"My true home is your goodness. There, I feel safe." - Benedict XVI

"My true home is your goodness. There, I feel safe."

Benedict XVI www.vatican.va

6/28/2016 - Commemoration of the 65th anniversary of priestly ordination of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Holy Father, Dear Brothers,

Sixty-five years ago, a brother priest who was ordained with me decided to have written on the card commemorating his first Mass, in addition to the name and the date, a single word in Greek — eucharistomen — convinced that this multi-faceted term expressed everything that could be said at such a moment. Eucharistomen expresses a human “thank you”; a “thank you” to everyone. First of all, thank you, Holy Father! Your goodness, evident from the moment of your election, has continually impressed me, and greatly sustains my interior life. The Vatican Gardens, even for all their beauty, are not my true home: my true home is your goodness. There, I feel safe. Thank you also for the kind words of gratitude, for everything. We hope that you will continue to go forward with all of us on this road of Divine Mercy, showing us the way of Jesus, toward Jesus, toward God.

Thanks to you as well, Your Eminence (Cardinal Sodano), for the words that have touched me deeply: Cor ad cor loquitur. You have reminded me of the day of my priestly ordination, as well as my visit to Freising in 2006, where I had the opportunity to relive that special day. I can only say that your words have captured the essence of my vision of the priesthood and my work as a priest. I am grateful to you for the bond of friendship that has long continued up to now, roof to roof [here the Pope emeritus refers to the close proximity of their homes]: it’s so close you can reach out and touch it.

Thank you, Cardinal Müller, for your work in helping me to publish my written reflections on the priesthood in which I try to help our brother priests to enter ever anew the mystery by which the Lord places himself into our hands.

“Eucharistomen”: at that moment, my friend [Ruper] Berger wished to allude not only to the dimension of human gratitude, but especially to the deeper underlying meaning that appears in the Liturgy, in Scripture, in the words gratias agens benedixit fregit deditque. Eucharistomen harks back to the reality of thanksgiving, to the new dimension that Christ imparts to it. The cross, suffering, all that is wrong with the world: he transformed all this into “thanks” and therefore into a “blessing”. Hence he fundamentally transubstantiated life and the world, and he has given us and gives us each day the bread of true life, which transcends this world thanks to the strength of His love.

Finally, we wish to insert ourselves into the “thanks” of the Lord, and thus truly receive the newness of life and contribute to the “transubstantiation” of the world so that it might not be a place of death, but of life: a world in which love has conquered death.

I thank you all. May the Lord bless you.

Thank you, Holy Father.

Commemoration of the 65th anniversary of priestly ordination of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
Words of thanks of the Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
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