Papal Retreat Focuses on the Trinity

Cardinal Hummes Speaks of Holiness as Adventure of Love

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 19, 2002 (Zenit.org).- The annual retreat attended by John Paul II entered a second stage today, culminating with a description of man´s most passionate quest: holiness.



Cardinal Claudio Hummes, the preacher, reflected in-depth on the Trinity, the most amazing mystery of love for the believer.

"It is necessary to come close to the mystery of the Trinity, to remove one´s sandals, and allow oneself to be enveloped by the purifying flames of the burning bush," the archbishop of Sao Paulo said, in the presence of John Paul II and his aides in the Roman Curia.

The Triune God is an inaccessible mystery to human reason, Cardinal Hummes said. Only theological love allows us to discover this mystery, little by little, through a "divine" pedagogy that leads us to a relation of love with the three divine Persons, he said.

The papal preacher contrasted contemplation of God´s beauty with the condition of modern man, "contaminated by rationalist ideology," which has made him lose "the sense of mystery, so necessary to live the life of faith and human life as a wonderful adventure."

"Not to accept the sublimity of the mystery means to be lost in ways that lead man to adore his own scientific and technological work with all its limitations, failures and risks," he continued.

Hence, there is an urgency for the "new evangelization that once again makes modern man sensitive to the transcendent mystery of God," the Brazilian cardinal said.

To reach this objective, we must be "seated at the feet of the Master and listen to him," Cardinal Hummes stressed.

"Jesus is enormously happy to be the beloved Son and he wants us also to feel his happiness, transforming us into children of the same Father," the cardinal said.

This adventure, which leads to the discovery of the love of God the Father, is led by the Spirit, "continual force of renewal," the preacher explained.

It is the adventure of holiness, but "what does holiness mean?" Cardinal Hummes asked.

"Holiness is the presence of God´s Spirit in us, of the Trinity in us," he responded. "It is his Spirit that makes us capable of experiencing God´s love for us and of responding by loving God as a Father and loving one another as brothers."

"This is holiness, only this. This is everything," the papal preacher concluded. The retreat, or Spiritual Exercises, ends Saturday.