Pope Benedict on the Veneration of Mary (His Sermon of yesterday during the Vesper in Etzelsbach)

Pope Benedict and the Chapel of Etzelsbach

GOD NEVER DESIRES ANYTHING OTHER THAN OUR TRUE HAPPINESS

The Pieta in the Pilgrimage Chapel of Etzelsbach

VATICAN CITY, 23 SEP 2011 (VIS) – This afternoon Benedict XVI travelled by helicopter from Erfurt to Etzelsbach where he arrived at 5.30 p.m. He then went to the nearby Wallfahrtskapelle to celebrate Marian Vespers and the Liturgy of the Hours with thousands of faithful gathered there. In his address the Pope recalled the role that this Marian shrine has had in German history. “During two godless dictatorships, which sought to deprive the people of their ancestral faith, the inhabitants of Eichsfeld were in no doubt that here in this shrine at Etzelsbach an open door and a place of inner peace was to be found”, he said.

The Holy Father then turned to consider the Pieta conserved in the chapel.”A particular feature of that holy image”, he said, “is the position of Our Lord’s body. The wounded side of the crucified Lord … is concealed, because the body is facing the other way. It seems to me that a deep meaning
> lies hidden in this representation, that only becomes apparent through silent contemplation: in the Etzelsbach image, the hearts of Jesus and His mother are turned to one another; they come close to each other. They exchange their love. … In Mary’s heart there is room for the love that her divine Son wants to bestow upon the world”. “It is not self-fulfilment that truly enables people to flourish, according to the model that modern life so often proposes to us, which can easily turn into a sophisticated form of selfishness. Rather it is an attitude of self-giving directed towards the heart of Mary and hence also towards the heart of the Redeemer”, the Holy Father explained.

“With Mary, God has worked for good in everything, and He does not cease, through Mary, to cause good to spread further in the world. Looking down from the Cross, from the throne of grace and salvation, Jesus gave us His mother Mary to be our mother. … At the foot of the Cross, Mary becomes our fellow traveller and protector on life’s journey. … In life we pass through high-points and low-points, but Mary intercedes for us with her Son and conveys to us the strength of divine love”.

When the Blessed Virgin rescues us from plight, “with a mother’s tenderness, she wants to make us understand that our whole life should be a response to the love of our God, Who is so rich in mercy. ‘Understand,’ she seems to say to us, ‘that God, Who is the source of all that is good and Who never desires anything other than your true happiness, has the right to demand of you a life that yields unreservedly and joyfully to His will, striving at the same time that others may do likewise’. Where God is, there is a future. Indeed, when we allow God’s love to influence the whole of our lives, then heaven stands open. … Then the little things of everyday life acquire meaning, and great problems find solutions”.

The celebration was followed by the adoration of the Eucharist, the final blessing and the praying of the ‘Salve Regina’. Before leaving the chapel to return to Erfurt, the Holy Father left a golden rosary at the feet of the Virgin in sign of profound veneration.

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28 Responses to Pope Benedict on the Veneration of Mary (His Sermon of yesterday during the Vesper in Etzelsbach)

  1. jean_michel says:

    Who told man to give veneration to Mary? Then who is the Holy Father?
    “The Holy Father then turned to consider the Pieta conserved in the chapel.”Jesus said to only our Heavenly Father ,the holy father…how can Mr.Joseph Ratzinger be called so? How can there be so many false doctrine in the catholic sect:
    veneration of a dead person[if one day I live a holy life ,then people can adore me as God.
    Mary is dead and will resurrect at the judgement day.Mary was no more a virgin at her death and should not be worship.She was a blessed woman but no more.Satan is the father of lies and so he need not make you say that God is not good but simply make you give your worship at the wrong person..namely the most Holy God…..
    Following Jesus Christ is not a religion because religion is blind and blind cannot lead blind.Religion through rite/tradition give us a good moral and a good person on the outside but the gospel purify the inside.May God open our eyes and be a true disciple of God.Be blessed.

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  2. teresa says:

    Jean_michel, I am afraid I’ve heard the same thing you write for thousand times, from evangelicals who think that only they possess the truth. The rant above from you is not reflected, as you lack any background knowledge of anything that is Catholic. I do hope you could have more respect and start to inform yourself a little bit before you start a dialogue with people with other religious and culture background.

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  3. Toadspittle says:

    “Jean_michel, I am afraid I’ve heard the same thing you write for thousand times, from evangelicals who think that only they possess the truth.” says Teresa.

    Well, Teresa, what he says sounds a whole lot like what a lot of Catholics say. Including on here, CP&S,
    You would not deny that Catholics possess the truth, would you? No.
    Do you believe that other ‘faiths’ or ‘religions’ possess it as well?

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  4. teresa says:

    Well Toad, it is really a very philosophical question that you asked!
    Truth must be defined. And there are mathematical truths, religious truth etc. I think we Catholics believe that our religion to be true, as we do repeat in the Easter Mass before the baptising our promises to believe. But we can’t forbid other people from thinking otherwise. Because our religious truths are to be believed with free will, and that is the core of our Faith. The Faith is not a deductive system, but is a act of the will. So we can explain to others what we believe to be true, but we should not proselytising or forcing people to accept our religion.

    But we don’t “possess” the Truth, because the ontological Truth is identical with God so we can’t possess God. He has the last judgement not we, we must accept what he asks us to believe because we are his covenant.

    That is what I think.

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  5. Gertrude says:

    jean_michel:Your points are interesting. You will have known when you made them that this blog is Roman Catholic, so I assume that these comments were made deliberately to elicit a response. Firstly, as has been said, we do not worship Mary. Worship is reserved for Our Blessed Lord, who, we are told (in Sacred Scripture)’is a jealous God’. Our Blessed Lady was the Mother of the Incarnation, (God in his human form) and as such holds a very special place in our faith – for without Mary there would have been no Incarnation, and with no Incarnation there would have been no redemption. It is a fact of our human lives that when we are troubled we turn to our mothers for comfort, for wisdom, and for example. In this context why should we not turn to Our Blessed Lady?
    You say: “Religion through rite/tradition give us a good moral and a good person on the outside but the gospel purify the inside” – and in this you are absolutely right. You will not find one Catholic who would deny the truth and examples of the Gospels in guiding us through this earthly path we tread.
    You may not agree with us, but God Bless you.

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  6. jean_michel says:

    Good morning/evening as it may apply,
    You know I was a catholic and the quantity of false doctrines that one day I started to find out was too many.@theresa: Soory if I have offended you but it is because of love that I have tell this,just imagine you are walking with dirt on you [you dont know about it] and that somebody tell you that there is something wrong…would you say have a little respect…or thank you?
    @gertrude: Jesus say in john14:6: I am the way,the truth and the life and no one come to the Father except through me……does it say that there is another way[Mary]
    I dont possess the whole truth but I know something that I am on the right track. This post was merely to question yourself and I am happy that it meet it goal for God glory.Dont take what I have say but question God,the scriptures.God dont look at us a catholic,ae evangelical or muslim or hindu but at our heart…is it free from sin[lust,greed,hatred or anything like that that]May God bless you.

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  7. JabbaPapa says:

    jean-michel posts a lot of nonsense :

    Who told man to give veneration to Mary?

    Veneration isn’t like slices of cheese, you can’t pass it round like you’re at a picnic.

    Veneration, of Mary or of any other Saint, is our attempt to partake of the Communion of the Saints, the living and the dead. We worship with the living and the dead, as the Universal Church partakes of our worship.

    Veneration is simply a more individually focused iteration of that sharing of our worship of God.

    Then who is the Holy Father?
    “The Holy Father then turned to consider the Pieta conserved in the chapel.”Jesus said to only our Heavenly Father ,the holy father…how can Mr.Joseph Ratzinger be called so?

    It is simply a form of address, and if you get at all excited about that, well then you’re being silly.

    How can there be so many false doctrine in the catholic sect:

    In my experience, evangelical sects teach great numbers of false doctrines.

    veneration of a dead person[if one day I live a holy life ,then people can adore me as God.

    What a load of rubbish.

    Mary is dead and will resurrect at the judgement day.

    That is in the hands of God, not those of whichever evangelical or otherwise sectarian preacher.

    Mary was no more a virgin at her death and should not be worship.

    Mary is not worshipped.

    She was a blessed woman but no more.

    During her pregnancy, she carried the Godhead within her womb. God became the flesh of her flesh.

    Satan is the father of lies

    Yes, and you should be careful not to listen to his lies, nor to repeat them in online forums such as this one.

    Following Jesus Christ is not a religion because religion is blind and blind cannot lead blind.

    Incoherent and illogical nonsense.

    Religion through rite/tradition give us a good moral and a good person on the outside but the gospel purify the inside.

    Protestantism makes all sorts of unsupported allegations such as these. They are heretical, because they pretend to carry the truth of these matters, and to deny truth in anything else.

    These characterisations of religion are supported by nothing other than some bad theology.

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  8. JabbaPapa says:

    You would not deny that Catholics possess the truth, would you?

    Nobody except for God Himself can “possess the truth”.

