BENEDICT XVI • 1 PREFACE PART ONE: BENEDICT XVI, THE MAN 4 His youth - Delicate Joys, passions, and great sorrows 6 Priest - Theologian 20 Archbishop of Munich - Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith 36 Pope - Successor of Saint Peter 48 PART TWO: BENEDICT XVI’S THOUGHT 66 Divine Revelation 68 Christ, the Fullness of Revelation 74 The Church 80 Mary 86 Eucharist and Charity 88 Faith and Reason 90 Europe 96 Eschatology: the last things 100 PART THREE: PRAYING WITH BENEDICT XVI 104 Our Father 106 Psalm 23 108 Psalm 139 110 Psalm 126 112 Psalm 22 116 Looking to Christ 118 Prayers in times of sorrow 120 Intercession for the whole Church 122 Evening prayers 124

P R E F A C E BENEDICT XVI • 3 2 • BENEDICT XVI Most Holy Father, When you were Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, you did me the honor of receiving me on several occasions. I was won over by your exquisite courtesy. What struck me most, or rather touched me most, was the delicate intellectual charity you showed me. And then you became, under the name of Benedict XVI, the 265th successor of Peter. You lost none of your affectionate modesty in your elevation to the pontificate. Yes, it is you, the same man I knew, gentle and humble, even reserved, who have exercised the supreme ministry of servant of the servants of God. Like Peter speaking to the Centurion, your attitude seemed to say: Get up. I myself am also a human being (Acts 10:26). For you, true charity consists essentially in leading those you love to the Father through Jesus Christ, our brother in humanity, our God and our Savior. But you were not unaware of the difficulties of your new office: your homily at the conclave, for the Mass pro eligendo romano pontifice, gave the difficult program of the pontificate to come: “Christ's mercy is not a grace that comes cheap, nor does it imply the trivialization of evil,” you observed. You remained the same, in everything, but in everything with breadth and length and height and depth, which are given only to those to whom the Lord has said: When you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go ( Jn 21:18). For your first Christmas as pope (2005), you published Deus caritas est, “God is love.” Your purpose is clear: to point out the spiritual way that surpasses all others (1 Cor 12:31): “I wish in my first Encyclical to speak of the love which God lavishes upon us and which we in turn must share with others.” Your work is a masterpiece that has met with immense success and touched many hearts. Authentic love can only be lived in truth, which should be particularly true in the Church of Christ. Have you not said on several occasions that: “The greatest persecution of the church does not come from enemies on the outside, but is born in sin inside the church”? The measures you took to put an end to financial scandals and sexual abuse revealed your determination and your courage. But by the age of 85, you were clearly aware that the difficulty of your task had increased in the same proportion as your strength to face it had diminished. Out of love for the Church, whose trials call for a pope in full possession of his powers, you made the decision to resign from your ministry. After the election of your successor, Pope Francis, you retired to the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican gardens. For many years, God would give you life there. You were able to dedicate yourself once again to study, meditation, and prayer, interceding unceasingly for the Church that you loved so much. Today, Holy Father, you have been welcomed into the bosom of the Father: now we can tell you, without embarrassing your modesty, that we have loved you, as a theologian, as the “right-hand man” to Pope John Paul II, both as pope and as a man. Here you are in the company of the One whom you have dedicated your life to loving in each of his brothers and sisters. May you, through the intercession of the true Mater Ecclesiae, ask him, close to his heart, to remember that he is the true head of his Church, who promised: I am with you always, until the end of the age. BY PIERRE-MARIE DUMONT, Founding Publisher of Magnificat © Osservatore Romano

1 J. Ratzinger, Milestones: Memoirs 1927–1977, San Francisco: Ignatius, 1998, p. 156. Benedict XVI, the man “In the meantime I have carried my load to Rome and have now been wandering the streets of the Eternal City for a long time. I do not know when I will be released, but one thing I do know: that the exclamation applies to me too: ‘I have become your donkey, and in just this way am I with you.’” 1 © Alamy 4 • BENEDICT XVI BENEDICT XVI • 5 In 2010, the Compostela Holy Year, Benedict XVI goes to Spain. In the Cathedral Basilica of Santiago de Compostela, he recalls that Europe remains true to its history when it is open to God.

The man His youth Delicate joys, passions, and great sorrows Joseph Ratzinger lives a happy childhood in a devoted and peaceful family. He loves God, his studies, music, and the Alps. But all around him the country sees the rise of Nazism. His father, a policeman, is in the top row. Soon, Germany will sink into war. The Ratzinger family celebrates the 80th birthday of Katharina, Joseph’s paternal grandmother. On the Bavarian farm of Rickering, Joseph, in the first row on the right, is four years old. His brother Georg, in white on the left, is seven. His sister Maria, nine years old, is standing in a bright dress next to the Reverend Georg Ratzinger, the celebrity of the family. His parents are standing on the right. © 2011 by Michael Hesemann 6 • BENEDICT XVI BENEDICT XVI • 7 B E N E D I C T X V I

