The Spiritual Exercises in the Vatican continue
Evil, pain, and culpability are expressions of the limitation of human creatures. Yet the great means of communication teach us all about the ways and means of living but disregard every question and answer on the meaning of existence. It got to the heart of the second part of the Spiritual Exercises for the Roman Curia in the presence of Benedict XVI, given by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture. On Wednesday morning, 20 February, the Cardinal began to outline the features of the “Face of man”, starting with the “man who believes” and “man as a frail creature”.
Spiritual Exercises continue in the Vatican in the Pope's presence
Walking with integrity, practising justice and truth of heart, but even to fight against calumny, to respect one's neighbour, to defend the dignity of the person, to refuse any cooperation with evil, to choose the good and faith, to shun all fraud, to eliminate exploitation, and to remove the plague of corruption. These are the “Eleven Commandments”, a sort of examination of conscience which the Levites required of the faithful before they could cross the threshold of the temple. Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, put it forward again during the third mediation of the Spiritual Exercises, held Monday evening, 18 February, in the Redemptoris Mater Chapel of the Apostolic Palace in the presence of Benedict XVI.
Since sunset Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI and the Roman Curia have been on their Lenten Retreat. Throughout the week, they are gathering in the Redemptoris Mater Chapel in the Apostolic Palace, for prayer and meditation, led this year by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture. He has chosen as the overriding themes for his 17 separate meditations: "Ars orandi, ars credendi. The face of God and the face of man in the Psalm prayers”.
Emer McCarthy reports:
After his appointment with the faithful at the Angelus the Pope is beginning the Spiritual Exercise for Lent in the Vatican with the Roman Curia
Retreat time of silence is beginning in the Vatican. After the Sunday Angelus, that, as usual Benedict XVI prayed at noon in St Peter’s Square attended by a very large number of people, the Lenten Spiritual Exercises began and will last until Saturday 23.
During this period there is no the General Audience on Wednesday, and the Private and Special Audiences are also suspended.
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, will preach the Retreat in the Redemptoris Mater Chapel in the Apostolic Palace, on the theme Ars orandi, ars credendi. The face of God and the face of man in the prayers of the Psalms. During the week the Cardinal will suggest an itinerary for meditation in the Psalter to the Pope and the members of the Roman Curia. The Cardinal will explain the Exercises which will be published in interview form in our newspaper. In addition the Cardinal is expected to speak about Joseph Ratzinger’s possible future role, since he has resigned from the Papacy. He stands out as “a figure who will continue the service of intercession that is so important for the Church”.
The best and clearest understanding of Benedict XVI’s Church comes through at the moment of the greatest amazement and dismay of many: when the Pope decided to leave the pontificate and retire to a life of prayer. His well thought out and free decision — like all decisions that forge new paths in history — is the object of passionate and varied attention and commentary throughout the world. It is the seal of coherence between the Christian doctrine and practice of the current Pontiff. The Church of Benedict XVI is a Church of Christian faith. It is neither generic nor an abstract or ideological faith; it is faith in a real and historical person, Jesus of Nazareth, whom he freely chose to follow. He remains a perfect synthesis of love of God and of humanity which believers have to translate into real love of neighbour. This orientation explains Ratzinger in the continuity of his thought and action: as theologian, bishop, cardinal and Pope.