Cardinal Poupard Tells Why He Understands St. Thérèse Better

President of Council for Culture Marks a Double Anniversary

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

VATICAN CITY, MAY 21, 2004 ( Cardinal Paul Poupard said that, after 50 years of priesthood and 25 of episcopate, he realizes that understanding the faith is foremost a grace received by the poor in spirit.

The French cardinal, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, celebrated the double jubilee today, meeting this morning with John Paul II. In the afternoon, the cardinal celebrated a Mass of thanksgiving in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere.

The cardinal, who has worked closely with John XXIII, Paul VI and John Paul II, says that his «faith has grown in such a way that I would dare to give this definition, certainly not theological, but from the heart: Faith, for me, is ever greater hope in love, even in sorrow.»

«I have understood ever better the joy of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, when she felt weak, when she felt so little,» he told Vatican Radio.

«What could she do?» the cardinal asked. «She understood that the ladder of life was too steep for such a little girl. So she decided to take the elevator, that is, the arms of Jesus. I try to do the same.»

Cardinal Poupard said that recently he has recited the beatitudes often.

This has enabled him to touch «a paradoxical beatitude, namely, that the intelligence of the faith is offered, as Jesus says, to the poor, to the poor in spirit, to the afflicted, to the meek, to the hungry and thirsty for justice, to the merciful, to the pure of heart, to the peacemakers.»

«Joy is really the first and last word of the Gospel, and our world is in great need of it,» he added.

In the present cultural situation Cardinal Poupard sees «an authentic battlefield, in which there is no consistency, in which there are continual contradictions.»

Thus, the Christian message acquires vital importance, he said. «We must love Jesus Christ more than ever. No one can live without loving and being loved.»

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation