23-February-2013 -- Vatican Information Service |

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Pope Concludes Lenten Retreat

Vatican City, 23 February 2013 (VIS) - At the conclusion of this year's spiritual exercises, Benedict XVI thanked the members of the Curia who had accompanied him in these days and Cardinal Gianfranco Ravisi, who led the retreat. The Pope referred to his preaching, the theme of which was "The Art of Believing, the Art of Praying" as "'beautiful' walks through the universe of faith, and the universe of the Psalms."

"I was reminded of the fact," Benedict XVI said, "that the medieval theologians have translated the word 'logos' not only as 'verbum', but also as 'ars'. 'Verbum' and 'ars' are interchangeable. Only in the two together does the entire meaning of the word 'logos' appear for medieval theologians. The 'Logos' is not simply a mathematical reasoning, the 'Logos' has a heart. The 'Logos' is also love. Truth is beautiful. Truth and beauty go together. Beauty is the seal of truth."

"And yet you, starting from the Psalms and from our everyday experience, have also strongly emphasized that the 'very beautiful' of the sixth day—expressed by the creator—is always challenged in this world by evil, suffering, and corruption. It almost seems that evil wants to permanently mar creation, to contradict God and to make His truth and His beauty unrecognisable. In a world that is also so marked by evil, the 'Logos', eternal beauty and eternal 'ars', should appear as the 'caput cruentatum'. The incarnate Son, the incarnate 'Logos' is crowned with a crown of thorns and, nevertheless, just that way, in this suffering figure of the Son of God, we begin to see the most profound beauty of our Creator and Redeemer. In the silence of the 'dark night' we can still hear the Word. Believing is nothing other than, in the darkness of the world, touching the hand of God and thus, in silence, listening to the Word, seeing Love."

Benedict XVI again thanked Cardinal Ravasi, expressing his wish to "take other 'walks' in this mysterious universe of the faith and to always be more capable of praying, proclaiming, and being witnesses to the truth, which is beauty and which is love."

"In conclusion, dear friends," he finished, "I would like to thank all of you and not only for this week, but for these past eight years that you have carried with me—with great skill, affection, love and faith—the weight of the Petrine ministry. This gratitude remains with me and, even if this 'exterior', 'visible' communion—as Cardinal Ravasi said—is now ending, our spiritual closeness remains, the deep communion in prayer. We go forward with this certainty, certain of God's victory, certain of the truth of beauty and love."



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