UNDER THE SNOW, THE SIGN OF HOLY SATURDAY What would have happened if on that day the thoughtful gaze of a gentle pastry chef from a Munich hotel had not rested suddenly on an astonishing advertisement, published among thousands of others in the local Catholic newspaper? “State employee, single, Catholic, forty-three years old, seeks matrimony, as soon as possible, a capable Catholic girl.”2 Maria Rieger was not afraid, and that is how she met Joseph. Mary and Joseph—a good beginning to the story. In 1925, after the births of Maria and Georg, the Ratzinger family moved to Southern Bavaria to Marktl am Inn. The official residence assigned to Joseph, a policeman, took up the first floor of a large ochre building with cheerful green shutters on the market square. One April morning, all in white because snow had covered the village like a thick and silent carpet, young Georg woke up perceiving an unusual restlessness in the house. Footsteps resounded in the hall, doors slammed. “Father, I want to get up!” he said, still under the covers in his bed. And he heard the voice of his father answer: “No, you must wait awhile; today we [will] have a little baby boy!”3 It was first light on Holy Saturday, April 16, 1927. According to the custom of the time, the Paschal liturgy was being celebrated during those morning hours. It was bitterly cold. The father snugly wrapped the newborn and brought him immediately to the church. Thus, right after coming into the world, little Joseph was baptized with the newly blessed Easter water. “I have always been filled with thanksgiving for having had my life immersed in this way in the Easter mystery, since this could only be a sign of blessing. To be sure, it was not Easter Sunday but Holy Saturday, but, the more I reflect on it, the more this seems to be fitting for the nature of our human life: we are still awaiting Easter; we are not yet standing in the full light but walking toward it full of trust.”4 “A very good day, which in some sense hints at my conception of history and my own situation: on the threshold of Easter, but not yet through the door.”5 2 E. Guerriero, Benedict XVI: His Life and Thought, San Francisco: Ignatius, 2018, p. 23. 3 G. Ratzinger and M. Hesemann, My Brother, the Pope, San Francisco: Ignatius, 2011, p. 38. 4 Milestones, pp. 8–9. 5 J. Ratzinger, Salt of the Earth: The Church at the End of the Millennium, an Interview with Peter Seewald, San Francisco: Ignatius, 1997, p. 42. B E N E D I C T X V I the man Joseph, five years old, book bag on his back, prepares to leave for school. In 1932, the Ratzinger family lives in Aschau am Inn. The third child of Joseph and Maria Ratzinger, Joseph sees daylight on April 16, 1927 in Marktl, a small Bavarian village on the Austrian border. His father being a policeman, his family lives in accommodations provided by his father’s work, the first story of a big house overlooking the marketplace and Saint Oswald’s Church. That morning, Holy Saturday, the village wakes up under the snow. The newborn is immediately brought to the Church to be baptized. © Leemage © 2011 by Michael Hesemann, AKG, Wikicommons 8 • BENEDICT XVI BENEDICT XVI • 9

THREATS IN A GENTLE SKY When Joseph was two years old, the family packed their bags for a new destination: Tittmoning, a small village on the Austrian border: “Tittmoning remains my childhood’s land of dreams. There is the big, even majestic, town square with its noble fountain surrounded by the proud old houses of burghers,” the pope would remember with emotion. For now, the small child, who has just barely begun to walk, stares in wonder at the Christmas shop windows glowing in the night, “like a wonderful promise.”6 However, a voiceless menace hovered over this joyful and gentle sky: “But we also sensed that our happy childhood world was not set in a paradise. Behind the beautiful façades much silent poverty was concealed.… The political climate had visibly intensified. The Nazi party gained ever stronger ascendancy…. We could very clearly sense the immense anxiety weighing [Father] down.”7 As a policeman, Joseph Ratzinger opposed the Brown shirts on several occasions, building himself a perilous reputation in the region as an anti-Nazi. For the security of the family, a change of scenery became preferable; thus, at the end of the year 1932, the Ratzingers moved to Aschau, a large, quiet village on the river Inn. Little Joseph was a bit disappointed. Fortunately, a Bavarian pub brought joy to the town and, in the garden of the new house, a great lawn sprawled, along with a carp pond in which he would almost drown while playing. The nex t yea r, in Janua r y 1933, Hindenburg handed over his powers as Chancellor of the Reich to Hitler. The net was closing. In Aschau, the schoolchildren had to march through the village in line under a sinister rain, and from now on, Georg and Maria were required to participate in the parades of the new “Hitler Youth.” “It mortified my father to have to work now for a government whose representatives he considered to be criminals…. As far as I can see, the sole result of the new regime, during the four years we spent here, was the practice of spying and informing on priests who behaved as ‘enemies of the Reich.’ It goes without saying that my father had no part in this. On the contrary, he would warn and aid priests he knew were in danger.”8 6 Milestones, p. 10. 7 Ibid., p. 12. 8 Ibid., p. 14. In 1932 the Nazis are about to take power. The Ratzinger family prudently moves to Aschau. On January 30, 1933, Hindenburg resolves to name Hitler chancellor. At Potsdam, in March, the two men exchange handshakes during the opening ceremony of the Reichstag. Members of the Sturmabteilung (SA) fill the street, here in 1930. Joseph encounters them many times because of his job. In 1929 the family moves to Tittmoning, whose castle had been one of the residences of the prince archbishop of Salzburg. © Shutterstock © 2011 by Michael Hesemann, Shutterstock, Leemage B E N E D I C T X V I the man 10 • BENEDICT XVI BENEDICT XVI • 11

