Thursday, February 22, 2007

Feast of the Chair of St. Peter

Today the Church celebrates the feast of the Chair of St. Peter which honors the authority that Christ gave to Peter, the first Pope, and his successors. It focuses on the office of the Holy Father which is to continue to teach as Christ himself taught, especially with regards to faith and morals. The following is an article from Catholic News Services:

"Pope asks for prayers for his ministry on feast of Chair of St. Peter"

"With hundreds of candles lighting a sculpture of the Chair of St. Peter behind him, Pope Benedict XVI encouraged Catholics to grow in their faith and asked for prayers for his ministry as the successor of St. Peter. Celebrating the Feb. 22 feast of the Chair of Peter, Apostle, Pope Benedict held part of his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Basilica, where Gian Lorenzo Bernini's statue is located, and part in the Vatican audience hall, where he announced he would create 15 new cardinals.

In greeting Italian students in the basilica and in his talks in 10 languages in the audience hall, the pope offered a reflection on the ministry of St. Peter as Jesus' choice as leader of the Apostles. He encouraged the estimated 8,000 people in the audience hall to spend some time in St. Peter's Basilica, looking at the Bernini statue specially lighted for the feast day 'and to pray in a particular way for the ministry which God has entrusted to me.'

'Raising your gaze to the alabaster window just above the chair, invoke the Holy Spirit so that with his light and his strength he would always sustain my daily service to the entire church,' the pope said. Pope Benedict explained that the feast day celebrates the ministry of St. Peter as bishop of Rome, a ministry symbolized by his chair, the symbol of his responsibility for teaching the faith and of his authority.

'Providence led Peter to Rome, where he ended his service to the Gospel with martyrdom,' the pope said. 'For this reason, the see of Rome, which received great honor, also received the responsibility Christ entrusted to Peter to serve all of the particular churches for the edification and unity of the entire people of God,' he said.

As successor of St. Peter, he said, the pope is called not only to serve the church in Rome, but to guide the universal church. 'Celebrating the chair of Peter means, then, attributing to it a strong spiritual significance and recognizing it as a privileged sign of the love of God, the good and eternal pastor, who wants to gather the entire church and guide it on the path of salvation,' the pope said."


At 2:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think a lot about sin. As Fr. Mike explained in his homily just yesterday, sin keeps us apart from God. The key to being close to God is avoiding sin and trying to overcome our sinful nature. But what sins are we talking about? I think that what keeps most people from God are not the specific sins or sinful omissions that we typically confess -- i.e., getting drunk, occasionally missing Mass, swearing, gossiping (I'm omitting biggies like murder or child abuse because they're in another league), -- but it's something deeper that goes to our basic openness to God's truth or lack of it. This is something deep and hard to see in yourself. But that's the sin -- staying blind to the truth and the light. Really -- cussing and gossiping don't keep us from God. I wish they did because they are easy to stop. The real obstacle is a kind of visceral rejection that we for the most part don't even realize we are doing. I've attempted to confess to this sin and the priest just looked at me like I'm a freak. I'm not saying this to read my own words. I think about this a lot and wonder what fellow bloggers think of it.

At 10:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 2:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Poem
I knelt to pray but not for long,
I had too much to do.
I had to hurry and get to work
For bills would soon be due.
So I knelt and said a hurried prayer,
And jumped up off my knees.
My Christian duty was now done
My soul could rest at ease.....
All day long I had no time
To spread a word of cheer
No time to speak of Christ to friends,
They'd laugh at me I'd fear.
No time, no time, too much to do,
That was my constant cry,
No time to give to souls in need
But at last the time, the time to die.
I went before the Lord,
I came, I stood with downcast eyes.
For in his hands God held a book;
It was the book of life.
God looked into his book and said
"Your name I cannot find
I once was going to write it down...
But never found the time"

At 2:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lamb of God,
who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Lamb of God,
who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Lamb of God,
who takest away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

At 12:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why did you remove the prayer?

At 11:33 AM, Anonymous Tom said...

Really -- cussing and gossiping don't keep us from God. I wish they did because they are easy to stop. The real obstacle is a kind of visceral rejection that we for the most part don't even realize we are doing.

You may be getting at the difference between venial sins, which don't turn us completely away from love of God, and capital vices (a.k.a., the seven deadly sins), the deeply rooted dispositions against the good God intends for us that give rise to all the many particular sins we commit.

Venial sins are easier to notice: they're pretty simple and straightforward and obvious. They're also safer to notice: you don't even need to go to confession to be forgiven them.

Not that you shouldn't confess them. As the Catechism says, "the regular confession of our venial sins helps us form our conscience, fight against evil tendencies, let ourselves be healed by Christ and progress in the life of the Spirit."

But I think you're right that we might wind up confessing our everyday faults when there's something more fundamental keeping us from God.


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