Pope B16 Doing Homilies on the Book of Revelation

Professor Ratzinger had some lovely comments about the Book of Revelation at today’s General Audience.

St. John speaks of the white horse, which symbolises that “the power of God has entered man’s history, a power capable not only of counterbalancing evil, but also of overcoming it. … God became so close as to descend into the darkness of death and illuminate it with the splendor of divine life. He took the evil of the world upon Himself to purify it with the fire of His love.”

… “The Book of Revelation tells us that prayer nourishes this vision of light and profound hope in each one of us and in our communities. … The Church lives in history; she is not closed in on herself, but courageously faces her journey amidst difficulties and sufferings, forcefully affirming that evil does not defeat good, that darkness does not shade God’s splendor. This is an important point for us too: as Christians we can never be pessimists. … Prayer, above all, educates us to see the signs of God, His presence and His action; or rather, it educates us to become lights of goodness, spreading hope and indicating that the victory is God’s.”

He also noted that there’s no such thing as “useless” prayer or “too much” prayer. No prayer is lost, and God uses them all for our good.

At the end of the vision an angel places grains of incense in a censer then throws it upon the earth. Those grains represent our prayers, the Pope said. “and we can be sure that there is no such thing as a superfluous or useless prayer. No prayer is lost. … God is not oblivious to our prayers. … When faced with evil we often have the sensation that we can do nothing, but our prayers are in fact the first and most effective response we can give, they strengthen our daily commitment to goodness. The power of God makes our weakness strong.”

He also spoke about prayer and the Book of Revelation in his general audience last week. (Revelation readings generally show up in the lectionary after Pentecost or right before Advent, at the end of the Church Year.)

Unfortunately, the translation office hasn’t finished doing the English translation of his long version of the talk. (The custom is that the Pope delivers his audience talks full-length in Italian, and then speaks brief summary versions in the main pilgrim languages: English, French, German, and Polish. Then the translation office makes translations into various languages of the full-length talk, which go up on Vatican.va when done.) But you can get an idea from Google’s translation, or from reputable newssites that do their own translations.

September 5, 2012 (on Rev. 1:3, 4, 22) brief English version and full-length Italian talk.

September 12, 2012 (on Rev. 4: 1-22): brief English version and full-length Italian version.

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