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The Pope Who was Actually a Bear
Crisis Magazine ^ | March 2, 2013 | Charlie McKinney

Posted on 03/02/2013 7:18:31 AM PST by NYer

pope_benedict_xvi

In 1977, a frail, reluctant, 50-year-old college teacher was pressed by his confessor to accept appointment as Bishop of Munich. The job would take him from his beloved students and embroil him in ecclesial and political struggles for which he had little taste. Reluctantly, that good scholar, Fr. Joseph Ratzinger, accepted the appointment.

Unnoticed by most people, on the coat of arms that he created for his service as bishop Fr. Ratzinger included a puzzling symbol: a bear with a pack on its back.

Just four years later, Pope John Paul II summoned Bishop Ratzinger to Rome. There, for a quarter of a century more—and now as Cardinal Ratzinger—he bore extraordinarily heavy burdens as Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the second most important office in the Church.
 In the final three paragraphs of the fascinating memoir he wrote while still Prefect of the Congregation, Cardinal Ratzinger explained the significance of the bear:

According to legend, on his way from Germany to Rome in the early 700s, St. Corbinian’s horse was torn to pieces by a bear. Corbinian reprimanded the bear, loaded onto it the pack the horse had been carrying, and made the bear haul that burden all the way to Rome. Only then did Corbinian release the bear.

Bear

Then Cardinal Ratzinger quotes Psalm 22 (“When my heart was bewildered, I was stupid and ignorant. I was like a dumb beast before You. I am always with You”). He tells us that in those very words, St. Augustine spoke of the burdens he carried once he became bishop:

A draft animal am I before You … for You.
 And this is precisely how I abide with You.

How often, continues Cardinal Ratzinger, writing the last paragraphs of his 
memoir …

did Augustine protest to heaven against all the trifles that continually blocked his path and kept him from the intellectual work he knew to be his deepest calling! But this is where the Psalm helps him avoid bitterness: “Yes, indeed, I am become a draft animal, a beast of burden, an ox—and yet this is just the way in which I abide with You, serving You, just the way in which You keep me in your hand.”

And then, years before he became Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Ratzinger says:

The heavily laden bear that took the place of St. Corbinian’s horse, or rather donkey—the bear that became his donkey against its will: is this not an image of what I should do and of what I am?

His answer?

 For the last eight years, he’s placed it right before us, right there on his Papal Coat of Arms.

Benedict_Coat_of_Arms

The future Benedict XVI concludes his 1998 memoir with the following touching words that came suddenly to my mind yesterday as he stepped into the helicopter that took him from the Vatican:

It is said of St. Corbinian that, once in Rome, he again released the bear to its freedom. The legend is not concerned about whether it went up into the Abruzzi or returned to the Alps. In the meantime I have carried my load to Rome and have now been wandering the streets of the Eternal City for a long time. I do not know when I will be released, but one thing I do know. Augustine’s remark applies to me, too: 

“I am become your donkey, and in just this way I abide with you.”

Less than 24 hours ago—God be praised!—and after 36 years of carrying burdens he would never have chosen himself, our faithful bear was finally released, traveling neither into the nearby hills of Abruzzi nor back over his beloved Alps, but merely the short distance to Castel Gandolfo where he can pray and think and write, far from the increasingly shrill and reckless attacks that countless souls and organizations have unleashed against him and his beloved Church.

Have you ever seen the Pope or the Church assaulted so frequently, so viciously, and with such reckless disregard for what they actually believe and do?

Just two days ago in his final Wednesday audience, speaking of his eight years’ tenure, Pope Benedict admitted that sometimes he felt like St. Peter and the apostles in the boat on the Sea of Galilee.

The Lord gave us many days of sunshine and gentle breeze, days when fishing was plentiful. Then there were times when the waters were rough and there was a head wind, times when it seemed the Lord slept.

But I always knew that it was the Lord’s boat, not mine. Not ours. 

He will not let it sink.

 He leads it, and yes, does so through the men He chooses, because He wants it to be so. This was, and is, a certainty that nothing can tarnish.

Now, pursued by critics as cruel and as persistent as dogs after a bear, this good man chosen by God to lead us for a time has finally had the burdens lifted from his shoulders.

May the teeth of his critics cease to tear his soul,
 may the sounds of their cries fade away!

This I pray, and pray genuinely—for Benedict, but not for you and me.
 Our time of battle is not done … nor even hardly begun.

In fact, just last year Benedict himself placed on your shoulders and mine a burden which we cannot—and must not—shirk. 

