This continues my page of links to Pope Benedict XVI’s catechesis on Saint Paul from last year [link to previous posting]. I’ll be updating this as more audiences become available.
To quote just one paragraph, from the audience on St Paul’s letters to the Colossians and Ephesians:
Then there is also a special concept which is typical of these two Letters, and it is the concept of “mystery”. The “mystery of [God’s] will” is mentioned once (Eph 1: 9) and, other times, as the “mystery of Christ” (Eph 3: 4; Col 4: 3) or even as “God’s mystery, of Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col 2: 2-3). This refers to God’s inscrutable plan for the destiny of mankind, of peoples and of the world. With this language the two Epistles tell us that the fulfilment of this mystery is found in Christ. If we are with Christ, even if our minds are incapable of grasping everything, we know that we have penetrated the nucleus of this “mystery” and are on the way to the truth. It is he in his totality and not only in one aspect of his Person or at one moment of his existence who bears within him the fullness of the unfathomable divine plan of salvation. In him what is called “the manifold wisdom of God” (Eph 3: 10) takes shape, for in him “the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” (Col 2: 9). From this point on, therefore, it is not possible to reflect on and worship God’s will, his sovereign instruction, without comparing ourselves personally with Christ in Person, in whom that “mystery” is incarnate and may be tangibly perceived. Thus one arrives at contemplation of the “unsearchable riches of Christ” (Eph 3: 8 ) which are beyond any human understanding. It is not that God did not leave footprints on his journey, for Christ himself is God’s impression, his greatest footprint; but we realize “what is the breadth and length and height and depth” of this mystery “which surpasses knowledge” (Eph 3: 18-19). Mere intellectual categories prove inadequate here, and, recognizing that many things are beyond our rational capacities, we must entrust them to the humble and joyful contemplation not only of the mind but also of the heart. The Fathers of the Church, moreover, tell us that love understands better than reason alone.