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  9. teresa says:

    jean-michel, no you didn’t offend me. I’ve heard this for many a time, from fundamentalist evangelicals who have a narrow mind set. It is no offence, just boring. Proselytising in your style is never a good way to convince the others. I often have people knocking at my door and asking me to accept their “only truth”, they are radical evangelicals, and I always tell them politely that I am Catholic and that’s all. People should mind their own business and leave the others alone.

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  10. Jim says:

    From the cross Our Lord pronounced His Mother as the mother of beloved disciples. Beloved disciples take Mary as their own.
    If you spurn Jesus’ decree about His Mother, you spurn Jesus.
    Enough said.

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  11. Toadspittle says:

    “People should mind their own business and leave the others alone.” suggests Teresa.

    Toad could not agree more, but rather fails to see how that fits with the idea of missionary work, so beloved of the Catholics of his youth.

    He fondly remembers, as a child, ‘buying’ a small child in Africa.
    Quite reasonable he was. Five bob. A lot of money in those days, though.
    However, there is nothing worse than being bored, as you so rightly say, by that awful man who comes to your door with a lot of ridiculous statements about God.

    You are quite right to tell him you are a Catholic.

    That’s what Toad always does. Never fails!

    But, still, if we all “minded our own business,” where on earth would we ever get?
    Nowhere, thinks Toad, which is exactly where we ever get, anyway.

    And whatever would become of CP&S?

    Anyway, you are dead right. Let’s not even bother trying to change the minds of the fundamentalist numbskulls.
    Hopeless, anyway.

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  12. jean_michel says:

    @JabbaPapa: Good afternoon/evening/morning,
    What I can tell you is sincerely nice job as you have refuted each of my point but interpreting the word as we want is very dangerous.I am not here to convince you..but if it could then ok.Each point has a scriptural truth..could you please give the truth by verse or any revelation that the holy spirit may have inspired you.
    Where is said that God say to partake with the dead[ do you know who are the saints?]
    Instead it is said that Mathew 22:32: I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
    It is simply a form of address, and if you get at all excited about that, well then you’re being silly.
    No excitement:Mathew 23: 9-10: 9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.
    If Christianity is religion ..then tell me where Jesus said that I am creating a new religion……There is no religion…
    Jesus say in John14:6: I am the way,the truth and the life and no one come to the Father except through me……does it say that there is another way[Mary]
    If you can support any of what you have said to me…then ok….I am not an evangilical or protestant.. but only somebody thirsty of truth ….God look at our heart.
    I will agree to you that the truth is only in God hand…but God want to reveal you all the truth through the Holy Spirit[ephesian 3:19-20]
    I am not because I want only the truth to be known by myself and everybody.May God bless you.

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  13. Jerry says:

    What I can tell you is sincerely nice job as you have refuted each of my point but interpreting the word as we want is very dangerous

    An ironic comment from the protestant visitor 😉

    Jerry is Badger BTW

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  14. JabbaPapa says:

    I am not a sola scriptura type, as you quite obviously are.

    Revelation comes from various different sources, some of which you have explicitly or implicitly rejected in your posts.

    Most statements starting with “God is not” turn out to be false teachings. How do you know what God is, and isn’t ?

    I certainly don’t …

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  15. jean-michel says:

    Yes only the scripture count…and when I say scripture it is not only the Bible…but all words revealed through his holy spirit and only those in line with holy spirit.
    Well said revelation from others sources but from divine sources..[the holy spirit]What did I rejected if it was a holy source…
    “Most statements starting with “God is not” turn out to be false teachings. How do you know what God is, and isn’t ?” How you call the Gospel of Mathew a false teaching:
    “Mathew 22:32: I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”go and check your bible.
    Btw sola scriptura is not only the writing in the holy bible but also the true revelation of God.The holy spirit is our guide for all born again …new creature..look at what Jesus said to Nicodeme.May God bless you.

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  16. jean-michel says:

    @Jerry: If you are refering to me,I am not protestant…God look at us as …protestant,catholic or any other man made creation.I was not ironic..and sorry if I do appear like being so….May God bless you.

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  17. jean-michel says:

    sorry Jerry ‘read does look at us ‘instead of ‘look at us as’

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  18. JabbaPapa says:

    If you are refering to me,I am not protestant…God look at us as …protestant,catholic or any other man made creation.

    This is a self-contradictory statement, given that it is very clearly a protestant creed.

    You may dislike the label, but it clearly fits.

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  19. jean-michel says:

    dont discuss on small matter.
    Even after trying to correct it was not ok: was meaning instead: “does not look at us as”
    I dont really matter about your label…sincerely.But please why dont you refute the verse I have quoted……dont be silly about typing error but discuss seriously.May God bless you.

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  20. JabbaPapa says:

    Why on Earth would I want to refute Scripture ???!?

