On October 23, 2006, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI visited the Pontifical Lateran University for the opening of the Academic Year for the Ecclesiastic Universities. Catholic News Agency reports:
Following a Mass celebrated to mark the beginning of the Roman academic year, Pope Benedict XVI offered a few words of reflection for students and faculty of the Pontifical Universities and Athanea of Rome. The Holy Father encouraged the students gathered to strengthen their spiritual life and to be prepared to receive the truth which, he noted, comes from God and not from a popular consensus.Pope Benedict XVI said something we can all learn to take to heart: ".... an education in silence and contemplation...is necessary to be able to listen with the heart to God who speaks. Only if they proceed from the silence of contemplation can our words have a certain value and usefulness and not fall into the inflation of the world's speeches which seek the consensus of public opinion. "
The Holy Father noted the tremendous diversity of nations from which the Pontifical students originate. “At the start of this new academic year,” Pope Benedict said, “we praise the Lord for this special community of professors and students, which declares so eloquently the universality and the unity of the Catholic Church. A community still even more beautiful because it principally addresses the youth, giving them the opportunity to enter into and engage in institutions of high cultural and theological values, and offering at the same time, the possibility of enriching pastoral and ecclesiastic experiences.”
The Pope insisted that the Pontifical institutions should focus on, “the important priority of spiritual life and the need for concern, along with cultural growth, for a balanced human development and a deep religious and ascetic formation.”
“Those who want to be a friend of Jesus and to become an authentic disciple, whether seminarian, priest, religious, or layman, can cultivate an intimate friendship with Him in meditation and in prayer,” the Pope insisted.
Image Source: REUTERS/Dario Pignatelli (Vatican)
2nd Image Source: AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho