed people's lives: in a specific city of Samaria, in the period that followed the violent persecution of the Church in Jerusalem (cf. Acts 8: 1), something happened that caused "great joy". So what was it?
Well, we know what it was, so here's what he tells the ordinands about it:
bring the Gospel to everyone so that everyone may experience the joy of Christ and that there be joy in every city. What can be more beautiful than this? What can be greater, more exciting, than cooperating in spreading the Word of life in the world, than communicating the living water of the Holy Spirit? To proclaim and to witness joy: this is the central core of your mission, dear deacons who will soon become priests. The Apostle Paul called Gospel ministers "servants of joy". He wrote in his Second Letter to the Christians of Corinth: "Domineering over your faith is not my purpose. I prefer to work with you toward your happiness. As regards faith, you are standing firm" (II Cor 1: 24). These are programmatic words for every priest. In order to be collaborators in the joy of others, in a world that is often sad and negative, the fire of the Gospel must burn within you and the joy of the Lord dwell in you.
That's a vision of the priesthood a man might be able to give his whole life for, no? I love the closing paragraphs, too.
This week's Audience was a preparation for Pentecost and largely an address to the visiting Armenian patriarch. B16 reiterated his teaching that unity is not man-made, but a gift of the Holy Spirit:
despite the difficulties and divisions," affirmed the Holy Father, "Christians cannot resign themselves, nor give in to discouragement. This is what the Lord asks us: Hold fast in prayer to keep alive the flames of faith, charity and hope, which nourish the longing for full unity.
The pope also expressed solidarity with the Burmese, excuse me, the people of Myanmar. Here's what the Vatican is doing.And he called for more Eucharistic Adoration while greeting members of the Order of Sisters of the Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on the occasion of their founder's beatification.

This evening the Philharmonic Orchestra of China played Mozart for the Holy Father. I always like his little nothing courtesy addresses, and this doesn't disappoint.
I note with pleasure the interest shown by your orchestra and choir in European religious music. This shows that it is possible, in different cultural settings, to enjoy and appreciate sublime manifestations of the spirit such as Mozart's Requiem which we have just heard, precisely because music expresses universal human sentiments, including the religious sentiment, which transcends the boundaries of every individual culture.

I should also like to say a word regarding this place where we have come together this evening. It is the great hall in which the Pope receives his guests and meets those who come to visit him. It is like a window opening onto the world, a place where people from all over the world often meet, with their own personal stories and their own culture, all of them welcomed with esteem and affection. In greeting you this evening, dear Chinese artists, the Pope intends to reach out to your entire people, with a special thought for those of your fellow citizens who share faith in Jesus and are united through a particular spiritual bond with the Successor of Peter. The Requiem came into being through this faith as a prayer to God, the just and merciful judge, and that is why it touches the hearts of all people, as an expression of humanity's universal aspirations.
Never misses a trick this fellow, does he? Which reminds me I'd forgotten to post B16's remarks on music after the concert given in honor of his anniversary as pope. T
here is a mysterious and deep kinship between music and hope, between song and eternal life: not for nothing does the Christian tradition portray the Blessed in the act of singing in a choir, in ecstasy and enraptured by the beauty of God.
One can't quote everything, but his remarks to Bishops of the Caucasus and Bishops of Cuba (Spanish) on their ad limina visits are interesting for what he says and doesn't directly say about communism, respectively.
  • Pictures from the papal rosary at Sta. Maria Maggiore. (Nice chair!) Address is here (scroll to #13301), and the Pope says the rosary is enjoying a new spring in terms of revival.
    The Rosary, when it is prayed authentically, not mechanically or superficially, but profoundly, brings peace and reconciliation. It contains the healing power of the most holy name of Jesus, invoked with faith and love at the center of every Hail Mary.
  • The Pope's off to Savona & Genoa this weekend.
  • And celebrating Pentecost Mass indoors for a change.
  • And he's going to vacation in Oz before WYD. (Lucky.)
And finally: a little late, but Happy Catholic's been doing a nice novena to the Holy Spirit. Day six. Five. Four. Three. Two. One. You're on your own now. Also, another great Msgr. Albacete story (aren't they all)?