and to leave the rest for tomorrow.”56 He explained that he did not consider himself alone in his responsibility. For one, he could count on God’s help and, moreover, on his many coworkers. And when asked what his agenda was, he answered tersely, “Doing God’s will.”57 Aside from books, the new pontiff possessed very few personal items. His only request was that his desk and his vast library, composed of innumerable books, of which he knew “every nook and cranny,”58 be brought to the Vatican. His way of life was monastic. He prayed, he worked, he received visitors and listened. His doctor set up a stationary bicycle for him. But he did not like sport any more than he had liked it as a child, and he exclaimed to a journalist who asked him if he ever used the machine: “No, I don’t get to it at all—and don’t need it at the moment, thank God.”59 55 Rule of St. Benedict, 4:21. 56 Light of the World, p. 69. 57 Benedict XVI: His Life and Thought, p. 466. 58 Light of the World, p. 14. 59 Ibid., p. 12. IN GOD’S HANDS When he appeared at the window over a Saint Peter’s Square swarming with people, the new Pope Benedict XVI seemed almost crushed by such a heavy load. But for the first time, he gave his kind smile and his gaze of profound goodness to the universal Church while saying these deeply moving words: “After the great Pope John Paul II, the cardinals have elected me, a simple, humble worker in the Lord’s vineyard.” Benedict XVI chose to connect his pontificate to the great Saint Benedict, the founder of the Benedictine Order, which was close to his heart, and the patron saint of Europe. He also gave the essential perspective: Look to Christ, and prefer nothing to his love.55 After having just been elected, when asked about how he felt, he confided that he found his strength in the Lord’s word: Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil (Mt 6:34). The pope tried “to concentrate on clearing away today’s trouble “We are pope!” In Berlin, a popular daily newspaper celebrates in its own way the election of the first pope of Germanic origin since the 16th century. On April 19, Joseph Ratzinger appears for his first Urbi et Orbi blessing. He chooses to be called Benedict XVI after Benedict XV, the pope of the First World War, and after Saint Benedict of Nursia. Between the election and April 24, the day of his Papal Inauguration Mass, there are many of those who, like Georg, could not contain their joy. © Leemage © Leemage © Leemage © Akg © Akg © Alamy B E N E D I C T X V I the man 50 • BENEDICT XVI BENEDICT XVI • 51

caritas est (God Is Love) in December 2005. Unusual yet very beautiful, this first encyclical sold more than three million copies in Italy alone. By inaugurating a trilogy on the three theological virtues—faith, hope, and charity—it gave witness to the primacy of God in the pope’s thought. What had been the foundation for him from the beginning, from his first course and throughout his reflections during the time of the Second Vatican Council, was God, his free initiative in loving his creatures and bringing them to communion: “God is the absolute and ultimate source of all being; but this universal principle of creation…is at the same time a lover with all the passion of a true love” (Deus caritas est, 10). In Valencia, Spain, a million people celebrated the World Meeting of Families with Benedict XVI in July 2006. This success took the pope somewhat by surprise. He attributed it to the fecundity of John Paul II’s sufferings for the whole Church, which had given her a new vitality, as well as to his known friendship with him. And he added: “This does not come from me.”62 60 Ibid., p. 15. 61 Benedict XVI: His Life and Thought, p. 477. 62 Light of the World, p. 18. UNDER THE SIGN OF JOY Each day, he received many letters from the entire world, from priests, religious, parents, and children: “We pray for you, be not afraid, we like you.”60 This touched him very much. When he was tired, he said with laughter, he would watch episodes of Don Camillo and Peppone. What he missed the most was not being able to go to restaurants with his brother or just to be at home as before, in his own house. His first year in the See of Peter unfolded amid general fervor and enthusiasm. It opened in a strong way with World Youth Day in Cologne, in his native country, in August 2005. The pope was surprised and honored by the welcome he received from the young people. He did not try to imitate his charismatic predecessor, centering the celebration of World Youth Day in a new manner, upon Eucharistic adoration: “Christ takes from you nothing that is beautiful and great,” he said to the crowd, “but brings everything to perfection for the glory of God, the happiness of men and women, and the salvation of the world.”61 The theologian pope published Deus At Vienna during the recitation of the Angelus. Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, who was his student at Regensburg, stands at his side. In August 2005, WYD takes place in Cologne. A million faithful attend the closing Mass. Benedict XVI is surprised by the fervor of the pilgrims. At Rome on November 13, 2005, the pope beatifies Charles de Foucauld (1858-1916). A former soldier and later an explorer, he became a hermit in the Sahara after his conversion. At Valencia, beginning July 2006, the pope participates in the fifth World Meeting of Families. Here again, a million participants surround him on the last day. © Leemage © Akg © Akg © Akg B E N E D I C T X V I the man 52 • BENEDICT XVI BENEDICT XVI • 53

