Thursday, August 25, 2005

On Germany

From his farewell address:
"These days spent together have given many young men and women from the whole world the opportunity to become better acquainted with Germany. We are all well aware of the evil that emerged from our Homeland during the 20th century, and we acknowledge it with shame and suffering.

"During these days, thanks be to God, it has become quite evident that there was and is another Germany, a Land of singular human, cultural and spiritual resources. I hope and pray that these resources, thanks, not least, to the events of recent days, may once more spread throughout the world!"

Which echoes his address at his arrival:
"Along this interior journey we can be guided by the many signs with which a long and rich Christian tradition has indelibly marked this Land of Germany: from great historical monuments to countless works of art found throughout the Country, from documents preserved in libraries to lively popular traditions, from philosophical inquiry to the theological reflection of her many great thinkers, from the spiritual traditions to the mystical experience of a vast array of saints."

Which is again summarized in his address at yesterday's audience:
"Here we find a very rich cultural and spiritual heritage which even today, in the heart of Europe, testifies to the fruitfulness of the Christian faith and tradition which we must rekindle, because it has within it new strength for the future.
Jesus makes himself our travel companion in the Eucharist, and, in the Eucharist -- as I said in the homily of the concluding celebration, borrowing a well-known image from physics -- effects a "nuclear fission" in the depth of the being. Only this profound explosion of goodness that overcomes evil can give life to the other transformations necessary to change the world. Let us pray therefore so that the young people of Cologne will bear with them the light of Christ, who is truth and love and will spread it everywhere. In this way we will be able to witness a springtime of hope in Germany, Europe and the whole world."

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