Franciscan University will host The Josef Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation for a conference celebrating his work.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s time as pope was short, but his impact was enormous. His profound words continue to shape philosophy, theology, and the life of the Church and the world.
An upcoming conference at Franciscan University will celebrate his thought and his important contributions.
The university will host The Josef Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation for the conference on October 19-21.
The theme of the conference is “Joseph Ratzinger’s Vision of the Church and Its Relevance for Contemporary Challenges.” Its purpose is to explore the riches of his thought and apply it to the challenges facing the Church today.
Attendees can expect a rich feast of faith and intellectual inquiry on a host of interesting and relevant themes and issues that touch the life and nature of the Church: culture, church and state, history and eschatology, synodality, the liturgy, petrine primacy, Scripture, ecumenism, secularism, pastoral care, evangelization, the role of women, and much more.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s vision can help the Church overcome critical challenges. Here are some of his most penetrating insights …
On understanding what people really need
“Seeing with the eyes of Christ, I can give to others much more than their outward necessities; I can give them the look of love which they crave.”
On the hope that lives beneath the hardest times
“If you follow the will of God, you know that in spite of all the terrible things that happen to you, you will never lose a final refuge. You know that the foundation of the world is love, so that even when no human being can or will help you, you may go on, trusting in the One that loves you.”
On the role of women in Christianity
“It is theologically and anthropologically important for woman to be at the center of Christianity. Through Mary, and the other holy women, the feminine element stands at the heart of the Christian religion.”
On responding to evil with hope and faith
“To have Christian hope means to know about evil and yet to go to meet the future with confidence. The core of faith rests upon accepting being loved by God, and therefore to believe is to say Yes, not only to him, but to creation, to creatures, above all, to men, to try to see the image of God in each person and thereby to become a lover.”
On giving our lives to God without holding anything back
“If we let Christ enter fully into our lives, if we open ourselves totally to him, are we not afraid that He might take something away from us? Are we not perhaps afraid to give up something significant, something unique, something that makes life so beautiful? … No! If we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful and great. No! Only in this friendship are the doors of life opened wide. Only in this friendship is the great potential of human existence truly revealed. Only in this friendship do we experience beauty and liberation. And so, today, with great strength and great conviction, on the basis of long personal experience of life, I say to you, dear young people: Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away, and he gives you everything. When we give ourselves to him, we receive a hundredfold in return.”
On the purpose of true education
“The aim of all Christian education, moreover, is to train the believer in an adult faith that can make him a ‘new creation,’ capable of bearing witness in his surroundings to the Christian hope that inspires him.”
On God’s call to love wildly, generously, joyfully, and totally
“My dear young friends, I want to invite you to ‘dare to love.’ Do not desire anything less for your life than a love that is strong and beautiful and that is capable of making the whole of your existence a joyful undertaking of giving yourselves as a gift to God and your brothers and sisters, in imitation of the One who vanquished hatred and death for ever through love (cf. Rev 5:13).”
On the need for beauty in our lives, homes, churches, and liturgy
“Beauty, then, is not mere decoration, but rather an essential element of the liturgical action, since it is an attribute of God himself and his revelation. These considerations should make us realize the care which is needed, if the liturgical action is to reflect its innate splendor.”