Christ Can Restore the Glow of Faith, Says Papal Preacher

John Paul II Listens to Meditation in Preparation for Holy Week

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VATICAN CITY, MARCH 8, 2002 ( What do the hands of a clock, a small plastic rosary, and faith have in common?

Answer: the ability to “shine in the dark,” says the Papal Household preacher, Father Raniero Cantalamessa.

The Capuchin friar posed that riddle today to the Pope and his Roman Curia collaborators, during the second of four meditations preparing them for Holy Week.

The arthritic right knee that has been troubling John Paul II couldn´t keep him from going to the Redemptoris Mater Chapel in the Vatican this morning, to hear the meditation.

Father Cantalamessa explained that just as the physical phosphorescence of objects may become tenuous, but they intensify when exposed to the sun, so too the believer may also recover his spiritual glow, by exposing himself to the light of Christ´s face. This face is certainly human, but above all it is divine, he emphasized.

The preacher recalled that many passages of the New Testament attest to Christ´s awareness of acting “with the very authority of God,” as “final judge of men and history,” and not just as a simple “unknown rabbi of Galilee.”

He noted that Scripture is not the only reason that allows the Church to proclaim Christ´s full divinity. It is also thanks to “the experience of salvation that the Church has realized in him.”

It is the experience that revolutionizes so many lives discreetly, quietly, and sometimes is only revealed in the secrecy of the confessional, the preacher added.

“Today also something totally new and impossible to measure takes place every time that a person, without hesitation, leaves the sphere of the world´s neutrality, the sphere of simple wordiness, and exposes himself like the man born blind to being expelled from the ´synagogue´ of the learned, and says: ´Lord, I believe!´” the preacher explained.

“Those moments made Jesus exult during his earthly life and led him to exclaim: ´I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned and have revealed them to the little ones,´” the Capuchin said.

“May the Holy Spirit enable us to be among these ´little ones,´ now and always,” he concluded.

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