14 Apostolate


    "We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary. There is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with Christ. There is nothing more beautiful than to know Him and to speak to others of our friendship with Him. The task of the shepherd, the task of the fisher of men, can often seem wearisome. But it is beautiful and wonderful, because it is truly a service to joy, to God’s joy which longs to break into the world." (Benedict XVI, Homily during the Installation Ceremony, 24 April 2005)

Friendship with Jesus is such a beautiful gift that it cannot be kept for oneself! Those who receive this gift feel the need to pass it on to others, and so when the gift is shared it is not reduced but rather is multiplied! (Benedict XVI, Letter to the children of the Pontifical Missionary Childhood Society, Austria, 9 September 2007)


    3 Benedictus Deus et Pater Domini nostri Iesu Christi,
    Pater misericordiarum et Deus totius consolationis,
    4 qui consolatur nos in omni tribulatione nostra,
    ut possimus et ipsi consolari eos, qui in omni pressura sunt,
    per exhortationem, qua exhortamur et ipsi a Deo.

    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
    a gentle Father [the Father of mercies] and the God of all consolation,
    who comforts us in all our sorrows,
    so that we can offer others, in their sorrows,
    the consolation that we have received from God ourselves.
    (II Corinthians 1:3-4)


    "On another occasion very important for future history, before the Passion some Greeks who had gone to Jerusalem for the Passover 'came to Philip... and said to him, Sir, we wish to see Jesus. Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew went with Philip and they told Jesus' (cf. Jn 12: 20-22).
    "Once again, we have an indication of his special prestige within the Apostolic College. In this case, Philip acts above all as an intermediary between the request of some Greeks - he probably spoke Greek and could serve as an interpreter - and Jesus; even if he joined Andrew, the other Apostle with a Greek name, he was in any case the one whom the foreigners addressed.
    "This teaches us always to be ready to accept questions and requests, wherever they come from, and to direct them to the Lord, the only one who can fully satisfy them. Indeed, it is important to know that the prayers of those who approach us are not ultimately addressed to us, but to the Lord: it is to him that we must direct anyone in need. So it is that each one of us must be an open road towards him!"
    (Benedict XVI, Philip, the Apostle in the General Audience, 6 September 2006)


Pray and speak of Me. Do not feel any false shame in naming Me in your speech. By pronouncing My name graces sparkle around. Did you not know? Among so many words pronounced in a day, we rarely hear the word God. And yet everybody moves in Me and I have saved them all. (Locution to Gabriela Bossis, God's Spiritual Direction (Messages from Heaven). Transl. Fr Adolf Faroni, SDB. Manila: Don Bosco Press, 2000, p 84)

Do not fear to mention My name in conversation, because all, even without knowing, need Me. The name of God can awaken good in souls. Sow My name. I will provide for their growth and for their bearing fruits. And they will come to you to hear you speaking of Me. But do not fear, because I will take upon myself the greatest part of your work. My happiness is to help you. [locution after receiving communion] (Locution to Gabriela Bossis, God's Spiritual Direction (Messages from Heaven). Transl. Fr Adolf Faroni, SDB. Manila: Don Bosco Press, 2000, pp 26-27)


    "Above all, I found St Augustine's great humanity fascinating, because from the outset as a catechumen he was simply unable to identify with the Church, but instead had to have a spiritual struggle to find, little by little, access to the Word of God, to life with God, until he said his great "yes" to his Church.
    "This journey is so human. In it, we can also today see how one begins to enter into contact with God, how all the forms of our natural resistance must be taken seriously and then channelled to arrive at the great "yes" to the Lord. Thus, his theology conquered me in a very personal way, developed above all by preaching.
    (Benedict XVI, Dialogue With Seminarians of the Roman Major Seminary, 17 February 2007)


    "Peter wanted as Messiah a "divine man" who would fulfil the expectations of the people by imposing his power upon them all: we would also like the Lord to impose his power and transform the world instantly. Jesus presented himself as a "human God", the Servant of God, who turned the crowd's expectations upside-down by taking a path of humility and suffering.
    "This is the great alternative that we must learn over and over again: to give priority to our own expectations, rejecting Jesus, or to accept Jesus in the truth of his mission and set aside all too human expectations.
    "Peter, impulsive as he was, did not hesitate to take Jesus aside and rebuke him. Jesus' answer demolished all his false expectations, calling him to conversion and to follow him: "Get behind me, Satan! For you are not on the side of God, but of men" (Mk 8: 33). It is not for you to show me the way; I take my own way and you should follow me.
    "Peter thus learned what following Jesus truly means. It was his second call, similar to Abraham's in Genesis 22, after that in Genesis 12: "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the Gospel's will save it" (Mk 8: 34-35). This is the demanding rule of the following of Christ: one must be able, if necessary, to give up the whole world to save the true values, to save the soul, to save the presence of God in the world (cf. Mk 8: 36-37). And though with difficulty, Peter accepted the invitation and continued his life in the Master's footsteps.
    "And it seems to me that these conversions of St Peter on different occasions, and his whole figure, are a great consolation and a great lesson for us. We too have a desire for God, we too want to be generous, but we too expect God to be strong in the world and to transform the world on the spot, according to our ideas and the needs that we perceive.
    "God chooses a different way. God chooses the way of the transformation of hearts in suffering and in humility. And we, like Peter, must convert, over and over again. We must follow Jesus and not go before him: it is he who shows us the way.
    "So it is that Peter tells us: You think you have the recipe and that it is up to you to transform Christianity, but it is the Lord who knows the way. It is the Lord who says to me, who says to you: follow me! And we must have the courage and humility to follow Jesus, because he is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
    (Benedict XVI, Peter the Fisherman in the General Audience, 17 May 2006)

(One of the letters of Archbishop Perier, SJ, to Mother Teresa)

...Take a little time. If Our Lord wishes to work miracles in this case certainly He can do it, but we have no right to expect them and He does not work miracles without a very good reason. Be patient. By writing yourself now to Rome you might spoil the whole outcome of your petition. Perhaps the Very Reverend Mother general has written herself already. Just wait for a reply. Do not rush things, and do not expect others to rush them either. ... In due time the reply will come, remain quiet. Pray much and live intimately with Our Lord Jesus Christ asking for light, strength, decision; but do not anticipate HIS WORK. Try not to put anything of your own in all this. You are His instrument, nothing more. ... If Our Lord wants it to be done quickly He can arrange that; in the meantime being human creatures we must act according to our means. (Blessed Mother Teresa, Come Be My Light, p 112)