Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI: A Man for Our Time.

In light of the new liturgical changes that will be implemented this Advent, I would like to post some older comments made a few years ago by the Holy Father's personal secretary Monsignor Georg Gänswein . I think they aim right at the heart of those who believe that the Church moves too slowly and to those who believe that the liturgy must remain static:
"Anyone who knows him [the Holy Father] replies Monsignor Gänswein, "knows him very much as someone who stands for continuity in the liturgy. It is a sort of dogma that the Second Vatican Council had brought ruptures...It is the Pope’s task to maintain the continuity of the Church and not to interrupt it. No, Pope Benedict has remained true to himself."
Monsignor Gänswein continues:
"That there have been wrong developments within and outside the liturgy, in sacred art is clear for anyone who has healthy senses. But Pope Benedict is not an iconoclast, by his very nature he is not. He does not act with a bulldozer. He looks at the things and acts gently, but decidedly."
As with the Lord, The Holy Father does not bow to the whims and desires of Man. God is the architect and the Holy Father is the builder. As any good builder or carpenter, the Holy Father builds on a solid foundation. He is precise and he is methodical. But the Pope is not only a theoretician, he is also an artist. He understands philosophy, theology, the liturgy etc...but also the emotion of faith, prayer, and love.
What I love about the above picture is how it shows the Holy Father as a man who is very much in the world, but also completely separate from it. He knows the world and Man and understands their failings and their possibilities. But he is also a man of intense reflection. Those around him also seem to share this quality. At one time, Monsignor Gänswein wanted to be a Cistercian monk. It's an extraordinary picture of and extraordinary man.