54 • BENEDICT XVI BENEDICT XVI • 55 As Vicar of Christ, Benedict XVI set his hand to the plow with his usual pastoral diligence. After the reports of clerical abuse in 2002, the American bishops had begun a major process of reform under the guidance of the then-prefect of the CDF. To express his closeness to the American bishops in their time of trial, and to exhort them in the continuing work of truth, justice, and repentance, Benedict XVI joined them in April 2008 for the celebration of the bicentennial of the erection of the dioceses of New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Louisville. The second purpose of the apostolic journey was for the pope to speak at the United Nations for the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.63 After first meeting with President George W. Bush, the pope met with the American bishops at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. In his exhortation, he reminded the American bishops that their Catholic community is one of the largest and most influential in the world, making the witness they give all the more crucial. He asked how a bishop can lead his people to encounter the living God. “Is it consistent to profess our beliefs in church on Sunday, and then during the week to promote business practices or medical procedures contrary to those beliefs? Any tendency to treat religion as a private matter must be resisted. Only when their faith permeates every aspect of their lives do Christians become truly open to the transforming power of the Gospel.”64 Finally, in a nod to John Paul II, he exhorted them to take a particular interest in the family, and to be close to the many victims of clerical abuse. After meeting with educators at the Catholic University of America and, on the eve of Passover, with representatives of the Jewish community, the pope traveled to New York to give his much-anticipated speech on human rights at the United Nations. On Saturday, April 19, as a festive, flagwaving crowd of thousands lined Fifth Avenue, Benedict XVI became the first pope to celebrate Mass in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, choosing a Votive Mass for the Universal Church. His fiery homily was interspersed with references to New York’s Catholic heritage, and he remarked upon the particular mission of the Church in America, calling for healing and renewal: “In this country, the Church’s mission has always involved drawing people ‘from every nation under heaven’ (cf. Acts 2:5). Let us implore from God the grace of a new Pentecost for the Church in America. May tongues of fire, combining burning love of God and neighbor with zeal for the spread of Christ’s Kingdom, descend on all present! “This is the message of hope we are called to proclaim and embody in a world where self-centeredness, greed, violence, and cynicism so often seem to choke the fragile growth of grace in people’s hearts. Perhaps we have lost sight of this: in a society where the Church seems legalistic and ‘ institutional ’ to many people, our most urgent challenge is to communicate the joy born of faith and the experience of God’s love.” After pointing out that Archbishop John Hughes chose the neo-Gothic style for the beloved cathedral in order to remind the young American Church “of the great spiritual tradition to which it was heir,” Benedict XVI used Saint Patrick’s stained-glass windows as a metaphor: “From the outside, those windows are dark, heavy, even dreary. But once one enters the church, they suddenly come alive; reflecting the light passing through them, they reveal all their splendor.… It is only from the inside, from the experience of faith and ecclesial life, that we see the Church as she truly is: flooded with grace, resplendent in beauty, adorned by the manifold gifts of the Spirit. It follows that we, who live the life of grace within the Church’s communion, are called to draw all people into this mystery of light.”65 SPEAKING THE TRUTH IN LOVE IN THE UNITED STATES Five days later, Mass celebrated with sixty thousand faithful at Yankee Stadium in New York, which ended his papal visit to the United States on a fervent note. 63 Benedict XVI, interview with Father Lombardi, April 15, 2008, 64 Benedict XVI, Celebration of Vespers and Meeting with the Bishops of the United States of America, National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C., April 16, 2008. 65 Benedict XVI, Homily from the Votive Mass for the Universal Church, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, New York, April 19, 2008. © Photos: Alamy For his eighth apostolic visit, Benedict XVI journeys to the United States. He is accompanied in Washington on Tuesday, April 15, 2008, by President George W. Bush and his wife Laura. Key moments: the meetings with bishops (on the right) and with priests and religious in Saint Patrick's Cathedral.

pope was against condoms and was endangering the health of Africans. It is important, here, to listen to the message of the bishops of West Africa on this subject: “AIDS will not be overcome by putting aside the spiritual and moral resources of men…. From the bottom of our hearts we African bishops thank the Holy Father who is so close to us. He encourages all of us to live and promote the humanization of sexuality.”75 In spite of these trials, when a journalist asked the pope whether, faced with such a heavy and arduous task, he had considered resigning, he answered: “When the danger is great one must not run away. Precisely at a time like this one must stand fast and endure the difficult situaSTANDING FIRM In March 2009, the pope went on a journey of great pastoral importance to Africa, which he called “the continent of Hope.”73 But the media only remembered a remark he made, taken out of context, on the plane en route to Yaoundé, as he answered a question on the use of condoms as a way to stop the spread of AIDS. According to the journalist, the position of the Church seemed neither realistic nor effective. “I would say the opposite,” the pope replied; “the problem [of AIDS] cannot be overcome by the distribution of prophylactics: on the contrary, they increase it.”74 This was soon heard all over the world: the tion. One can resign at a peaceful moment or when one can simply not go on.”76 The Holy Father did not falter. It is interesting to observe that throughout these years in which the sins of the members of the Church were revealed, he chose to focus his general audiences on the saints (from March 15, 2006 to the end of July 2010). He seemed to be reminding us that God never stops calling sinners to conversion; that baptism is a vocation to holiness, which becomes possible through God’s grace and the unique “yes” of each person, through the multiplicity of historical periods, states in life, and personalities. The mission of the Church is to bring the Holy Face of Christ into the world. 73 Benedict XVI, Address at the Cathedral of Cotonou, Apostolic Journey to Benin, November 18, 2011. 74 Benedict XVI: His Life and Thought, p. 585. 75 Ibid., pp. 587–588. 76 Light of the World, p. 29. Benedict XVI loves Africa, the “continent of Hope.” After Cameroon and Angola (2009), he visits Benin. In the stadium of Cotonou, on November 20, 2011, he urges fifty thousand faithful not to idolize power and wealth. Despite his advanced age, the pope, who is eightyfour years old, meets the faithful and encourages them to follow Christ. He also teaches, most notably during his catecheses. Below, during the recitation of the Angelus at Castel Gandolfo, the papal summer residence. © Leemage © Leemage © Alamy B E N E D I C T X V I the man 60 • BENEDICT XVI BENEDICT XVI • 61

