Honoring Pope Benedict’s Legacy, part 1

By Guest Blogger Chris Baglow, PhD

Bene dictum means “well said” in Latin.  Our current popBenedictus XVI had a very appropriate name to describe not only himself but so many of his words – perhaps no pope in modern history has ever expressed the truths of the Catholic Faith with more wisdom and beauty.

So instead of moping over the fact that he will soon go silent, I have decided to spend the last two weeks of his papacy celebrating some of the many bona dicta of Benedictus.

Pope Benedict XVI on Christ as Judge (Spe Salvi #47):

Some recent theologians are of the opinion that the fire which both burns and saves is Christ himself, the Judge and Saviour. The encounter with him is the decisive act of judgement. Before his gaze all falsehood melts away. This encounter with him, as it burns us, transforms and frees us, allowing us to become truly ourselves. All that we build during our lives can prove to be mere straw, pure bluster, and it collapses. Yet in the pain of this encounter, when the impurity and sickness of our lives become evident to us, there lies salvation. His gaze, the touch of his heart heals us through an undeniably painful transformation “as through fire”. But it is a blessed pain, in which the holy power of his love sears through us like a flame, enabling us to become totally ourselves and thus totally of God. In this way the inter-relation between justice and grace also becomes clear: the way we live our lives is not immaterial, but our defilement does not stain us for ever if we have at least continued to reach out towards Christ, towards truth and towards love. Indeed, it has already been burned away through Christ’s Passion.

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