    That’s not the issue, the issue is that you are insisting on some very narrow interpretations as if they were the only ones that should be true.

    This is a poor approach to Biblical interpretation, to theological analysis, doctrine, and Christian teachings.

    The issue is not that you interpret the Bible this way or that ; the issue is that you insist that your interpretation is correct, and other interpretations are wrong.

    Now, there certainly are cases where interpretations can actually be wrong, where they are based on bad translations or other sources of bad *readings* of the texts, where it can be legitimately put forward that an interpretation can be bad because the text being used is a bad one.

    But where the Bible texts do actually provide for multiple possible interpretations, whether this is evident in the particular verses, or whether the text proposes alternative interpretations in alternative locations, or whether traditional or doctrinal or philosophical questions provide for the possibility of these multiple interpretations, it then becomes far less legitimate to put forward that one’s personal interpretations might be the correct ones, and that those disagreeing with oneself are wrong.

    And that’s just the Bible, which is NOT the only source of Christian revelation. The traditions of the Church, the teachings of the Saints, personal revelation, Eucharistic and Congregational revelation, and so on and so forth are sources of revelation outside the Bible.

    The Bible is a collection of religious texts written by a great number of different authors over the course of roughly 1500 years. It is essential to remember this fact when engaging in its interpretation, and also to realise that the 1900 years or so since the New Testament was completed have provided a great deal of thought about both the Bible and about Christianity, that it would be unwise to ignore in favour of some sort of Bible-centric vision of “the Truth”(tm) which were to be based on some poor modern translations by the way instead of on the Hebrew and Greek texts themselves…

    Basically, the approach whereby :

    a) my translation of the Bible says X b) I interpret X as meaning xxx c) The Catholic Church says Y about X d) which I interpret as meaning yyy e) but xxx is not the same as yyy f) therefore the Catholic Church is “wrong” g) So I’ll reject Catholicism

    … is extremely naïve in the face of the difficulties of Biblical interpretation, the difficulties of doctrinal and theological interpretation, the complexities of literary interpretation in general, and it very poorly assumes that the work done by the top experts in the field over the course of the last 3500 years or so can simply be done away with on the basis of my own personal reading of whichever modern translation.

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  21. jean-michel says:

    That’s why you should only count on God for his revelation.Only God knows best the thing of God.You know that biblical interpretation is only done through God holy spirit.God made a way to communicate his word to man.Every time you said that I am insisting on narrow issue…these re the main issue concerning a person giving his life to God.You did not read the bible that’s why you thought that part of the verse was a part that I myself added.Tradition of the Church cannot be a source of revelation due to the fact that they are all against the word of God…..
    All the issue that you raised about: bad text,false translation or such issues cannot be excuses because Jesus Christ said he would send his Spirit,the holy spirit after his departure…no need to be great intellectual to understand the word of God because the holy spirit reveal us all.In the process of finding so many problem with the bible,we are going to go away from the Gospel.The teaching of Jesus are in the bible but the holy spirit confirmed inside us the word as divine or not.May God bless you abundantly and fill you with his wisdom just as I am longing for.

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  22. JabbaPapa says:

    You did not read the bible that’s why you thought that part of the verse was a part that I myself added.

    ?????!!???

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  23. jean-michel says:

    you are surprised:
    I refresh:
    “Most statements starting with “God is not” turn out to be false teachings. How do you know what God is, and isn’t ?” is from you but the God is not is not a statement by me…but the verse Mathew 22:32:: I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
    The part you were refering that “God is not” to refer to false teaching is in fact the verse itself.Hope you can continue now.

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  24. JabbaPapa says:

    ah I see, my point still stands. Not all statements beginning “God is not” are false, I did say “most” of them are ; and if you take that biblical quote too far out of context, you can artificially turn it into a false statement — the teaching is that those who are with God are the living, and not the dead ; ie that Abraham and Isaac and Jacob (and by extension all of the saintly who have passed on) are among the living, not the dead.

    The teaching does not provide us with enough information as to how and understand this, and we still think of the living and the dead. The Communion of Saints includes the living and the dead in that sense, ie in the ordinary sense of how we distinguish between them.

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  25. JabbaPapa says:

    And please use quote marks 😉

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  26. jean-michel says:

    Pride stop our heart from receiving the word of God.Humility is the way to God.Not theology or archeology to look for error in the bible.It is only when we empty ourselves that we are filled with the divine presence.

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  27. JabbaPapa says:

    Hey, let’s remember you’re the one who came in here and started criticising.

    So let’s not start with the double standards, thanx …

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  28. jean-michel says:

    So it is a reserved place……criticising is judgement while I was not pointing out what is false.

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