The man in white, a little bent, but upright and peaceful in the extraordinary and sudden storm during World Youth Day in Madrid in July 2011, moved all those who saw him. He smiled under the umbrellas, which did not protect him at all from the torrential rain falling on the esplanade, which lived up to its name on that night: “The Four Winds.” As his soft, snowy hair was swept by gusts of wind, he cried out: “Dear young people, Christ alone can respond to your aspirations. Let yourselves be seized by God, so that your presence in the Church will give her new life!”77 And then he kneeled and, in silence, led the immense crowd in adoration. On October 11, 2012, the pope opened the Year of Faith and convoked a synod for the New Evangelization. He spoke of the “weariness” of the faith in Europe, and he asked the Holy Spirit to give the Church a new and “ joyful passion for the faith.”78 A few months later, confidential documents were repeatedly stolen from his desk and published in the media; it was the FOR LOVE OF CHRIST, FOR LOVE OF THE CHURCH: RESIGNATION famous “Vatileaks” scandal. The stolen papers primarily concerned the work of the Secretary of State and his financial management of the Vatican. The pope was profoundly hurt. After a difficult voyage to Cuba, in March 2012, he had come to the end of his strength. Already, in 2010, he had mentioned the possibility of resigning from the papacy: “If a pope clearly realizes that he is no longer physically, psychologically and spiritually capable of handling the duties of his office,” he confided to Peter Seewald, “then he has a right, and under some circumstances, also an obligation to resign.”79 World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro was coming in the summer of 2013, and Benedict XVI no longer felt capable of making such a trip. In September 2012, he finished the great project so close to his heart: Jesus of Nazareth. This book summarizes the intention of his whole life, which was to inspire a tender and strong love for Jesus. His last papal journey was to Lebanon, as the war in Syria broke out. Despite his extreme exhaustion, he wanted to express the closeness of Christ and the particular solicitude of the Church for the suffering and persecuted Middle East. Upon his return, he told his secretary: “I have reflected, I have prayed, I must resign from the papacy for the love of Jesus, for the love of the Church.”80 77 Benedict XVI, Prayer Vigil with Young People, Cuatro Vientos Air Base, Madrid, August 20, 2011. 78 Benedict XVI: His Life and Thought, p. 616. 79 Light of the World, p. 30. 80 Benedict XVI: His Life and Thought, p. 640. “Do not be afraid of being Catholics,” begins the pope during WYD in Madrid. 1.5 million young people attend the closing Mass on August 21, 2011. Benedict XVI, like his predecessor, visits the Synagogue of Rome in January 2010. Here, with the chief rabbi. In spite of the burden, the pope continues to work. On March 10, 2011, he publishes the second work of his trilogy, Jesus of Nazareth. Sistine Chapel, January 8, 2012. Sixteen babies are baptized. After the ceremony, Benedict XVI spends time with the guests. © Akg © KNA © Leemage © Leemage B E N E D I C T X V I the man 62 • BENEDICT XVI BENEDICT XVI • 63

64 • BENEDICT XVI BENEDICT XVI • 65 Benedict XVI did not abandon ship out of fear or out of weakness. Throughout his life, he used his freedom to choose to follow Christ, renouncing his own personal projects and wishes in order to continue along the path that Providence seemed to be mapping out before him. He never saw himself as the owner of the Lord’s vineyard, but rather as the steward, with the apron of service always tied around his waist, hoping for the return of his master. He was always conscious of the limitations of his health, and sometimes even worried by them. He withdrew so that another could accomplish what he no longer had the strength to do. But in order to show that his life had been consecrated once and for all to the service of the Church, in the enclosure of Peter, he stayed within the walls of the Vatican. A little monastery erected by John Paul II, Mater Ecclesiae, was providentially made available to him. The wish of the man who had seen himself as his Lord’s beast of burden was now “to serve with all my heart the holy Church of God by a life dedicated to prayer.”82 He felt it was time for him to live the mission of Christ, who came to carry our sins by his suffering, in solitude. It is hard to believe that the great Pope Benedict XVI would have liked for his praises to be sung. It is sure, however, that he would have desired more than anything else that through him, “the humble servant in the Lord’s vineyard,” we would be able to see something about Christ; that in taking a look at his face and at his life, we could see a few traits of the One who had always called him, from a snowy Holy Saturday morning to his last evening. Thus, as children of the Church, we are glad to honor him, contemplating through him the stunning work of divine grace as it encounters its creature and transforms him forever. Thank you, Most Holy Father, for the gift of your life to the Church of God. 81 Ibid., p. 643. 82 Ibid., p. 649. TO SERVE ALWAYS “Dear brothers and sisters… I have decided to renounce the ministr y which the Lord ent r usted to me on 19 Apri l 2005. I have done this in full freedom for the good of the Church. I am strengthened and reassured by the certainty that the Church is Christ’s, who will never leave her without his guidance and his care.”81 February 17, 2013: during his last Sunday Angelus, faces are downcast. Fifty thousand faithful greet the great servant of the Church who, for eight years, guided the Barque of Saint Peter in “troubled waters.” Henceforth, he retires to pray and work in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery (above, to the right). “To love the Church is also to make difficult choices,” explains Benedict XVI at his last public appearance before a hundred thousand people gathered in Saint Peter's Square on February 27, 2013. © Akg © Akg © Akg © Leemage B E N E D I C T X V I the man

