Potpourri of Popery, WYDSYD Addendum


This is Rhoda, a little girl from the Sudan who got to have lunch with B16 yesterday. What did they say to each other?
Rhoda didn't appear nervous as she knelt before him and kissed his ring. Their ensuing conversation laid bare both of their hearts.
"Please visit my country," Rhoda pleaded. Though this was no doubt a moment of elation, you could tell from her expression that she carried heavy concerns from her homeland.
"Sudan is the country I most want to visit," was the pontiff's surprising response.
Curtsy: OC

Here's the Pope's address to an ecumenical group this morning.
We must guard against any temptation to view doctrine as divisive and hence an impediment to the seemingly more pressing and immediate task of improving the world in which we live. In fact, the history of the Church demonstrates that praxis is not only inseparable from, but actually flows out of didache or teaching. The more closely we strive for a deeper understanding of the divine mysteries, the more eloquently our works of charity will speak of God’s bountiful goodness and love towards all. Saint Augustine expressed the nexus between the gift of understanding and the virtue of charity when he wrote that the mind returns to God by love and that wherever one sees charity, one sees the Trinity.
(Emphasis in the last line mine. Ahem.) A little more:
As “fellow citizens” of the “household of God”, Christians must work together to ensure that the edifice stands strong so that others will be attracted to enter and discover the abundant treasures of grace within. As we promote Christian values, we must not neglect to proclaim their source by giving a common witness to Jesus Christ the Lord. It is he who commissioned the apostles, he whom the prophets preached, and he whom we offer to the world.
The pope opened the talk requesting prayers for Cardinal Cassidy, who's been hospitalized. (At least one local paper is braced for the worst, but his spokesman expects a full recovery.)

B16's meeting with members of other religions struck a slightly different note than I'm accustomed to seeing, although since it's World Youth Day, it makes perfect sense. He talks about what religions can do for young people.
Friends, these values [which he's just enumerated], I am sure you will agree, are particularly important to the adequate formation of young people, who are so often tempted to view life itself as a commodity. They also have an aptitude for self-mastery: indeed, in sports, the creative arts, and in academic studies, they readily welcome it as a challenge. Is it not true that when presented with high ideals, many young people are attracted to asceticism and the practice of moral virtue through self-respect and a concern for others? They delight in contemplating the gift of creation and are intrigued by the mystery of the transcendent.
[Then a big snip in which he reiterates for this audience the connection between environmental concerns and concern for the human environment and the quest for beauty]
Our effort to bring about reconciliation between peoples springs from, and is directed to, that truth which gives purpose to life. Religion offers peace, but more importantly, it arouses within the human spirit a thirst for truth and a hunger for virtue. May we encourage everyone – especially the young – to marvel at the beauty of life, to seek its ultimate meaning, and to strive to realize its sublime potential!

FYI, commonly remarked upon in the various blogs is the incredible friendliness of the Aussies. The Pope notes it --
Australia is renowned for the congeniality of its people towards neighbour and visitor alike.
-- and here's a sample report:
I have to also say that I have been absolutely shocked by the mind-blowing generosity of the people of Sydney. Without fail, all I have to do is stop on the street and pull out my map and within SECONDS a Sydneysider--old or young, male or female--will approach me from any side and ask if they can help me get to where I'd like to go.