Many of the headlines reporting the pope’s weekly addresses are unintentionally amusing, often highly so. But you can hardly blame headline writers for trying to sum up Angelus messages (and sometimes encyclicals, letters or other official statements) in one succinct line. So you get "heads" like these actual ones: "Pope reminds faithful that death brings eternal life for loved ones." Or "Pope emphasizes that theology, Scripture go hand in hand." (Both are from the otherwise indispensable CNS.) But, like I said, you can’t blame the headline writers--those headlines accurately described exactly what the pontiff said.
Still, I am always on the lookout for examples in this wonderful genre, and hope one day to read, "Pope says Jesus Son of God." Or "Pope says Jesus Rose from Dead on Easter Sunday."
But as B16 fans know, these headlines often give little clue to the richness of Pope Benedict’s thought, particularly when he turns his eye to spiritual matters.
One of those headlines that recently caught my eye was Zenit’s "Pope says God is never too busy for us." Not a bad message to hear, when so many of us find ourselves harried at this time of year, with barely enough time for one another, let alone God. Here is Zenit’s report of Benedict XVI’s Angelus on November 30:
"We all say ’I don’t have time’ because the rhythm of daily life has become too frenetic for everyone," he reflected. "The Church has ’good news’ to announce about this too: God gives us his time. We always have little time. Especially in regard to the Lord, we do not know how to find him, or, sometimes, we do not want to find him. And yet God has time for us!"
If you can’t find the time for God, a suggestion. Check out Sacredspace.com, the Irish-Jesuit-run website perfect for the "frenetic" person who desires at least a few moments of quiet time with God.
Or "America says check out prayer website."
James Martin, SJ