CONCLUSION OF THE SPIRITUAL EXERCISES OF THE ROMAN CURIA
ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER BENEDICT XVI
At the end of this journey of reflection, meditation and prayer in the company of the holy friends of Pope John Paul II, I would like to say to with all my heart: thank you, Fr Léthel, for your firm guidance and for the spiritual riches you have given us. You have shown the saints to us as “stars” in the firmament of history and, with your enthusiasm and joy, you have inserted us in the circle of these saints and have shown us that it is precisely the “little” saints who are “great” saints. You have shown us that the scientia fidei and the scientia amoris go hand in hand and complete one another, that great reason and great love go hand in hand, indeed that great love sees more than reason alone.
Providence wanted these Exercises to conclude with the Feast of St Joseph, my personal Patron and the Patron of Holy Church: a humble saint, a humble worker who was made worthy to be the Custodian of the Redeemer.
St Matthew describes St Joseph with one word: he was a “just” man, “dikaios”, from “dike”, and in the vision of the Old Testament, as we find it, for example, in Psalm 1; the man who is immersed in the word of God, who lives in the word of God and does not experience the Law as a “yoke” but rather as a “joy”, who dwells in — we might say — the Law as a “Gospel”. St Joseph was just, he was immersed in the word of God, written and transmitted through the wisdom of his people, and he was trained and called in this very way to know the Incarnate Word — the Word who came among us as a man — and was predestined to look after, to protect this Incarnate Word; this remained his mission for ever: to look after Holy Church and Our Lord.
Let us entrust ourselves at this moment to his care, let us pray that he may help us in our humble service. Let us go ahead courageously under this protection. We are grateful for the humble saints, and let us pray the Lord to make us too humble in our service and thereby holy in the company of the saints.
Once again my thanks to you, Fr Léthel, for your inspiration. Thank you!
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