Here, in its glory, is something sublime. It has a quality of self-contained perfection. This would be a wonderful text for a parish newsletter, or as a permanent display at the entrance to the church, to remind its readers that the Faith is the pearl of great price, for ourselves and for all who may be led to find it.
I accept that I am writing in figurative language when I say that I experienced, on reading Pope Benedict’s words, one of those strange, evanescent moments of elation of the soul, of astonishment, as though I had taken a breath of the clear, sweet air of Heaven.
[T]he Church is Catholic from her first moment, her universality is not the fruit of the successive inclusion of various communities. From the first instant, in fact, the Holy Spirit created her as the Church of all peoples; she embraces the entire world, she transcends all limits of race, class, nation; she breaks down every obstacle and brings all men together in the profession of the One and Triune God. From the beginning, the Church is One, Catholic, and Apostolic: this is her true nature and as such it must be recognized. She is Holy, not thanks to the ability of her members, but because God Himself, with His Spirit, creates, purifies, and sanctifies her always.
God bless our dear Holy Father, and grant him many more years with us.