Thank God, the memory of the family, Germany and the second homeland, Italy is found in the spiritual charter of Benedict XVI, a small theological class. With one affirmation: “Jesus Christ is really the way, the truth and the life—and the Church, with all its imperfections, is really his body.”
August 29, 2006
My spiritual arrangement
At this late point in my life, if I look back over the decades I have passed, the first thing I see is how many reasons I have to be thankful for. First, I thank God, the giver of every good gift, who gave me life and guided me through various perplexing moments; Always pick me up whenever I start to slip and give me the light of your face again and again. In retrospect, I see and understand that even the dark and weary stretches of this path were for my salvation, and precisely there He led me well.
I am grateful to my parents who gave me life during this difficult time, who made great sacrifices and prepared for me a wonderful home that, with their love and clear light, illuminates all my days till today. My father’s clear faith taught us children to believe, and as a guide it was always sure amid all my scientific acquisitions; My mother’s deep devotion and great kindness represent a legacy. My sister looked after me with disinterested and loving care for decades; My brother, with the clearness of his judgment and his intense determination, always opened the way for me; If one of you had not preceded and followed me, I could not have found the right path.
From my heart I thank God that I have many friends, men and women, that he always kept by my side; To those who cooperate in all stages of my path; For the teachers and students he has given me. Gratefully, I commend you all to His goodness. I want to thank God for my beautiful homeland in the Bavarian Alps, where I have always seen the glory of the Creator shine. I thank the people of my motherland, because in them I have always been able to experience anew the beauty of faith. I pray that our land may be a land of hope, and I ask you, dear friends: do not deviate from hope. Finally, I thank God for all the beauty I was able to experience at every stage of my journey, especially in Rome and Italy, which has become my second home.
To all who have been wronged in one way or another, I apologize.
What I said before to my fellow countrymen, I now say to all who have been entrusted to my service in the Church: Be firm in the faith! Don’t get confused! It often seems that science – natural science on the one hand and historical research (especially the interpretation of sacred texts) on the other – can provide irrefutable results contrary to the Catholic faith. I have witnessed the transformations of natural science since ancient times, and on the contrary, I have been able to verify how the apparent assertions against faith have disappeared, which are not scientific, but philosophical explanations which are expressly committed to science alone; On the other hand, in dialogue with natural science, faith also learned to better understand the limits of the limits of its assertions, and therefore its uniqueness. I have been following the path of theology for at least 60 years, especially biblical studies, and as a result of various generations, theses that seemed unassailable have emerged, which have been proven to be simple hypotheses: the liberal generation (Harnack, Zülicher, etc. ), the existential generation (Bultmann, etc.), the Marxist generation. I saw how the justification of belief emerges and re-emerges from the tangle of hypotheses. Jesus Christ is really the way, the truth and the life – and the Church, with all its imperfections, is really his body.
Finally, I humbly ask: despite all my sins and shortcomings, pray for me as soon as the Lord welcomes me to the eternal abodes. My prayer goes out from my heart, day by day, to all who are entrusted to me,