And now, at this moment, weak servant of God that I am, I must assume this enormous task, which truly exceeds all human capacity. How can I do this? How will I be able to do it? All of you, my dear friends, have just invoked the entire host of saints, represented by some of the great names in the history of God’s dealings with mankind. In this way, I too can say with renewed conviction: I am not alone. I do not have to carry alone what in truth I could never carry alone. All the saints of God are there to protect me, to sustain me, and to carry me. And your prayers, my dear friends, your indulgence, your love, your faith, and your hope accompany me.
Before we explore Pope Benedict’s words in more depth, it will be helpful to get a better sense of the man himself.
This is especially important because, despite his fame, not many people have a complete understanding of who Pope Benedict XVI is beyond some very basic facts. And unfortunately, we sometimes hear things that are twisted by an unsympathetic or even hostile observer, giving us an unfair and inaccurate caricature of him.
Knowing a bit about Pope Benedict’s life and intellectual interests will help us as we listen to what he has to tell us about Jesus. We’ll be able to see how the way he speaks about friendship with Jesus flows naturally from his own life experiences as well as from his chosen areas of study and research.
Pope Benedict speaks regularly and with great conviction about what…
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