Benedict XVI Recommends "God's Style"

Meets With Group of Former Students

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CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 30, 2010 ( Noting that people frequently live according to a “style of pagans,” Benedict XVI is encouraging forging one’s life in another mode: “the style of God.”

This was the exhortation the Pope made Sunday at the beginning of a Mass he celebrated in Castel Gandolfo with a group of his former students, who were gathered for their annual study weekend. The “Ratzinger Schulerkreis” looked this year at the theme of the implementation of the Second Vatican Council.

The Holy Father’s reflection focused on Sunday’s Gospel, in which Christ tells the parable of those who seek the places of honor at a wedding banquet, Vatican Radio reported.

He noted that in this passage, “the Lord brings us to understand that in reality we still live according to the style of the pagans: We invite reciprocally only those who will return the invitation; we give only if we will get back.”

“The style of God is different,” the Pontiff continued. “He invites us to his table, we who are lame, blind and deaf; he invites us who have nothing to give him.”

The divine style, he added, is experienced above all in the Eucharist, during which we are called to allow ourselves to be touched by gratitude to God, who invites us to his table even though we are full of faults.

“But we want to learn as well to experience the guilt of too infrequently turning away from the pagan style, because we live very little the novelty, the style of God,” Benedict XVI continued. “And because of this we begin holy Mass asking forgiveness: a forgiveness that changes us, that makes us more similar to God, in his image and likeness.”

In his homily, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, archbishop of Vienna, and a member of the group of the Pope’s former students, highlighted the importance of humility that “transforms insults into grace.”

“Thank you, Holy Father, because you incarnate for us the attitude of Christ, who is meek and humble of heart,” he said.

And the cardinal reflected: “Is this not a marvelous element of the Christian faith and the Christian experience? Joy at the fact that the parameters of heaven are so different than ours.”

The study circle is made up of some 40 people who presented their doctoral theses to Professor Ratzinger during his tenure at various German universities.

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