VATICAN CITY, 13 FEB 2010 (VIS) - Yesterday evening the Holy Father visited the Major Pontifical Seminary of Rome for the occasion of the feast of its patroness, Our Lady of Trust.
The Pope delivered a "lectio divina" in which he reflected on chapter 15 of the Gospel of St. John, focusing particularly on the two words "abide" and "keep".
"Meditating on the gift (that God became one with us all and, at the same time, made us one, a vine) we must also begin to pray that this mystery may increasingly penetrate our minds and our hearts, and that we become increasingly capable of seeing and living the greatness of the mystery, and thus begin to fulfil the imperative 'abide'".
Referring to the second verb, "keep", Benedict XVI observed that it represents "the second level - the first is that of remaining - of our relationship with God, the ontological level. ... God has already given us His love, the fruit. It is not we who must produce this great fruit, Christianity is not moralism, it is not we who must achieve what God expects from the world; rather, we must first of all enter into the ontological mystery of God's giving of Himself. His being, His love, precede our action and, in the context of His Body, in the context of being in Him and identified with Him, ennobled with His Blood, we too can act with Christ".
"The Lord says: 'I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father'. ... The novelty", the Pope explained, "is that God has made Himself known, that God has shown Himself, that God is no longer unknown, sought-after but not found. ... God has allowed Himself to be seen in the face of Christ".
Later in his remarks the Holy Father lamented the fact that "today many people still live far from Christ, not knowing His face" and thus renewing "the eternal temptation to dualism". Dualism, he explained, holds that "there is not just one good principle, but also a bad principle, a principle of evil". And yet, he continued, "in the face of the crucified Christ we see God, we see true omnipotence not the myth of omnipotence. ... In Him, true omnipotence means loving to the extreme of suffering for us".
In chapter 16 of John's Gospel, the Pope went on, "the Lord offers us the key to understanding the phrase: 'if you ask anything of the Father in my name, He will give it to you'. ... It means joy and if someone has found joy he has found everything and sees everything in the light of divine love".
"From God we do not ask anything small or great, from God we invoke the divine gift of He Himself. In this sense that we must learn to pray ... to Him to give us His Spirit, that we may respond to the needs of life and help others in their suffering. ... We must increasingly learn what things we can pray for, and what things we cannot pray for because they express our selfishness ... and pride. Thus, praying before the eyes of God becomes a process of purification of our thoughts and desires. ... Only in this process of slow purification, of liberation from ourselves, ... does the true path of life and joy lie".
BXVI-VISIT/.../MAJOR ROMAN SEMINARY VIS 20100215 (600)