Going against the Flow

Vatican Radio
September 19, 2010

On Saturday 18th September Pope Benedict XVI enjoyed encounters with both the old and the young . Sean Patrick Lovett reports :

Everybody's talking about it.

It was the breaking news of the day, now it's the front page news of the day after. It was the one event that everyone was waiting for: the Pope's meeting with the victims of sexual abuse and the "sorrow and shame" he expressed before, during and after the encounter.

So can we talk about something else now?

For example, I wish you could have seen the 83 year-old Pope chatting to his fellow octogenarians at St Peter's Residence for the aged on Saturday afternoon. What he said there were some of the most touching and personal things I've ever heard him say...

"I come to you as a brother who knows well the joys and struggles that come with age. Our long years of life afford us the opportunity to appreciate both the beauty of God's greatest gift to us, the gift of life, as well as the fragility of the human spirit".

It was a day of contrasts. On Saturday morning, the Pope had a chance to speak to young people gathered outside Westminster Cathedral and representing every single diocese in Britain and Wales. Some of them wore football jerseys with the name "Benedict" and number "16" on the back. Others waved flags with the pseudo football result: "England 4 Benedict 16" (get it?). With them, the Pope went right to the heart of the matter and talked to them about "love"...

"Think of all the love that your heart was made to receive, and all the love it is meant to give. After all, we were made for love".

It was a heart-felt message that could be applied to the not-so-young as well...

"Even amid the busy-ness and the stress of our daily lives, we need to make space for silence, because it is in silence that we find God, and in silence that we discover our true self".

Now, I don't know about you but that was something I really needed to hear.

Any original material on these pages is copyright 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.