Thought of the Day September 2, 2019 Pope Benedict XVI on mourning

By 10:18 AM


Pope Benedict XVI gives us his insight into the efficacy of mourning for the sins of the world.
“Tradition has yielded another image of mourning that brings salvation: Mary standing under the Cross with her sister, the wife of Clopas, with Mary Magdalene, and with John (Jn 19:25ff.). Once again, as in the vision of Ezekiel, we encounter here the small band of people who remain true in a world full of cruelty and cynicism or else with fearful conformity. They cannot avert the disaster, but by “suffering with” the one condemned (by their com-passion in the etymological sense) they place themselves on his side, and by their “loving with” they are on the side of God, who is love. This “com-passion” reminds us of the magnificent saying in Saint Bernard of Clairvaux’s commentary on the Song of Songs (sermon 26, no. 5): “Impassibilis est Deus, sed non incompassibilis”—God cannot suffer, but he can “suffer with.” At the foot of Jesus’ Cross we understand better than anywhere else what it means to say “blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Those who do not harden their hearts to the pain and need of others, who do not give evil entry to their souls, but suffer under its power and so acknowledge the truth of God—they are the ones who open the windows of the world to let the light in. It is to those who mourn in this sense that great consolation is promised. (Jesus of Nazareth (p. 87)
He goes on to say: “The mourning of which the Lord speaks is nonconformity with evil; it is a way of resisting models of behavior that the individual is pressured to accept because “everyone does it.” The world cannot tolerate this kind of resistance; it demands conformity. It considers this mourning to be an accusation directed against the numbing of consciences. And so it is. That is why those who mourn suffer persecution for the sake of righteousness Jesus of Nazareth (pp. 87-88 )

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