During Easter Vigil Cardinal Ratzinger calls on Christians to have the courage to defend the faith
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- During the celebration of the Easter Vigil, which included the reading of a message from Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Dean of the College of Cardinals and Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, explained that following of the risen Christ also means having the courage to defend the faith.

The cardinal explained to the faithful gathered at St. Peter’s Basilica the meaning of following Christ.  “Our column of fire, our holy cloud is the risen Christ, symbolized by the lit Paschal candle.  Christ is the light; Christ is the way, the truth and the life; by following Christ, by having our hearts fixed firmly on Christ, we find the righteous path.”

He added later that, “To follow Christ means above all to be attentive to his word.”

“Participation in the Sunday liturgy week after week is necessary for each Christian in order to enter into a true familiarity with the Divine Word: man does not live on bread alone or on money or careers, he lives on the Word of God, which corrects us, renews us and shows us the true values of the world and society.  The Word of God is the true Manna, the bread from Heaven, which teaches us how to live, how to be human.”

Following Christ, Cardinal Ratzinger continued, means being attentive to his commandments, summarized in the double commandment to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves.  Following Christ means having compassion for those who suffer, and having a heart for the poor.  It also means having the courage to defend the faith against today’s ideologies.  It means trusting in the Church and in her interpretation and application of the Divine Word in our modern-day circumstances.  Following Christ means loving his Church, his al body.”

“If we walk in this way we ignite small lights in the world, we break through the darkness of history,” he added.

Referring to the resurrection of the Lord, Cardinal Ratzinger said, “It is not simply the remembering of a past event.  On Easter night, in the sacrament of Baptism, the resurrection, the victory over death, takes place today.”

“Jesus,” he continued, “is the resurrection and eternal life; inasmuch as we are united to Christ, we pass today from death to life, we live eternal life already, which is not only a reality after , but something that begins today in our communion with Christ.  To pass from death to life—this is the way, the door to which Christ has opened, and to which the celebration of the Easter feast invites us.”

Lastly, the cardinal recalled that, “Biological life is a fragile gift.  Even more, in a world characterized by so many evils, it is an ambiguous gift, and it is a true gift only if one can, at the same time, offer a medicine against death, which is communion with invincible life, with Christ.”

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 18, 2014

Advent Weekday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Jer 23: 5-8
Gospel:: Mt 1: 18-25

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27