“Mary reflects, she ponders on the meaning of this greeting,” he said. “The Greek word used in the Gospel to define this ‘reflection,’ ‘dielogizeto,’ calls to mind the etymology of the word ‘dialogue.’”
He added: “This means that Mary enters into a deep conversation with the Word of God that has been announced to her, she does not consider it superficially but meditates on it, lets it sink into her mind and her heart so as to understand what the Lord wants of her, the meaning of the announcement.”
“Mary does not stop at a first superficial understanding of what is happening in her life, but can look in depth, she lets herself be called into question by events, digests them, discerns them, and attains the understanding that only faith can provide,” he said. “It is the profound humility of the obedient faith of Mary, who welcomes within her even what she does not understand in God’s action, leaving it to God to open her mind and heart.”
Faith: a proof of things unseen
In his 2007 encyclical letter Spe salvi, Benedict drew extensive connections between the virtues of faith and hope.
In the first subheading of the encyclical, Benedict says that faith is hope.
Continuing, he wrote: “Faith is not merely a personal reaching out towards things to come that are still totally absent: it gives us something. It gives us even now something of the reality we are waiting for, and this present reality constitutes for us a ‘proof’ of the things that are still unseen. Faith draws the future into the present, so that it is no longer simply a ‘not yet.’ The fact that this future exists changes the present; the present is touched by the future reality, and thus the things of the future spill over into those of the present and those of the present into those of the future.”
Faith that bears no fruit
In Benedict’s 2011 motu proprio Porta fidei, he wrote about the importance of charity and its connection to faith.
“Faith without charity bears no fruit,” the Holy Father wrote, “while charity without faith would be a sentiment constantly at the mercy of doubt.”
He continued: “Faith and charity each require the other, in such a way that each allows the other to set out along its respective path. Indeed, many Christians dedicate their lives with love to those who are lonely, marginalized, or excluded, as to those who are the first with a claim on our attention and the most important for us to support, because it is in them that the reflection of Christ’s own face is seen. Through faith, we can recognize the face of the risen Lord in those who ask for our love.”
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter