Focuses Audience Address on Clement of Alexandria

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 18, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI urged Christians to be able to give reasons for their faith in Christ, following the example of Clement of Alexandria, a key figure in the early Church.

The Pope made that request today during his address at the general audience in St. Peter's Square.

Clement of Alexandria died around the year 215 and was one of the first Christians to harmonize Christian faith with Greek philosophy, the Bishop of Rome explained.

The Holy Father referred to the three principal works from Clement that still exist today.

"Taken together, Clement's catecheses accompany the catechumen and the baptized step by step, because, with the two 'wings' of faith and reason, they lead to knowing the Truth, which is Christ, the Word of God," he said.

For Clement, "the knowledge of Christ is not just a thought, but a love that opens the eyes, transforms the person and creates communion with the 'Logos,' the divine Word that is truth and life," the Pontiff explained.

He added: "On the journey to perfection, Clement gives the same importance to moral requirements as to the intellectual ones. The two go together because it is not possible to know the truth without living it, nor to live the truth without knowing it.

"It is not possible to make oneself like God and contemplate him simply with a rational knowledge: In order to achieve this objective, it is necessary to live according to the 'Logos,' a life according to truth. And, therefore, good works have to accompany intellectual knowledge, as the shadow accompanies the body."

The Pope asserted that Clement of Alexandria "decisively continues along the path of those who want to 'give reason' for their faith in Jesus Christ."

And, echoing Pope John Paul II, Benedict XVI urged theologians and catechists of today to "recover and express to the full the metaphysical dimension of truth in order to enter into a demanding critical dialogue with […] contemporary philosophical thought."

Code: ZE07041805

Date: 2007-04-18

 


Teachings of Christ

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:34-35 ESV)

Pentecost

Blessed are You, O Christ our God, * Who has shown the fishermen to be all wise, * by sending down to them the Holy Spirit, * and through them You have caught the whole world in Your net. * O Lover of Mankind, glory to You. (Troparion - Tone 8)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

When the Most High descended, confusing tongues, * He divided the nations; * but when He distributed the tongues of fire, * He called all to unity; * and, with one voice, * we glorify the Most Holy Spirit. (Kontakion - Tone 8)

Saints and Martyrs

Adorned with the blood of Your Martyrs throughout the world, * as with purple and fine linen, * Your Church cries out to You through them: * "Send down Your compassions upon Your people. * Grant peace to Your commonwealth and great mercy to our souls." (Troparion - Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

As the first-fruits of nature to the Planter of Creation, * the whole world offers to You, O Lord, the God-bearing martyrs. * Through their prayers and the intercession of the Mother of God * preserve Your commonwealth, the Church, in profound peace, O Most Merciful One. (Kontakion - Tone 8)

Random Proverb

"He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself." (Proverbs 6:32 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The work of prayer belongs to the angels, and is, therefore, the special concern of the Church. Every other work, i.e., charity, nursing the brethren, visiting the sick, caring for prisoners, releasing captives, and other similar things, is done by the brethren in love and offered by them to God. Similarly, poverty, fasting, sleeping on the ground, prostrations, vigils, etc., are good and like a sacrifice to God, because they aim to subdue and humble the body so that we may be purified and approach God and become friends of God -- yet these things do not present us directly to God, whereas prayer does so and unites us with Him. A person praying acts towards God like a friend -- conversing, confiding, requesting -- and through this becomes one with our Maker Himself.

St. Symeon of Thessalonica