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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Fr Álvaro Corcuera, LC: Pope Benedict XVI, Vicar of Christ
"He stops, without hurrying. He knows how to listen and encourage others – he is warm and welcoming. It is easy to see the kindness of Christ in his glance and in how he greets people."

Audiencia con el papa
The Holy Father Benedict XVI greets Fr. Álvaro Corcuera, L.C. (Photograph: L'Osservatore Romano)

Rome, April 16th, 2007. Fr. Álvaro Corcuera, LC, general director of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi apostolic movement, wrote an article about the birthday of Pope Benedict XVI for the Semanario Alba.
We publish the text below.


I have had the grace to meet the Holy Father on several occasions, and I am always impressed by the intense and simultaneously simple and spontaneous expressions of his personal love for Jesus Christ.  It is a love that is demonstrated in his words and gestures, in his greeting, in his external presence and, mainly, in his way of celebrating the Eucharist.  Everything in his person and his ministry is focused on Jesus Christ.

It is a love that has taken him to give himself totally to God’s will like Jesus, who put himself into the hands of his Father.  The Pope explained it to us in the homily of the Mass for the inauguration of his Pontificate, in St. Peter’s Square on April 24th, 2005: "My real program of governance is not to do my own will, not to pursue my own ideas, but to listen, together with the whole Church, to the word and the will of the Lord, to be guided by Him, so that he himself will lead the Church at this hour of our history".

Another facet of the Holy Father that attracts my attention is his passion to communicate to the whole world that God is love, and that Christ is the first and greatest expression of this divine love to man.  The Pope declares that as Christians, we much transmit this love with our words and works.  Jesus Christ calls us to be with Him, to live with Him and to see everything from his love.  Our answer has to be to fulfil the adventure of communicating Christ to the others.

Whenever I have the happiness to meet the Pope it surprises me the way in which he greets each person.  He stops, without haste, he knows to listen, to welcome, to encourage.  It is easy to see the kindness of Christ in his glance.  Some years ago, two seminarians that recently had arrived at Rome looked for a store near St. Peter, but they did not find it.  They noticed a passingclergyman with a briefcase in the hand.  The seminarians asked him if by chance he knew where was the store they were looking for.  He kindly gave them directions and he even accompanied them.  The seminarians thanked him.  Later they realized that the affable priest had been Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger who, like every day, was going home from his office at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.  This is the simplicity and charity of our Pope.  This is the experience of the man who loves Chist, meek and humble of heart.

The Pope also teaches and encourages us to love the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Every day prays the rosary in his apartment..  In Our Lady he finds the Mother who fulfils him of peace.

We know that the cross that weighs on shoulders of the Vicar of Christ can be humanly unbearable.  But the Pope Benedict XVI carries it trusting in the Lord, with the strength that God gives, and looking only to faithfully fulfil his mission of shepherd following the way planned by God.  Only God will know the suffering of the Pope.  And nevertheless, He is who helps his children to accept with ease  the weight of the cross.

During the celebration of Palm Sunday at St. Peter’s Square, the Pope explained to the youth the meaning of following Christ nowadays: "…it is an interior change of life.  It requires me no longer to be withdrawn into myself, considering my own fulfilment the main reason for my life. (…) It is a question of the fundamental decision no longer to consider usefulness and gain, my career and success as the ultimate goals of my life, but instead to recognize truth and love as authentic criteria.  It is a question of choosing between living only for myself – for what is greater.  And let us understand properly that truth and love are not abstract values, in Jesus Christ they have become a person.  By following him, I enter into the service of truth and love.  By losing myself I find myself.” 

Let us follow Christ very united to his Vicar on earth.  It will be the best gift to our beloved Holy Father for his 80th birthday.

Fr. Álvaro Corcuera, LC
General Director
Legionaries of Christ
Regnum Christi Apostolic Movement

April 16th, 2007



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