At today's general audience, Pope Benedict XVI reflected on the life of St. Rabanus Maurus, whom the Holy Father said speaks to us today by reminding Christians to set aside time for God, whether at work or on vacation.
Pope Benedict began his catechesis by recalling the early life of St. Rabanus for the more than 17,000 pilgrims in St. Peter's Square.
Born in Mainz, Germany around 780, Rabanus became an oblate of the abbey of Fulda at a young age. “This precocious introduction to the Benedictine world and the fruits he reaped from it,” observed the Pope, “give us an interesting glimpse at the life of the monks and the Church as well as the society of that time, described as Carolingian.”
Due to his refined upbringing Rabanus served as an advisor to princes. He later became the abbot of Fulda, followed by being appointed the archbishop of Mainz.
“He studied ceaselessly, showing us that you can be available to others without denying yourself of time for study and meditation,” the Holy Father said. “Thus was Rabanus Maurus an exegete, philosopher, poet, pastor and man of God.”
Rabanus is the author of “De laudibus sanctae Crucis” and among his many writings there is also one of the most beautiful hymns, “Veni creator Spiritus.”
In Rabanus Maurus, the Pope observed, we see "an extraordinary awareness of the need to involve not only the mind and heart in the experience of faith, but also the senses." This he accomplished by using "other aspects" such as "aesthetic taste and human sensitivity which bring man to benefit from the truth with all of himself: spirit, soul and body.”
“This is very important because faith is not just thought, faith comprehends our entire being," said the Holy Father.
“God became man, flesh and blood, he entered the world sensitive to all of the dimensions of being, penetrated the reality of our being and transformed it,” Pope Benedict added. “We must search for God in all the dimensions of our being.”
"I believe that Rabanus Maurus also speaks to us today," Pope Benedict concluded. "Whether immersed in the frenetic rhythms of work or on holiday, we must reserve time for God. We must not forget Sunday as the day of the Lord and the day of the liturgy, in order to see - in the beauty of our churches, of sacred music, and of the Word of God - the beauty of God Himself, and allow it to enter our own being. Thus our lives become great, they become true life."