Thursday, January 4, 2024

A Homily from then-Cardinal Ratzinger 40 years before his death

 This is an excerpt from a homily Cardinal Ratzinger gave about 40 years before he died on December 31st, 2022:

"This year is ending.  This means, as always, that we spend a few minutes in reflection.  We draw up balance-sheets and make an effort to anticipate what the future may bring.  For a moment we become conscious of the strange thing called "time," which otherwise we simply use without thinking about it.  We feel both the melancholy and the consolation of our own transiency.  Much that caused us distress, much that weighed us down and seemed to make progress impossible, has now passed and become quite unimportant.  As we look back, difficult days are transfigured in memory, and the now almost forgotten distress leaves us more peaceful and confident, more composed in the face of present treats, for these too will pass.  The consolation of transiency: Nothing lasts, no matter how important it claims to be.  But this compromise, also has its discouraging and saddening aspect.  nothing lasts, and therefore along with the old year not only difficulties but mush that is beautiful has passed away, and the more we move beyond the midpoint of our lives, the more poignantly we feel this change of what was once future and then present into something past.  We cannot say to any moment: "Stay a while! you are so lovely!"  Anything that is within time comes and then passes away."

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