Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Benedict XVI: “Saint John of the Cross describes a secure path to reach sanctity”

Rome‐Italy, February 16, 2011 (Communicationes). ‐This Wednesday, in the Paul VI Hall in the Vatican, Benedict XVI devoted his instruction to Saint John of the Cross, referring to him as a “spiritual friend of Saint Teresa, reformer, together with her, of the Carmelite religious family, proclaimed Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XI in 1926, and according to tradition was given a title: Mystical Doctor. 
 
The  Pope  emphasized  the  importance  of  the  writings  of  the  Carmelite  mystic  for  every Christian and, before the 4,000 pilgrims present at the audience, he outlined the fundamental themes  of  St  John’s  four  great  works:  The  Ascent  of  Mount  Carmel,  The  Dark  Night,  The Spiritual Canticle and The Living Flame of Love.
 
The  Holy  Father  pointed  out  that  John  of  the  Cross  describes  in  his  works  “a  secure path  to reach sanctity”, a state of perfection in which the Christian needs an interior purification of all disorderly dependence on things”. 
 
At  the  same  time,  the  Pope  underlined  that  this  “process  of  purification  demands  personal effort”.  In  actual  fact  “the  real  protagonist  is  God”  and  people  are  incapable  of  purifying themselves completely by themselves. 
 
“Holiness comes not from our own work” explained Benedict XVI, rather it consists of “opening the windows of our soul to God’s light. He invited all Christians to “let themselves be loved by God, who helps us to carry our daily burden”. 
 
This is the second instruction that the Pope has devoted this month to a Carmelite saint.  On the  2nd  February  he  began  his  instructions  on  the  great  Doctors  of  the  Church  by  speaking about Saint Teresa of Jesus. 

Source:

Communicationes N. 171

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