Benedict: “prefer nothing to the love of Christ”

At the beginning of the third millennium, the Church feels with renewed force that Christ’s missionary mandate is of more current importance than ever. The Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 has led her to “start afresh from Christ,” contemplated in prayer, so that the light of his truth is irradiated to all men, above all with the testimony of holiness. I like to recall the motto that St. Benedict proposed in his Rule, when exhorting his monks to “prefer nothing to the love of Christ” (Chapter 4). In fact, the call on the road to Damascus led Paul precisely to this: to make Christ the center of his life, leaving everything for the sublime knowledge of him and of his ministry of love, committing himself later to proclaim him to all, especially pagans “to the glory of his name” (Romans 1:5). Christ’s passion led him to preach the Gospel not only with the word, but also with his very life, which was ever more conformed to that of his Lord. In the end, Paul proclaimed Christ with martyrdom, and his blood, together with that of Peter and of witnesses of the Gospel, watered this land and made fruitful the Church of Rome, which presides over the communion of charity (cf. St. Ignatius of Antioch, “Letter to the Romans,” 1,1).

– Pope Benedict XVI, 4/25/05, in a homily at St. Paul Outside the Walls

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