Full text of Benedict XVI’s Thought for the Day

Full text of Benedict XVI’s Thought for the DayThe Pope records the address in an antechamber of the Paul VI Hall after Wednesday’s general audience

Recalling with great fondness my four-day visit to the United Kingdom last September, I am glad to have the opportunity to greet you once again, and indeed to greet listeners everywhere as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ.

Our thoughts turn back to a moment in history when God’s chosen people, the children of Israel, were living in intense expectation.

They were waiting for the Messiah that God had promised to send and they pictured him as a great leader who would rescue them from foreign domination and restore their freedom.

God is always faithful to his promises, but he often surprises us in the way he fulfils them.

The child that was born in Bethlehem did indeed bring liberation, but not only for the people of that time and place – he was to be the Saviour of all people throughout the world and throughout history.

And it was not a political liberation that he brought, achieved through military means; rather, Christ destroyed death forever and restored life by means of his shameful death on the Cross.

And while he was born in poverty and obscurity, far from the centres of earthly power, he was none other than the Son of God.

Out of love for us, he took upon himself our human condition, our fragility, our vulnerability and he opened up for us the path that leads to the fullness of life to a share in the life of God himself.

As we ponder this great mystery in our hearts this Christmas, let us give thanks to God for his goodness to us and let us joyfully proclaim to those around us the good news that God offers us freedom from whatever weighs us down: he gives us hope, he brings us life.

Dear Friends from Scotland, England, Wales and indeed every part of the English-speaking world. I want you to know that I keep all of you very much in my prayers this Holy Season.

I pray for your families, for your children, for those who are sick and for those who are going through any form of hardship at this time.

I pray especially for the elderly and for those who are approaching the end of their days.

I ask Christ, the light of the nations, to dispel whatever darkness there may be in your lives and to grant to every one of you the grace of a peaceful and joyful Christmas.

May God bless all of you!

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About Gertrude

Sáncte Míchael Archángele, defénde nos in proélio, cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium.
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10 Responses to Full text of Benedict XVI’s Thought for the Day

  1. toadspittle says:

    The post above prompted this real ‘Xmas’ (yes, I know) nostalgia gift offering from Toad, who, sadly never aspired to be ‘The Fairy On The Christmas Tree.’

  2. toadspittle says:

    ..and both the posts above reminded Toad of this from his childhood – so perfect for CP&S at, ‘Xmastime!’

    A song with a real message for all of us on here – How to deal with the Devil!
    Tell him you’ve got soldiers in your bed!

    Right! That’s it for ‘Xmas!’ Pip, pip!

  3. Gertrude says:

    My goodness Toad – the BBC Dance Orchestra!! It is delightful – but surely you can’t possibly be my vintage? A very happy Christmas to you and your lady wife – do enjoy the knees-up at the town hall (or perhaps the Spanish don’t do ‘knees-up’),

  4. Brother Burrito says:

    Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
    And with fear and trembling stand;
    Ponder nothing earthly minded,
    For with blessing in His hand,
    Christ our God to earth descendeth,
    Our full homage to demand.

    King of kings, yet born of Mary,
    As of old on earth He stood,
    Lord of lords, in human vesture,
    In the body and the blood;
    He will give to all the faithful
    His own self for heavenly food.

    Rank on rank the host of heaven
    Spreads its vanguard on the way,
    As the Light of light descendeth
    From the realms of endless day,
    That the powers of hell may vanish
    As the darkness clears away.

    At His feet the six wingèd seraph,
    Cherubim with sleepless eye,
    Veil their faces to the presence,
    As with ceaseless voice they cry:
    Alleluia, Alleluia
    Alleluia, Lord Most High!

    A Holy, Peaceful and Happy Christmas to all who are of good will!

  5. toadspittle says:

    Toad is fast closing in on 70, Gertrude. He is not so crass to inquire your age. Merry thoughts to all

  6. golden chersonnese says:

    Toad, you remind me of my father.

    He started reminiscing like this rather a lot when he turned 70.

    Nice polite ditties, however.

  7. toadspittle says:

    Yes, Golden C., after a certain age, one begins to consider of which affliction one would least object to dying.
    And nostalgia strikes some of us as a reasonable possibility.

    Still, ‘Xmas’ innit! No dark thoughts today!

  8. Gertrude says:

    Suffice it to say, dear Toad, I am a few years younger. I now take a year off every birthday, so that logically when I am really in my dotage my mental age will compare favourably with my numerical age. Nuff said!

  9. golden chersonnese says:

    Nice one, Burrito.

    I see you have an interest of the Liturgy of St James (of the Syriac Church).

    It’s the hymn sung just after the catechumens get their marching orders:

    Let all mortal flesh keep silent, and with fear and trembling stand. Ponder nothing earthly-minded, for the King of kings and Lord of lords advances to be slain and given as food to the faithful. Before him go the choirs of Angels, with every rule and authority, the many-eyed Cherubim and the six-winged Seraphim, veiling their sight and crying out the hymn: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

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