Potpourri of Popery, Octave of Pentecost Edition

The Holy Father's homily for Pentecost is a doozy. Via Zenit: looked for it first on the Vatican site, where it's up at this writing only in Italian (in which it was delivered) and Croatian. I guess the guys at the Croatian desk don't have much else to work on. I've already mentioned part of what I liked in it, but here are two other ideas in brief. First:
Prayer... is the principal activity of the nascent Church.
And since the Church is always in a sense being reborn, we can say it's our principal activity too. It's almost too obvious to say that we can't in any serious sense belong to the Church if we don't pray...and yet how few Christians actually spend their daily15-20 minutes in requisite meditation? This is why Benedict keeps emphasizing in the ad limina visits and meetings with priests: teach people to pray. Secondly, Benedict relates the peace which passes all understanding to peace of conscience.
How important and, unfortunately, how insufficiently understood is the gift of reconciliation that brings peace to hearts! Christ's peace spreads only through the renewed hearts of men and women who have been reconciled and made themselves servants of justice, ready to spread peace in the world only with the force of truth, without compromising with the mentality of the world, because the world cannot give Christ's peace: This is how the Church can be a ferment of that reconciliation that comes from God.
On May 13, anniversary of the apparitions at Fatima, the Pope prayed the rosary at Sta. Maria Maggiore. Like JP the Great before him, he's recording the mysteries of the rosary for Vatican Radio (and eventually you'll be able to purchase the recordings for home use). Here's what he said on the occasion:
the Holy Rosary is not a pious practice banished to the past, like prayers of other times thought of with nostalgia. Instead, the Rosary is experiencing a new Springtime.....When reciting the Rosary, the important and meaningful moments of salvation history are relived. The various steps of Christ's mission are traced. With Mary the heart is oriented toward the mystery of Jesus. Christ is put at the centre of our life, of our time, of our city, through the contemplation and meditation of his holy mysteries of joy, light, sorrow and glory. May Mary help us to welcome within ourselves the grace emanating from these mysteries, so that through us we can "water" society, beginning with our daily relationships, and purifying them from so many negative forces, thus opening them to the newness of God. The Rosary, when it is prayed in an authentic way, not mechanical and superficial but profoundly, it brings, in fact, peace and reconciliation. It contains within itself the healing power of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, invoked with faith and love at the centre of each "Hail Mary."

2008 marks the 40th anniversary of Humanae Vitae, and the Pope addressed an international congress marking the occasion last week. The address hasn't made it into English yet, which is a pity, because what he says is relevant to the CA marriage case:
in a culture suffering from the prevalence of having over being, human life risks losing its value. If the practice of sexuality becomes a drug that seeks to subject the partner to one's own desires and interests, without respecting the rhythms of the beloved, then it is no longer just the concept of love that must be defended, but the very dignity of the human person.
Dignity...and equality. Here it is in Spanish, and here's the Zenit story. [Update: unofficial translation here --thanks! Scroll to post #13417. Further down, address to the Italian pro-life movement too.]

Wednesday's audience marked the return to ordinary time and ordinary topics, and thus a look at another father of the Church, Dionysius the Areopagite. The argument is a bit too complicated to summarize here, but you who are interested in relations between Athens & Jerusalem or Athens & Rome should read it. Meanwhile, I liked this, starting with a citation from Dionysius himself:
"I would not like to cause polemics; I simply speak of the truth; I seek the truth." And the light of truth by itself makes error fade and makes what is good shine. With this principle he purified Greek thought and related it to the Gospel. This principle, which he affirms in his seventh letter, is also the expression of a true spirit of dialogue: It is not about seeking the things that separate, one must seek the truth in Truth itself; this, then, shines and causes errors to fall.
Other addresses of interest:
And finally: Veil of tears: reporter mistakes traditional Catholics for chemo patients.

Photo credit: Vincenzo Pinto, AFP/Getty
The Holy Father's personal secretary removes a necklace given him as he entered for a General Audience.