BENOÎT XVI • 67 BENEDICT XVI • 67 From his first speeches, Benedict XVI gives a clear focus to his pontificate. He wants to restore Christ to the center of the faith and life of Christians. Here, in 2006 at Castel Gandolfo, during a speech that precedes the Angelus. Benedict XVI’s Thought The theological corpus of Ratzinger-Benedict XVI is vast. The lines that follow are presented as a sketch, offering avenues for reflection on certain major aspects of his thought. His work is structured upon three pillars, of which Christ is the center: Divine Revelation, Christ, the Church. In the light of those pillars, five themes dear to Benedict XVI are illuminated: the Virgin Mary, figure of the Church; the Eucharist and charity; the relationship between faith and reason; Europe; and eschatology. His thought is always nuanced, and often subtle, but that should not dissuade anyone from discovering it: “It is what you won’t understand that is the most beautiful; it is what will seem the most tedious that is the most interesting; and it is what you won’t find amusing that is the funniest of all” (Paul Claudel, The Satin Slipper).83 83 Ratzinger discovered The Satin Slipper thanks to Hans Urs von Balthasar’s translation. He quotes it several times, notably in the first part of Introduction to Christianity. 66 • BENEDICT XVI © Akg

Divine Revelation Was it because young Joseph Ratzinger’s f irst encounter with God happened in the liturgy that his entire theology seems, above all, to flow out of contemplating God? We know that as a small child he received a little missal, which delighted him and transported him into a world whose beauty and mystery he could already sense. And it is enough to immerse oneself in his works to observe what we could call the “primacy of God” in his theology: everything begins because God speaks. Revelation finds its source in God, who freely chooses to speak to the men he creates and saves by his incarnate, crucified, and resurrected Word. “The novelty of biblical revelation consists in the fact that God becomes known through the dialogue which he desires to have with us.”84 The future Benedict XVI’s dissertation on Bonaventure focused precisely on the concept of revelation. It would enable the young theologian to bring a decisive and original contribution to the preparatory text for the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation of Vatican II. In the summer of 1962, Cardinal Frings asked Ratzinger to study the first schema85 on the sources of revelation, called De Fontibus, and to write a report on it. Ratzinger was very critical. At stake, theologically, was the following: when does revelation happen? Behind such a question could be found the Lutheran problem of Sola scriptura (“by Scripture alone”). Can divine revelation be strictly identified with Scripture? In that case, we would only be able to teach what could be found in Scripture. Could we say, on the contrary, that revelation encompasses Scripture? Or rather, could it be contained partially in Scripture and partially in Tradition? Ratzinger had found in Bonaventure the idea that revelation never strictly designates Scripture, but rather that it must be understood in the plural as the acts of revelation through which God reveals himself in history to whoever receives them: “Revelat ion precedes Scr ipture and becomes deposited in Scripture, but is not simply identical with it. This in turn means that revelation is always something greater than what is merely written down.”86 It is “God’s approach to man,” which “is always greater than what can be contained in human words, greater even than the words of Scripture. Scripture is the essential witness of revelation, but revelation is something alive; something greater and more: proper to it is the fact that it arrives and is perceived.… Revelation has instruments; but it is not separable from the living God, and it always requires a living person to whom it is communicated. Its goal is always to gather and unite men, and this is why the Church is a necessary aspect of revelation.”87 THE PRIMACY OF GOD: IN THE BEGINNING, GOD SPEAKS HIS INVOLVEMENT IN THE ELABORATION OF THE SCHEMA ON DIVINE REVELATION AT VATICAN II, THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SCRIPTURE AND TRADITION. 84 Benedict XVI, Apostolic exhortation Verbum Domini, 6. 85 The schemata (plural of schema) were the preparatory texts given to the bishops to serve as a basis for their reflection and exchanges. 86 Milestones, p. 109. 87 Ibid., p. 127. 1 Thus, there are not several sources of revelation, but rather a single source, who is God. God speaks through people who, under the action of the Holy Spirit, put down his words in writing; and this divine Word is carried by the living Tradition, which involves the people who receive this Word, respond to it, and are always making progress, through the same Holy Spirit, in the contemplation of revealed realities. It is easy to recognize the contribution of the young German peritus in the definitive schema of Dei Verbum.88 After becoming Pope Benedict XVI, Ratzinger would give the Church a splendid apostolic exhortation on the Word of God, Verbum Domini, a substantial meditation on the dogmatic constitution of Vatican II. The Bavarian pope was a musician. During the period when he lived in Traunstein, which he considered the most beautiful time in his life, he could go with Georg to Salzburg, where concert tickets, just before the war, were sold at a more affordable price. He was thus able to hear Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and fall in love with Mozart. Later, having become pope, when he would contemplate God ’s work in revelation, he loved to present the image of “a symphony of the word, a single word expressed in multiple ways,”89 of which Christ is the soloist. God created the world by his Word, and the book of nature has told us who he is from the beginning. The beauty of the world is the first place where his Word allows itself to be deciphered. “Scripture tells us that everything that exists does not exist by chance but is willed by God and part of his plan, at whose center is the invitation to partake, in Christ, in the divine life. Creation is born of the Logos and indelibly bears the mark of the creative Reason which orders and directs it; with joy-filled certainty the psalms sing: ‘By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all their host by the breath of his mouth’ (Ps 33:6); and again, ‘he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood forth’ (Ps 33:9). All reality expresses this mystery…. Thus sacred Scripture itself invites VERBUM DOMINI: THE SYMPHONY OF THE WORD 88 “It was pleasing to God in his goodness and his wisdom to reveal himself in person and to make known the mystery of his will (cf. Ep 1:9), thanks to which men, through Christ, the Word made flesh, have access in the Holy Spirit to the Father and come to share in the divine nature (cf. Ep 2:18; 2 Pt 1:4)” (DV 1). “Holy Tradition and holy Scripture are thus related and communicate closely with each other. For both, flowing out of the same divine source, form a single whole and are directed to the same end” (DV 9). 89 Verbum Domini, 7. The beauty of the world is the first place where the Word of God waits to be read. From Le Combes, a cabin in the Aosta Valley, a unique panorama of the Alpine summits is offered to the pope. Here, in July 2005. © Akg 68 • BENEDICT XVI BENEDICT XVI • 69 B E N E D I C T X V I ’ S Thought