Just over a year ago, Pope Benedict told our American bishops that in the face of hostile forces that threaten not just our Christian faith, but humanity itself, committed believers must never fall silent.

Catholics, he told them, must confront anti-Christian forces—the very ones inflamed to harm him now—with “rational arguments in the public square” to help shape the values that will shape the future.

Essential to this task, Benedict told our American bishops, is “an engaged, articulate and well-formed Catholic laity endowed with a strong critical sense vis-à-vis the dominant culture.”

 That’s you and me.

 You and I have become St. Corbinian’s bear!



TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Ministry/Outreach
KEYWORDS: b16; benedictxvi; catholic; pope; popebenedict

1 posted on 03/02/2013 7:18:35 AM PST by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...

Pray for the cardinals!


2 posted on 03/02/2013 7:19:33 AM PST by NYer (“Beware the man of a single book.” - St. Thomas Aquinas)
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To: prairiebreeze

As promised, here is the article I mentioned on the other thread.


3 posted on 03/02/2013 7:21:19 AM PST by NYer (“Beware the man of a single book.” - St. Thomas Aquinas)
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To: NYer

Excellent article!


4 posted on 03/02/2013 7:28:45 AM PST by JCBreckenridge (Texas is a state of mind - Steinbeck)
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To: NYer
Thanks!

Time for Catholics and normal people to wake up, mobilize, turn back to Jesus and His teachings to avert the destruction of society by devil and his followers.

5 posted on 03/02/2013 7:32:00 AM PST by Leo Carpathian (FReeeeepisssssed)
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To: NYer

Thanks for posting.


6 posted on 03/02/2013 7:35:19 AM PST by bboop (does not suffer fools gladly)
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To: JCBreckenridge

The quote is from Ps. 73, verse 22 - not Psalm 22. Nice article, but somebody needs to hone their skills.


7 posted on 03/02/2013 7:38:59 AM PST by greatvikingone
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To: NYer

OK...someone has to ask. What’s with the crude stereotype of a negro (?) King (Queen??) that’s also on his coat of arms?


8 posted on 03/02/2013 7:44:54 AM PST by JoeDetweiler
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To: JoeDetweiler

My guess would be Prester John, but it’s just a guess.


9 posted on 03/02/2013 7:51:01 AM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: JoeDetweiler
OK...someone has to ask. What’s with the crude stereotype of a negro (?) King (Queen??) that’s also on his coat of arms?

From the Vatican web site:

In the dexter corner (to the left of the person looking at it) is a Moor's head in natural colour [caput Aethiopum] (brown) with red lips, crown and collar. This is the ancient emblem of the Diocese of Freising, founded in the eighth century, which became a Metropolitan Archdiocese with the name of München und Freising in 1818, subsequent to the Concordat between Pius VII and King Maximilian Joseph of Bavaria (5 June 1817).

The Moor's head is not rare in European heraldry. It still appears today in the arms of Sardinia and Corsica, as well as in the blazons of various noble families. Italian heraldry, however, usually depicts the Moor wearing a white band around his head instead of a crown, indicating a slave who has been freed; whereas in German heraldry the Moor is shown wearing a crown. The Moor's head is common in the Bavarian tradition and is known as the caput Ethiopicum or the Moor of Freising.

Coat of Arms of His Holiness Benedict XVI

10 posted on 03/02/2013 7:51:36 AM PST by NYer (“Beware the man of a single book.” - St. Thomas Aquinas)
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To: JoeDetweiler

This is the ancient emblem of the Diocese of Freising, founded in the eighth century. Cardinal Ratzinger was first Archbishop of Munich and Friesing as of 1977.


11 posted on 03/02/2013 7:52:41 AM PST by JCBreckenridge (Texas is a state of mind - Steinbeck)
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To: Cicero

Nah...I googled it...

“In the dexter corner (to the left of the person looking at it) is a Moor’s head in natural colour [caput Aethiopum] (brown) with red lips, crown and collar. This is the ancient emblem of the Diocese of Freising, founded in the eighth century, which became a Metropolitan Archdiocese with the name of München und Freising in 1818, subsequent to the Concordat between Pius VII and King Maximilian Joseph of Bavaria (5 June 1817).

The Moor’s head is not rare in European heraldry. It still appears today in the arms of Sardinia and Corsica, as well as in the blazons of various noble families. Italian heraldry, however, usually depicts the Moor wearing a white band around his head instead of a crown, indicating a slave who has been freed; whereas in German heraldry the Moor is shown wearing a crown. The Moor’s head is common in the Bavarian tradition and is known as the caput Ethiopicum or the Moor of Freising.”

