The Creator on His Creations
"Calling the patriarch of the Chaldean Church to enter into the College of Cardinals," the Pope said in his homily, "I intended to express in a concrete way my spiritual nearness and my affection for those populations.
"We would like, dear and venerable brothers, together to reaffirm the solidarity of the whole Church with the Christians of that beloved land and to invite and to implore from the merciful God, for all peoples involved, the longed-for coming of reconciliation and peace."
Until he gets the official heads-up of his elevation two days before a papal announcement, a cardinal-to-be doesn't even know he's being considered for the honor. In the days since the freshmen "senators" of the church came to Rome to receive the red hat, others have gotten bits and pieces from their fleeting moments with the pontiff as to why they were chosen.
Two days before Benedict releases his encyclical on the virtue, the billion-plus nation's third resident prince of the church said that the pontiff had India's "hope" on his mind when conferring the biretta:
"India is a great country and there is great hope in” it, Benedict XVI told Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai, during the ceremony that made him a cardinal....And at his Mass of Thanksgiving in St Mary Major yesterday morning, Cardinardo related Papa Ratzi's four words that rocked the ancient basilica:
In light of the upcoming release of the next papal encyclical on hope, Cardinal Gracias made reference to it, saying that it is “quite clear how much India needs hope. The country has a rich heritage but also a tremendous future. We are making great progress in the economic, technological and educational fields. We have become a world power and need to be united.”
The country must “be conscious of the great hope God gave us. There is pain, intolerance and violence, corruption and hunger, but we must maintain the hope that we can change things, see India become a compass for Asia and the world. I have always known that our country was a land of hope and hearing it said from the Holy Father was moving.”
Before the end of his meeting with the pope, Cardinal Gracias invited him to visit India. “He looked at me and smiled without saying yes or no. Afterwards he greeted me and again gave his blessing for the whole country.”
Cardinal DiNardo told them that, when he greeted Pope Benedict XVI after a Nov. 26 audience at the Vatican, the pope said "Texas needs a cardinal."Earlier this morning, Texas got its cardinal when DiNardo arrived back in Houston.
Cardinal DiNardo said the basilica is a place where one is overwhelmed by beauty and serenity, rather than by majesty and space. It is the beauty of the story of God becoming human in Jesus Christ when Mary said yes, he said.
In the Gospel of Luke, he said, "everyone is always on a journey and traveling," beginning with Mary who goes to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, almost immediately after the angel Gabriel proclaims she will give birth to Jesus.
"Everything about the Virgin Mary in the Gospel of Luke is dynamic. There are people who have said that somehow the Virgin Mary is passive. You could never get that from the Gospel. There is always energetic acceptance" of God's will in her life and her action, he said.
"Mary is our queen and our mother," Cardinal DiNardo said. "She is the energy of the church. I beg you to stay close to her as she keeps pushing us in her Magnificat to magnify the Lord and to do his will."
PHOTO: L'Osservatore Romano