Benedict XVI placed a significant emphasis on the liturgy, the source and summit of the Church’s life and mission. Here, in 2010, during the Good Friday celebration at Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. © Akg 70 • BENEDICT XVI BENEDICT XVI • 71 B E N E D I C T X V I ’ S Thought

P R A Y I N G wi th Benedict XVI 104 • BENEDICT XVI BENEDICT XVI • 105 BENEDICT XVI • 105 Praying with Benedict XVI 104 • B NEDICT XVI Benedict XVI: “As far as the Pope is concerned, he too is a simple beggar before God— even more than other people. Naturally I always pray first and foremost to our Lord, with whom I am united simply by old acquaintance, so to speak. But I also invoke the saints. I am friends with Augustine, with Bonaventure, with Thomas Aquinas. Then one says to such saints also: Help me! And the Mother of God is, in any case, always a major point of reference. In this sense I commend myself to the communion of saints. With them, strengthened by them, I then talk with the dear Lord also, begging, for the most part, but also in thanksgiving—or quite simply being joyful.”180 180 Light of the World, p. 17. © Sipa Press Benedict XVI presides at vespers on September 19, 2008, at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. Behind him is the 14th-century statue of the Virgin and Child, the “Virgin of Paris,” found intact after the fire on April 15, 2019.

P R A Y I N G wi th Benedict XVI 106 • BENEDICT XVI BENEDICT XVI • 107 Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen. Man can be understood only in light of God, and…his life is made righteous only when he lives it in relationship to God. But God is not some distant stranger. He shows us his face in Jesus. In what Jesus does and wills, we come to know the mind and will of God himself. If being human is essentially about relation to God, it is clear that speaking with, and listening to, God is an essential part of it. This is why the Sermon on the Mount also includes a teaching about prayer. The Lord tells us how we are to pray.... The Our Father begins by establishing the primacy of God, which then leads naturally to a consideration of the right way of being human. Here, too, the primary concern is the path of love, which is at the same time a path of conversion. If man is to petition God in the right way, he must stand in the truth. And the truth is: first God, first his Kingdom (cf. Mt 6:33). The first thing we must do is step outside ourselves and open ourselves to God. Nothing can turn out right if our relation to God is not rightly ordered. For this reason, the Our Father begins with God and then, from that starting point, shows us the way toward being human.181 181 Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, New York: Doubleday, 2007, pp. 128, 134. © Bridgeman Our Father The Return of the Prodigal Son (1668-69), Rembrandt (1606-69), Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia. P R A Y I N G wi th Benedict XVI

BENEDICT XVI • 109 The Lord, Shepherd and Host The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack. In green pastures he makes me lie down; to still waters he leads me; he restores my soul. He guides me along right paths for the sake of his name. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me. You set a table before me in front of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Indeed, goodness and mercy will pursue me all the days of my life; I will dwell in the house of the Lord for endless days. As the Psalmist says, God guides him to “green pastures” and “still waters,” where everything is superabundant, everything is given in plenty. If the Lord is the Shepherd, even in the desert, a desolate place of death, the certainty of a radical presence of life is not absent, so that he is able to say “I shall not want.” Indeed, the shepherd has at heart the good of his f lock, he adapts his own pace and needs to those of his sheep, he walks and lives with them, leading them on paths “of righteousness,” that is, suitable for them, paying attention to their needs and not to his own. The safety of his sheep is a priority for him, and he complies with this in leading his f lock. If we follow the “Good Shepherd”—no matter how difficult, tortuous or long the pathways of our life may seem, even through spiritual deserts without water and under the scorching sun of rationalism—with the guidance of Christ the Good Shepherd, we too, like the Psalmist, may be sure that we are walking on “paths of righteousness” and that the Lord is leading us, is ever close to us, and that we “shall lack nothing.” For this reason the Psalmist can declare his calm assurance without doubt or fear: Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me. Those who walk with the Lord even in the dark valleys of suffering, doubt and all the human problems, feel safe. You are with me: this is our certainty, this is what supports us.182 182 Benedict XVI, General Audience of October 5, 2011, on Psalm 23. Psalm 23 © Bridgeman Meditation on Psalm 23 The Good Shepherd (c. 1650), Philippe de Champaigne (1602-74), Museum of Fine Arts of Tours, France. P R A Y I N G wi th Benedict XVI

