Saturday, July 15, 2017

A lovely condolence from Pope Benedict read at the funeral Mass of Cardinal Meisner Saturday ...

Read by Archbishop Ganswein at today's funeral Mass. 
"What struck me particularly in the last conversations with the Cardinal, now gone home, was the natural cheerfulness, the inner peace and the assurance he had found. We know that it was hard for him, the passionate shepherd and pastor of souls, to leave his office, and this precisely at a time when the Church had a pressing need for shepherds who would oppose the dictatorship of the zeitgeist, fully resolved to act and think from a faith standpoint. Yet I have been all the more impressed that in this last period of his life he learned to let go, and live increasingly from the conviction that the Lord does not leave his Church, even if at times the ship is almost filled to the point of shipwreck."  - Pope Benedict

Pope Benedict noted that Cardinal Meisner was most edified and consoled by how "young people, above all young men, came to experience the mercy of forgiveness, the gift, in effect to have found life, which only God can give them" in the Sacrament of Penance.

Connected to that, the second source of his assurance, "which again and again touched and made him happy, was the perceptible increase in Eucharistic adoration."

Though the retired Pope's comment concerning the Church appearing to be near the point of capsizing is stunning and sobering at the same time, his directing our attention to the Truth that Christ does not leave his Church is all the more consoling, as well as his indication that our stability and salvation is to be found in the Sacrament of Penance and the Eucharist.  The one is necessary to the other.  That is clear.  And more deeply, "the fact that a person cannot eat this bread as just some sort of nourishment, and that to “receive” the Lord in the Eucharistic Sacrament includes all the dimensions of our existence – that receiving has to be worship, something which has in the meantime become increasingly clearer."

This is a great consolation and assurance.


  1. Watched the 1944 movie Lifeboat last night. One of Hitchcock's lesser known films but none the less a masterpiece of film and story telling. Tallulha Bankhead and William Bendix are the major stars. Tallulha loses one by one her prized possessions while Bendix loses his leg. I find reading about Pope Benedict's eulogy for the Cardinal timely. No doubt we are all afloat at sea and trying hard to survive.

    1. Providential isn't it. BTW - love Tallulha.


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