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/elezione/stemma-benedict-xvi_en.html


12 posted on 03/02/2013 7:52:58 AM PST by JoeDetweiler
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To: JoeDetweiler

I’m slow this morning :-)


13 posted on 03/02/2013 7:54:19 AM PST by JoeDetweiler
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To: NYer

Ninja’d!


14 posted on 03/02/2013 7:54:19 AM PST by JCBreckenridge (Texas is a state of mind - Steinbeck)
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To: Cicero
My guess would be Prester John, but it’s just a guess.

See post #10.

15 posted on 03/02/2013 7:54:51 AM PST by NYer (“Beware the man of a single book.” - St. Thomas Aquinas)
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To: NYer

So, the pope is a bear...
What does he do in the woods?


16 posted on 03/02/2013 7:58:18 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: NYer; JoeDetweiler
Interesting that a Moore's head is accompanied by the Shell of St. James. But part of the veneration of St. James the Greater is that under his protection Spain was rid of the Moores. Here the head (bottom) meets the scallop (on the banner):



Santiago Matamoros - Compostela

I don't think His Holiness planned it this way. However, the job of getting Europe re-conquered for Christ began with his Regensburg address and the "dictatorship of relativism" meme. He was truly a great pope, for a great burden.

17 posted on 03/02/2013 8:18:37 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: NYer
The Moor's head (Moretto) is also used as a symbol of the city of Rijeka (Fiume) in Croatia. It's supposed to be connected to their defending themselves against Turkish attacks (some of the Turkish troops being black).
18 posted on 03/02/2013 8:18:37 AM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: MrB

“So, the pope is a bear...
What does he do in the woods?”

Wears a funny hat, silly.


19 posted on 03/02/2013 8:26:52 AM PST by JoeDetweiler
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To: NYer
"In fact, just last year Benedict himself placed on your shoulders and mine a burden which we cannot—and must not—shirk. 

Just over a year ago, Pope Benedict told our American bishops that in the face of hostile forces that threaten not just our Christian faith, but humanity itself, committed believers must never fall silent.

"Catholics, he told them, must confront anti-Christian forces—the very ones inflamed to harm him now—with 'rational arguments in the public square' to help shape the values that will shape the future.

"Essential to this task, Benedict told our American bishops, is 'an engaged, articulate and well-formed Catholic laity endowed with a strong critical sense vis-à-vis the dominant culture.'

 That’s you and me.

 You and I have become St. Corbinian’s bear!"

All Americans might think about the implications of these remarks.

America's Founding princples--the principles which can enable citizens to recognize which are true ideas of liberty and which are counterfeit ideas of tyranny--are under assault.

In 2008, Michael Ledeen, on another subject altogether, wrote of the degree to which Americans have been "dumbed down" on some basic ideas underlying our freedom:

Ledeen said, "Our educational system has long since banished religion from its texts, and an amazing number of Americans are intellectually unprepared for a discussion in which religion is the central organizing principle."

In the Pope's speech in Germany a few years ago, he observed:

"A reason which is deaf to the divine and which relegates religion into the realm of subcultures is incapable of entering into the dialogue of cultures."

What a powerful analysis!

Ledeen put his finger on a problem that stifles meaningful dialogue and debate in America. Censors [disguised as "protectors" (the Radical Left's ACLU, NEA, education bureaucracies, etc., etc.)] have imposed their limited understanding of liberty upon generations of school children.

From America's founding to the 1950's, ideas derived from religious literature were included in textbooks, through the poetry and prose used to teach children to read and to identify with their world and their country.

Suddenly, those ideas began to disappear from textbooks, until now, faceless, mindless copy editors sit in cubicles in the nation's textbook publishing companies, instructed by their supervisors to remove mere words that refer to family, to the Divine, and to any of the ancient ideas that have sustained intelligent discourse for centuries.

Now, it is the ACLU which accuses middle Americans of "censorship" if they object to books, films, etc., that offend their sensibilities and undermine the character training of their young. Sadly, many of those books and films are themselves products of the minds that have been robbed of exposure to wisdom literature in the nation's schools and universities.

Thankfully, America's Founders were not "deaf to the divine"! A rediscovery of the ideas of liberty among ordinary citizens of today would expose the purveyors of tyranny and oppression under counterfeit notions of "change" and "fairness."

20 posted on 03/02/2013 8:33:43 AM PST by loveliberty2
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To: NYer

OK, now I understand the bear in his crest.

Who’s the olive complected fellow he glories?


