VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 18, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is preparing his countrymen for his visit “home” with a public TV message that explains how to find God.
The papal message aired Saturday evening on ARD; the Pope recorded it a few days earlier from Castel Gandolfo.
The Holy Father said he is “very happy” about the Thursday through Sunday trip. He noted some of the highlights, adding that “none of this is religious tourism and much less a ‘show.’ The motto of these days tells us what it is: ‘Where God is, there is a future.'”
Regarding his visit to Erfurt, to the Augustinian church, “where Luther began his journey, I will meet with representatives of the Evangelical Church of Germany.”
“There,” he said, “we will pray together, listen to the Word of God together, we will think and speak together. We do not expect any sensational event: In fact the true greatness of the event will consist in this, that in this place we will be able to think, listen to the Word of God and pray, and thus we will be very close, and a true ecumenism will manifest itself.”
The trip, the Pontiff said, “must focus on the fact that God returns to our world, this God who often seems totally absent, of whom we have dire need.”
He continued: “Perhaps you will ask me: ‘But does God exist? And if he exists, does he care about us? Can we reach him?'”
The Holy Father explained that while God cannot be touched or evaluated like a utensil or an object, the capacity to perceive him exists within us.
Benedict XVI pointed to three channels by which God can be found: creation, Scripture, and those who are “touched by him.”
“We can intuit something of God’s grandeur in the grandeur of the cosmos,” he said. “We can use the world through technology because it is made in a rational manner. In the great rationality of the world we can intuit the creator spirit from which it comes, and in the beauty of creation we can intuit something of the beauty, of the grandeur and also the goodness of God.
“In the Word of sacred Scriptures we can hear the words of eternal life that do not come merely from men, but that come from him, and in them we hear his voice. And, finally, we glimpse God too in encounters with persons who are touched by him. I am not thinking only of the great ones: from Paul to Francis of Assisi to Mother Teresa; but I am thinking of the many simple people of whom no one speaks. And yet, when we meet them, there emanates something of goodness, sincerity, joy, and we know that God is there and that he touches us too.”
Benedict XVI concluded with an invitation to “try to return to seeing God, to return to being persons through whom the light of hope might enter the world, a light that comes from God and helps us to live.”
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