BENEDICT XVI • 111 I thank you who wonderfully made me! You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise you, because I am wonderfully made; wonderful are your works! My very self you know. My bones are not hidden from you, When I was being made in secret, fashioned in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw me unformed; in your book all are written down; my days were shaped, before one came to be. Ps 139:13-16 This sapiential hymn of intense beauty and deep feeling now focuses on the loftiest, most marvelous reality of the entire universe: man, whose being is described as a “wonder” of God.… After pondering on the gaze and presence of the Creator that sweeps across the whole cosmic horizon, in the second part of the Psalm on which we are meditating today God turns his loving gaze upon the human being, whose full and complete beginning is ref lected upon. He is still an “unformed substance” in his mother’s womb: the Hebrew term used has been understood by several biblical experts as referring to an “embryo,” described in that term as a small, oval, curled-up real ity, but on which God has already turned his benevolent and loving eyes.... The idea in our Psalm that God already sees the entire future of that embryo, still an “unformed substance,” is extremely powerful. The days which that creature will live and f ill with deeds throughout his earthly existence are already written in the Lord’s book of life. Thus, once again the transcendent greatness of divine knowledge emerges, embracing not only humanity’s past and present but also the span, still hidden, of the future. However, the greatness of this little unborn human creature, formed by God’s hands and surrounded by his love, also appears: a biblical tribute to the human being from the first moment of his existence. Let us now entrust ourselves to the reflection that Saint Gregory the Great in his Homilies on Ezekiel has interwoven with the sentence of the Psalm on which we commented earlier: “Your eyes beheld my unformed substance; in your book were written every one of them [my days].” On those words the Pontiff and Father of the Church composed an original and delicate meditation concerning all those in the Christian Community who falter on their spiritual journey.… Saint Gregory’s message, therefore, becomes a great consolation to all of us who often struggle wearily along on the path of spiritual and ecclesial life. The Lord knows us and surrounds us all with his love.183 183 Benedict XVI, General Audience of December 28, 2005. Meditation on Psalm 139 Psalm 139 © Bridgeman The Infant Samuel at Prayer (1777), Joshua Reynolds (1723-92), Musée Fabre, Montpellier, France. P R A Y I N G wi th Benedict XVI

BENEDICT XVI • 113 What great deeds the Lord worked for us! When the Lord restored the captives of Zion, we thought we were dreaming. Then our mouths were filled with laughter; our tongues sang for joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord had done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us; Oh, how happy we were! Restore our captives, Lord, like the dry stream beds of the Negeb. Those who sow in tears will reap with cries of joy. Those who go forth weeping, carrying sacks of seed, Will return with cries of joy, carrying their bundled sheaves. The Psalm speaks of a liberation of captives, who are returned to their original state, to a prior positivity. We thus begin with a situation of suffering and of need to which God responds by offering salvation and by bringing the Psalmist back to his condition of origin, which is even enriched and changed for the better. That is what happened to Job, when the Lord gave him back what he had lost, multiplying and enlarging to an even greater blessing (cf. Jb 42:10-13), and that was also the experience of the people of Israel when they returned to their homeland after the Babylonian exile. The return from exile is the paradigm for every time God intervenes to save…. The people of the covenant, scattered among the pagans, painfully ask themselves about a God who seems to have abandoned them. That is why the end of the deportation and the return to the homeland are experienced as a marvelous return to the faith, to trust, to communion with the Lord; it is a “reversal of fortune” that also implies the conversion of the heart, forgiveness, restored friendship with God, consciousness of his mercy, and the renewed possibility of praising him (cf. Jer 29:12-14; 30:18-20; 33:6-11; Ez 39:25-29). It is an experience of extraordinary joy, of laughter, and of cries of joy, so beautiful that it seems to be “like a dream.” Divine interventions often take an unexpected form, which goes beyond what man could imagine; thus, his amazement and joy express themselves through praise: “The Lord has done great things for them!” That is what the nations say, and it is what Israel proclaims: “Then it was said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them.’ The Lord has done great things for us; whereof we are glad.” God does great things in human history. By bringing salvation, he reveals himself to everyone as the powerful and merciful Lord, a refuge against oppression, who does not forget the cry of the poor.184 184 Benedict XVI, General Audience of October 12, 2011. Psalm 126 Meditation on Psalm 126 © Bridgeman The Last Judgment (c. 1431), Fra Angelico (c. 1400-1455), Museum San Marco, Florence, Italy. P R A Y I N G wi th Benedict XVI

ISBN : 978-1-949239-92-8 US $19.95