21 posted on 03/02/2013 8:34:29 AM PST by null and void (Gun confiscation enables tyranny. Don't enable tyranny.)
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To: JoeDetweiler

So, it’s not Prester John, but from a related tradition, since it is known as “caput Ethiopicum or the Moor of Freising.”

Prester John was the storied Christian Emperor of Ethiopia, which remained a Christian nation, according to European tradition when contact was lost with Ethipia as well as actual history, amidst pagan and Muslim Africans. So this particular line of Moors could be Christian rather than Muslim.


22 posted on 03/02/2013 8:37:43 AM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: null and void
Who’s the olive complected fellow he glories?

See post #10.

23 posted on 03/02/2013 8:45:18 AM PST by NYer (“Beware the man of a single book.” - St. Thomas Aquinas)
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To: NYer

Thank you, Charlie, for a eloquent, moving and insightful essay. You are blessed with the gift of communication.


24 posted on 03/02/2013 8:48:36 AM PST by RobbyS (Christus rex.)
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To: NYer

Compare to Saint Malachy’s Gloria olivæ...


25 posted on 03/02/2013 8:48:40 AM PST by null and void (Gun confiscation enables tyranny. Don't enable tyranny.)
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To: shaggy eel

Obama plans to bail out Italy ... says Americans have always loved Italy and NOW they can OWN it !!!

WASHINGTON, DC –

Sources close to the White House have learned that Barack Obama is planning to run for the office of Pope when the College of Cardinals convenes to elect a successor to ailing Benedict XVI at the end of this month.

Calling on the promise of “Equality for All”, Obama is said to firmly believe that the time has come for a non-Catholic to occupy the Vatican ‘s highest office.

Foreseeing a looming citizenship issue he states that he has discovered an Italian birth certificate that proves he was born in Rome before he was born in Kenya and Hawaii .

Continuing, he concluded, “And there’s no way that a handful of cardinals could be more expensive to buy than 10 million voters in Michigan .”

Further questions should be directed to Obama’s Papal Campaign Manager, Abdul Azeem Ali’Khan.


26 posted on 03/02/2013 8:55:20 AM PST by null and void (Gun confiscation enables tyranny. Don't enable tyranny.)
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To: NYer
As a non-Catholic I was touched by the symbolism of the bear. I find it very humbling, as I daily fight the urge to go astray like a sheep! But very specially, I liked this part: [There were] times when it seemed the Lord slept.

But I always knew that it was the Lord’s boat, not mine. Not ours. 

He will not let it sink. I understand he was referring to the Catholic church, but it sure applies to our lives also!
27 posted on 03/02/2013 9:12:29 AM PST by Former Fetus (Saved by grace through faith)
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To: NYer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqkTzS02hDo


28 posted on 03/02/2013 10:17:41 AM PST by 353FMG ( I refuse to specify whether I am serious or sarcastic -- I respect FReepers too much.)
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To: NYer
Thanks. A very good perspective on an incredibly humble servant of God.
29 posted on 03/02/2013 10:20:40 AM PST by Rashputin (Jesus Christ doesn't evacuate His troops, He leads them to victory.)
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To: NYer

Very much a bear! He was not afraid to get many things back to basics, removed clerics from their positions that they were not fulfilling, calling a spade a spade, inviting the LeFebryites back into the flock.

He was full of surprises and carried the load well.


30 posted on 03/02/2013 10:31:21 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: NYer
Prayer for the Election of a New Pope

31 posted on 03/02/2013 10:33:46 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: greatvikingone
I can see Pope Benedict praying Psalm 22 a lot, though.

Psalms 22
1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
2 O my God, I cry by day, but thou dost not answer; and by night, but find no rest.
3 Yet thou art holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.
4 In thee our fathers trusted; they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.
5 To thee they cried, and were saved; in thee they trusted, and were not disappointed.
6 But I am a worm, and no man; scorned by men, and despised by the people.
7 All who see me mock at me, they make mouths at me, they wag their heads;
8 "He committed his cause to the LORD; let him deliver him, let him rescue him, for he delights in him!"
9 Yet thou art he who took me from the womb; thou didst keep me safe upon my mother's breasts.
10 Upon thee was I cast from my birth, and since my mother bore me thou hast been my God.
11 Be not far from me, for trouble is near and there is none to help.
12 Many bulls encompass me, strong bulls of Bashan surround me;
13 they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion.
14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax, it is melted within my breast;
15 my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaves to my jaws; thou dost lay me in the dust of death.
16 Yea, dogs are round about me; a company of evildoers encircle me; they have pierced my hands and feet --
17 I can count all my bones -- they stare and gloat over me;
18 they divide my garments among them, and for my raiment they cast lots.
19 But thou, O LORD, be not far off! O thou my help, hasten to my aid!
20 Deliver my soul from the sword, my life from the power of the dog!
21 Save me from the mouth of the lion, my afflicted soul from the horns of the wild oxen!
22 I will tell of thy name to my brethren; in the midst of the congregation I will praise thee:
23 You who fear the LORD, praise him! all you sons of Jacob, glorify him, and stand in awe of him, all you sons of Israel!
24 For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; and he has not hid his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him.
25 From thee comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will pay before those who fear him.
26 The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the LORD! May your hearts live for ever!
27 All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD; and all the families of the nations shall worship before him.
28 For dominion belongs to the LORD, and he rules over the nations.
29 Yea, to him shall all the proud of the earth bow down; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, and he who cannot keep himself alive.
30 Posterity shall serve him; men shall tell of the Lord to the coming generation,
31 and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn, that he has wrought it.



