The Heart of Paul
Yesterday the Pope and the Patriarch of Constantinople celebrated together First Vespers of the Solemnity of the Apostles Peter and Paul. Pope Benedict, in his splendid homily, inaugurated the Year of St. Paul: a year of renewed reading and meditation upon the writings of the Apostle of the Gentiles.
The Pope’s homily is not yet posted on the Vatican website, but here is Asia News’ translation of a key passage:
In the letter to the Galatians, [Paul] provided for us a very personal profession of faith, in which he opens his heart to the reader of all times, and reveals the deep driving force of his life. ‘I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me’ (Gal. 2:20). Everything that Paul does begins from this centre. His faith is the experience of being loved by Jesus Christ in a completely personal way; it is the awareness of the fact that Christ has faced death not for some anonymous person, but out of love for him – for Paul – and that, as the Risen One, he still loves him. Christ has given himself for him. His faith comes from being transfixed by the love of Jesus Christ, a love that shakes him to his core and transforms him. His faith is not a theory, an opinion about God and the world. His faith is the impact of the love of God on his heart. And thus his faith is itself love for Jesus Christ.