Potpourri of Popery, Eucharistic Congress Edition

Quebec's hosting the International Eucharistic Congress. Livestreaming here. Zenit & many of the big dog blogs are putting up the major addresses. Surf around. I'm especially interested in the talk by the founder of L'Arche (bottom of the post), which I didn't realize was a Canadian-born movement. The Pope will give the closing homily on the 22 via satellite.

Yesterday's Audience brought us St. Isidore of Seville (unofficial patron of the Internet, BTW) and the "middle way" of being both contemplative and conquering.
In the light of the example of the divine Teacher, Isidore could conclude with this precise moral teaching: "Therefore, the servant of God, imitating Christ, must dedicate himself to contemplation without denying himself the active life. To behave otherwise would not be right. In fact, as we must love God with contemplation, so we must love our neighbor with action. It is impossible, therefore, to live without the presence of one and the other way of life, nor is it possible to love if one has no experience of one or the other" (o.c., 135: ivi, col 91C).

I hold that this is the synthesis of a life that seeks the contemplation of God, dialogue with God in prayer and the reading of sacred Scripture, as well as action in the service of the human community and of one's neighbor.

Alas, only Italian's as yet available for the Pope's visit to the heel of Italy's boot last week. I'm especially enamored of his homily at Santa Maria di Leuca: an absolutely beautiful meditation on Mary. Here's part (very roughly):
What we just heard from the Gospel of Luke is fitting because this Shrine --as illustrated by the plaque above the central door-- is dedicated to the Virgin of the Annunciation. When God calls Mary "full of grace," she becomes the hope of salvation for all mankind: a daughter of our people has found favor in the eyes of the Lord, has been chosen as Mother of the Redeemer. In the simplicity of Mary's home, in a poor village in Galilee, the solemn prophesy of salvation begins to be fulfilled:"I will put enmity between you and the woman, / and between your seed / and its offspring: / he will crush your head / And you will bruise his heel "(Gen 3:15). So the Christian people have embraced a song of praise that the Jews elevated to Judith and we just prayed as the Responsorial Psalm: "Blessed are you, daughter, / by the Most High God / above all the women on earth " (Jud 13.18). Without violence, but with the mild courage of her "yes," the Virgin has released mankind not from an invading enemy, but from the ancient Opponent, giving a human body to the One who will crush his head once and for all.

His address to youth and "citizens" of Brindisi I like as well. It's what he typically says to young people, but I like it, very JP the Great-esque:

...Christ is the answer to all your questions and problems. Every honest aspiration of the human heart finds its support in him. Christ, however, is demanding and refuses half-measures. He knows he can count on your generosity and consistency and for that reason expects a lot from you. Seek him faithfully, and so as to find him, love his Church, feel yourselves responsible for it, don't shrink from being --each in his own atmosphere-- its courageous protagonists. Here is a point to which I would draw your attention: try to know the Church; understand and love it, paying attention to the voices of its pastors. It is composed of men, but Christ is the Head and his Spirit firmly drives it. You are the young face of the Church: don't miss your chance to make a contribution, because the Gospel we proclaim can spread everywhere. Be apostles of your peers!

  • Here's the Angelus from Brindisi last week.
  • Address to the Pakistani bishops on their ad limina visit. He talks about the centrality of the Eucharist and ecclesial movements. "New movements" in Pakistan? How wonderful!
  • The Pope hopes to visit the Holy Land.
  • And...countdown to WYDSYD. Everything you need to know at Pope 2008. Scroll around.

And finally: James Bond Priest. And: "severe, austere, manly, natural & despised."