32 posted on 03/02/2013 10:48:32 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: greatvikingone
Psalms 73
1 Truly God is good to the upright, to those who are pure in heart.
2 But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had well nigh slipped.
3 For I was envious of the arrogant, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4 For they have no pangs; their bodies are sound and sleek.
5 They are not in trouble as other men are; they are not stricken like other men.
6 Therefore pride is their necklace; violence covers them as a garment.
7 Their eyes swell out with fatness, their hearts overflow with follies.
8 They scoff and speak with malice; loftily they threaten oppression.
9 They set their mouths against the heavens, and their tongue struts through the earth.
10 Therefore the people turn and praise them; and find no fault in them.
11 And they say, "How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?"
12 Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches.
13 All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence.
14 For all the day long I have been stricken, and chastened every morning.
15 If I had said, "I will speak thus," I would have been untrue to the generation of thy children.
16 But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task,
17 until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I perceived their end.
18 Truly thou dost set them in slippery places; thou dost make them fall to ruin.
19 How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors!
20 They are like a dream when one awakes, on awaking you despise their phantoms.
21 When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart,
22 I was stupid and ignorant, I was like a beast toward thee.
23 Nevertheless I am continually with thee; thou dost hold my right hand.
24 Thou dost guide me with thy counsel, and afterward thou wilt receive me to glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is nothing upon earth that I desire besides thee.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.
27 For lo, those who are far from thee shall perish; thou dost put an end to those who are false to thee.
28 But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all thy works.



33 posted on 03/02/2013 10:51:45 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Leo Carpathian

Believe!


34 posted on 03/02/2013 10:58:33 AM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: Former Fetus
As a non-Catholic I was touched by the symbolism of the bear. I find it very humbling, as I daily fight the urge to go astray like a sheep!

The role of the pontiff is precisely that of a shepherd, leading the flock to Jesus Christ. He is ever watchful for wolves, lest they try to mislead the flock. Like our Lord, he keeps watch night and day.

I liked this part: [There were] times when it seemed the Lord slept.

But I always knew that it was the Lord’s boat, not mine. Not ours. 

He will not let it sink.

An excellent analogy directed at those who fear the loss of their shepherd. He goes on to provide a prayer that is surely intended for you!

“I adore you, my God, I love you with all my heart. I thank You for having created me, for having made me a Christian.”

Benedict XVI does not limit his prayers only to catholics. He prays for you each day, as well. He is a man of great internal strength yet enormous humility. The papacy is a job only one person truly seeks - him who would destroy the church. The task of the cardinals is to find the one who has modeled his life on Christ and, like Benedict XVI and JPII, can carry the barque forward through troubled waters. The church is under siege from without and within. Please join your prayers with ours as we ask our Lord to send His Holy Spirit to guide the cardinals in selecting their successor.

Prior to his departure, Pope Benedict met with those cardinals who had already arrived. He said: “Among you, among the College of Cardinals, there is also the future Pope, to whom, here today, I already promise my unconditional reverence and obedience.” That is true humility!

35 posted on 03/02/2013 11:16:25 AM PST by NYer (“Beware the man of a single book.” - St. Thomas Aquinas)
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To: NYer

God bless and keep him.


36 posted on 03/02/2013 12:12:41 PM PST by onyx (FREE REPUBLIC IS HERE TO STAY! DONATE MONTHLY! IF YOU WANT ON SARAH PALIN''S PING LIST, LET ME KNOW)
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To: NYer

I did go to the site of the “Survior” game and it is very interesting indeed.


37 posted on 03/02/2013 2:45:04 PM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: NYer

God Bless and be with the Cardinals.


38 posted on 03/02/2013 2:46:06 PM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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