Have the Courage to Contradict the Prevailing Mindset

Source: FSSPX News

During the Mass of the Epiphany on January 6, 2013, Benedict XVI consecrated four new bishops, in the presence of numerous cardinals and bishops, as well as some representatives of the Italian political world, including the president of the Council Mario Monti. The four bishops to be consecrated were: the Pope’s personal secretary, German Georg Gänswein, named prefect of the pontifical House; Italian Angelo Vencenzo Zani, named secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education; Nigerian Fortunatus Nwachukwu, named Apostolic Nuncio to Nicaragua, and French Nicolas Thevenin, named Apostolic Nuncio to Guatemala.

In his homily, the Pope compared the figure of the bishop to that of the three Magi who came from the East to adore the Child Jesus: “Men seeking the greatest reality,” learned men who “wished above all to know the essential.” They were men “driven by a restless quest for God and the salvation of the world.” A bishop, continued Benedict XVI, must be above all a man whose interest is turned to God, for only then does he truly interest himself in men. “A bishop,” he said, “must be above all a man of prayer. He must be in constant inner contact with God.” Thus does the bishop bring to God his difficulties and those of others, his joys and those of others, and, through his union with Christ, the bishop allows the light of Christ to shine in the world.

These wise men were also and above all men of courage, they had the courage and the humility of the faith, added the Holy Father. “The humility of the faith, of sharing the faith of the Church of every age, will constantly be in conflict with the prevailing wisdom of those who cling to what seems certain,” he explained. “Consequently, the courage to contradict the prevailing mindset is particularly urgent for a Bishop today.”

A bishop, added Benedict XVI, “must be courageous,” and “this courage or forcefulness does not consist in striking out or in acting aggressively, but rather in allowing oneself to be struck and to be steadfast before the principles of the prevalent way of thinking.” “The courage to stand firm in the truth is unavoidably demanded of those whom the Lord sends like sheep among wolves,” claimed the Pope, echoing what he himself asked of the faithful the first day of his pontificate: “Pray for me, that I may not give way before the wolves.”

Benedict XVI recalled that “the successors of the Apostles must also expect to be repeatedly beaten, by contemporary methods, if they continue to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a way that can be heard and understood.” If the bishops wish to convince people, following the example of the Apostles, they will invite everyone “to enter into the joy of that truth which shows us the way,” repeated the Pope. However, insisted the Vicar of Christ, “the approval of the prevailing wisdom is not the criterion to which we submit. Our criterion is the Lord himself.”

At the Angelus, addressing the French pilgrims, Benedict XVI recalled that Epiphany shows that the salvation brought by Christ is for all. “In adoring this child, that is, in believing that he is God, our Savior and our King, we receive the mission that he confides to us: to make Him known to those around us.” And the pope concluded: “Let us be as a star for those persons who seek hope and let us leave the nativity scene full of the joy of Christmas.”

(sources: apic/imedia/vis/vatican.va – DICI#268 Jan. 18, 2013)