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

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Saint Nicholas of Myra

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Those who have truly decided to serve the Lord God should practice the remembrance of God and uninterrupted prayer to Jesus Christ, mentally saying: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."

St. Seraphim of Sarov