Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Heart of God

From Whispers in the Loggia, here are Pope Benedict's closing remarks following the Stations of the Cross in Roma last night:
Dear brothers and sisters,

Following Jesus along the way of his passion, we see not only the suffering of Jesus, but also all the suffering of the world; this is the deep intention of the prayer of the Way of the Cross: to open our hearts and to help us to see with our hearts.

The Fathers of the Church considered insensitivity, the hardness of heart, as the greatest sin of the pagan world and so loved the prophecy of Ezekiel: "I will take your heart of stone and will give you a heart of flesh" (Ez 36:26). To convert ourselves to Christ, to become Christian, is to receive a heart of flesh, a sensitive heart for the agony and suffering of others.

Our God is not a faraway God, untouchable in his blessedness: our God has a heart. Rather, he has a heart of flesh, made flesh itself to suffer with us and to be with us in our sufferings. He made himself man to give us a heart of flesh and to reawaken in us a love for the suffering, for the needy.

Let us pray to the Lord in this hour for all the afflicted of the world. Let us pray to the Lord that he may really give us a heart of flesh and make us messengers of His love not only with words, but with all our life. Amen.

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