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Pope Benedict XVI on St. Eusebius

Argent has a very good translation of Pope Benedict’s Wednesday General Audience teaching on St. Eusebius. As you may remember, Pope Benedict is using his Wednesday General Audiences to provide excellent catechesis on the early Church Fathers. Do read the whole thing, but I was especially struck by these words:

Like the Apostles, for whom Jesus prayed at the Last Supper, the pastors and the faithful of the Church 'are in the world' (Jn 17,11)but not 'of the world.' Therefore, the pastors, Eusebius reminds us, should exhort the faithful not to consider the cities of the world as their permanent dwelling, but to seek the future city, the definitive Jerusalem in heaven.

This 'eschatological reservation' allows the pastors and the faithful to keep an authentic scale of values, without ever yielding to the fashion of the moment and to the unjust demands of prevailing political power.

The authentic scale of values, Eusebius's whole life seems to tell us, does not come from the emperors of yesterday or today, but from Jesus Christ, the perfect man, equal to the Fahter in divinity, but a man like us.

Referring to this scale of values, Eusebius does not tire of "warmly recommending" to his faithful "to guard the faith with every care, to maintain concord, and to be assiduous in prayer" (Ep. secunda, cit.).

Dear friends, I too recommend to you with all my heart these perennial values, while I greet and bless you with the words which St. Eusebius used to conclude his second letter: "I address you all, my brothers and holy sisters, sons and daughters, the faithful of both sexes and every age ... so that you may bring our greetings even to those who are outside the Church but who deign to nourish sentiments of love for us" (ibid.)

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