Cardinal Ruini discusses book of Pope's homilies as a model for preaching
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the former Vicar for the Diocese of Rome, has published a review of Pope Benedict XVI’s new book “Homilies: The Liturgical Year Narrated by Joseph Ratzinger, Pope.” Saying the homilies “contain a treasure, a form of sustenance, and even a medicine, which can do a great deal of good for those who wish to read them,” the cardinal endeavored to explain the distinctive theology of the Pope’s thought.

Saying the Pope has a “profound sense” of liturgical mystery and liturgical action, the cardinal describes his theology as being “in every respect extraordinarily equipped and ‘oriented’" toward the ministry of the homily.

Cardinal Ruini quoted the Pope’s October 14 remarks to the Synod of Bishops in which the pontiff critiqued some modern biblical studies for denying “the possibility of the entry and real presence of the divine within history.”

This failing has created confusion over homily preparation and displaces Scripture from its place as “the soul of theology,” Cardinal Ruini said.

The brilliance of the Pope’s theological work is that it utilizes the “intimate union between exegesis and theology.” Cardinal Ruini said Pope Benedict’s preaching is both simple and substantive, “break(ing) the bread of the Word of God and of the mystery of our salvation in a way that is understandable to all.”

The Pope’s historical approach to theology and exegesis does not leave Scripture “closed off in the past in which they were written” but rather understands Scripture’s present meaning through its past. In the words of each biblical author “something greater resounds, God who shows us his face for the sake of our salvation,” Cardinal Ruini wrote.

Pope Benedict elaborates and brings to life biblical faith “in a fertile interchange with the great problems of the time in which we are living.” His homilies show how the biblical texts can be fully and authentically understood “as an integral part of liturgical action,” through which they are made present and speak to us.

“For this reason,” the cardinal continued, “reading and meditating on the homilies of Benedict XVI has become for many priests a valuable aid, and almost a paradigm for their personal preaching: in this regard, I myself have experienced how much listening to many of these homilies in person has helped my preaching, improving its connection to the Bible and the liturgy, and stimulating the attention and participation of those present.”

Calling the new book of homilies a “practical aid” and an inspirational model for every priest, the cardinal selected some of his favorite examples from the book.

He described the Pope’s homily for the chrism Mass on the morning of Holy Thursday, at which priests renew their vocational vows.

“This homily takes us inside the nature and meaning of the priestly ministry,” the cardinal said.

Beginning with the words of Deuteronomy on the Old Testament priesthood, “to stand in your presence and serve you,” Pope Benedict says these words “indicate standing before the Lord present in the Eucharist and the center of the priest's life”

The homily continues by recalling a Lenten hymn from the liturgy of the hours, based upon the words “Let us be more vigilant.”

In the cardinal’s words, the Pope explains: “the priest must therefore be one who watches, who stands guard before the insistent demands of evil.”

The Pope then explores the meaning of serving the Lord, writing “in the celebration of the Eucharist, the priest carries out a service to God and a service to men, inserting himself within the donation Christ made of himself.”

The dimensions of this service include the “art of celebrating,” prayer learned “in the school of Christ and of the saints” and familiarity with the Word of God and with God Himself. This familiarity “must not become routine, obscuring the astonishing and always novel reality that God is present, speaks to us, gives himself to us.”

“The service of the priest therefore means obedience, the obedience of faith that makes us free in the communion of the Church and service to our brethren,” the Pope’s homily explains.

The cardinal writes that he cannot briefly communicate the “beauty and richness” of the homilies contained in Pope Benedict’s book, but invites readers to find in it “that restoration of the Spirit and of life that only Jesus Christ can give us.”

At present, “Homilies: The Liturgical Year Narrated by Joseph Ratzinger, Pope” is available only in Italian.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea

Liturgical Calendar

December 22, 2014

Advent Weekday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27


Daily Readings

First Reading:: 1 Sam 1: 24-28
Gospel:: Lk 1: 46-56

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27