Monday, 5 December 2011

Advent: Memories of goodness that lead us through the door of hope - and a prayer for the Successor of St Peter

Pope Benedict XVI celebrating First Vespers
on the First Sunday of Advent 2007
from the Throne of Pope Leo XIII
Here is a quotation from a book written by the then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. It comes from his reflection on Advent as contained in the book Seek That Which Is Above, which was first published in 1986. I happen to think these words are beautifully profound and enlightening: -

"Advent is concerned with that very connection between memory and hope which is so necessary to man. Advent’s intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, namely, the memory of the God who became a child. This is a healing memory; it brings hope. The purpose of the Church’s year is continually to rehearse her great history of memories, to awaken the heart’s memory so that it can discern the star of hope.… It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope."

Let's thank God for all the beautiful memories we might have, especially ones from our childhood, as well as for that joyful gift: Hope. Let us also thank Him for our compassionate and wonderful Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI.

A Prayer for the Pope
(composed by Pope Leo XIII)

O Lord, we are the millions of believers, humbly kneeling at Thy feet and begging Thee to preserve, defend and save the Sovereign Pontiff for many years. He is the Father of the great fellowship of souls and our Father as well. On this day, as on every other day, he is praying for us also, and is offering unto Thee with holy fervour the sacred Victim of love and peace.

Wherefore, O Lord, turn Thyself toward us with eyes of pity; for we are now, as it were, forgetful of ourselves, and are praying above all for him. Do Thou unite our prayers with his and receive them into the bosom of Thine infinite mercy, as a sweet savour of active and fruitful charity, whereby the children are united in the Church to their Father. All that he asks of Thee this day, we too ask it of Thee in unison with him.

Whether he weeps or rejoices, whether he hopes or offers himself as a victim of charity for his people, we desire to be united with him; nay more, we desire that the cry of our hearts should be made one with his. Of Thy great mercy grant, O Lord, that not one of us may be far from his mind and his heart in the hour that he prays and offers unto Thee the Sacrifice of Thy blessed Son. At the moment when our venerable High Priest, holding in His hands the very Body of Jesus Christ, shall say to the people over the Chalice of benediction these words: "The peace of the Lord be with you always," grant, O Lord, that Thy sweet peace may come down upon our hearts and upon all the nations with new and manifest power. Amen.

Posted by Dylan Parry


  1. A most beautiful prayer one that arouses and consoles, that sustains and purifies us in our ascent...

  2. A wonderful prayer, thank you for posting it.


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