May You See Your Redeemer Face-to-Face

Editor’s word: In commemoration of the current dying of Pope Benedict XVI, Catholic Exchange is issuing a collection of reflections on a few of his most monumental encyclicals, excerpted from James Day’s 2016 e-book Father Benedict:The Spiritual and Intellectual Legacy of Pope Benedict XVI.

Pope Benedict XVI additionally considers the Last Judgment as key to understanding Christian hope. While it’s only proper to obtain a simply account of 1’s life—the doctrine of explicit judgment—hope within the unconditional love of God leads one to hope for each compassion and comfort when dealing with remaining judgment: God’s “mercy endures eternally” (cf. Ps. 136). However, “Christ’s mercy is just not a grace that comes low-cost, nor does it indicate the trivialization of evil.” Belief within the Last Judgment coincides with anticipating the Kingdom of God: it’s not one thing to be feared, however is lived in hope as a result of “in hope we had been saved.”

We who’ve lived in justice and fact can anticipate to be met with that very same justice and fact in dying. Still, Benedict acknowledges the problem nearly all of individuals face in forging an genuine life: “Much filth covers purity, however the thirst for purity stays and it nonetheless consistently reemerges from all that’s base and stays current within the soul. What occurs to such people once they seem earlier than the Judge?” The Pope doesn’t draw back from the picture of passing by way of fireplace, quoting a startling passage from Paul: “Now if anyone builds on the inspiration with gold, silver, treasured stones, wooden, hay, stubble—every man’s work will turn into manifest; for the Day will disclose it, as a result of it is going to be revealed with fireplace” (1 Cor. 3:12–13). But then, as we have now seen on this examine on hope and love, though we could should cross by way of the hearth revealing the reality of our character, it will probably solely be the hearth of God we encounter, and thus the hearth not of wrath however of mercy—the hearth of affection.

This encounter with him, because it burns us, transforms and frees us, permitting us to turn into actually ourselves. All that we construct throughout our lives can show to be mere straw, pure bluster, and it collapses. Yet within the ache of this encounter, when the impurity and illness of our lives turn into evident to us, there lies salvation. His gaze, the contact of his coronary heart heals us by way of an undeniably painful transformation “as by way of fireplace.” But it’s a blessed ache, during which the holy energy of his love sears by way of us like a flame, enabling us to turn into completely ourselves and thus
completely of God.

At the World Meeting of Families in 2012, Pope Benedict recalled his childhood when prompted by a seven-year-old woman along with her household from Vietnam. Even within the devastation wrought by the Nazi regime and within the aftereffects of the conflict, “the mutual love that we shared, our pleasure, even in easy issues, was so robust that it enabled us to endure and overcome this stuff,” Benedict recalled, linking easy and little issues as an expression of warmheartedness.
“And so we grew up satisfied that it was good to be human, as a result of we noticed God’s goodness mirrored in our mother and father and our brothers and sisters.”

And given his future retirement and lifetime of solitude that might comply with his time as successor of Saint Peter, Pope Benedict disclosed to the gathered {couples} and households a private, shifting hope: “When I attempt to think about what Heaven can be like, I feel it should be just like the time once I was a small boy. In this setting of belief, pleasure and love, we had been completely happy, and I feel that Heaven should be moderately like these early years. So in a manner, I’m hoping to return ‘dwelling’ once I go away ‘for the opposite a part of the world’.”

“May you see your Redeemer face-to-face,” imparts the prayer for the dying. Benedict XVI reveals us that though residing out religion, hope, and love is just not with out its challenges, its reward is Someone who has been ready for us all alongside. We are dwelling.

Image by Marco Iacobucci Epp on Shutterstock



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