On this Sunday morning, I’d like to share the words of Pope Benedict as he traveled to Malta yesterday.  I think many of the misconceptions about Pope Benedict would be cleared up if people knew what he said and taught, so perhaps I’ll be sharing quotes from him more often.

On his way to Malta:

Dear friends, good evening! Let us hope we have a good journey, without this dark cloud that is hanging over part of Europe.

So why this trip to Malta? The reasons are manifold.

The first is St. Paul. The Pauline Year of the universal Church is over, but Malta is celebrating 1950 years sincethe shipwreck and this is my opportunity to once again bring to light the great figure of the Apostle to the Gentiles, with his important message even [for] today. I think we can summarize the essence of his journey with the words with which he himself summarised it at the end of the letter to the Galatians: Faith working through love.

These are the important things today: faith, the relationship with God, which then turns into love. But I also think that the reason for the shipwreck speaks for us. Malta’s fortune to have faith was born from the wreck; so we can think the same, that life’s shipwrecks can be part of God’s plan for us and they may also be useful for new beginnings in our lives.

The second reason: I am glad to live in the midst of lively church, which the Church in Malta is. Even today it is fruitful in vocations, full of faith in the midst of our time, responding to the challenges of our time. I know that Malta loves Christ and loves his Church which is his body and knows that, even if this body is wounded by our sins, God loves this church and its gospel is the true force that purifies and heals.

Third point: Malta is the point where the currents of refugees from Africa arrive and knock at Europe’s door. This is a great problem of our time, and, of course, can not be resolved by the island of Malta. We must all respond to this challenge, work so that everyone can, live a dignified life in their homeland and on the other hand do everything possible so that these refugees find here, where they arrive, that they find a decent living space. A response to a great challenge of our time: Malta reminds us of these problems and also reminds us that their faith is the force that gives charity, and thus also the imagination to respond well to these challenges. Thank you.

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