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Fr. Cantalamessa: everything that is not Christ is vanity

The Omnipresence of Christ in Time was the theme the Preacher of the Papal Household, Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM Cap., chose for his second sermon of Advent, which he delivered in the Redemptoris mater chapel of the Apostolic Palace to Pope Francis and members of the Roman Curia on Friday morning.

By Christopher R. Altieri & Seàn-Patrick Lovett

“CHRIST IS THE SAME YESTERDAY AND TODAY AND FOR EVER”  - from the Letter to the Hebrews (Heb 13:8)  - was the primary scriptural focus of his reflection, which ran to eight pages of text and was articulated under three main headings: Christ and Time; Christ as Figure, Event and Sacrament; and finally, The Encounter that Changes Life.

“The reflection on ‘Christ and Time’,” said Fr. Cantalamessa, “can bring about an important inner healing for the majority of us: a healing from the unfruitful regret about our  lost ‘blissful youth,’ a liberation from that ingrained mentality that leads us to see old age only as a loss and a disease but not also as a grace.”

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He went on to say, “In front of God the best time of life is not the time that is the most full of possibility and activity but the time that is most full of Christ because this time belongs already to eternity.” 

The Preacher of the Papal Household also looked forward to the coming year, 2018, in which the focus of the Church’s attention will be on the Synod Assembly on “Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment” in preparation for World Youth Day. “Let us help them fill their youth with Christ,” he said, “and we will have given them the most beautiful gift.” 

22 December 2017, 15:20