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God's love is the ultimate form of fatherly strength, Pope tells audience

Catholic World News - January 30, 2013

At his weekly public audience on January 30, Pope Benedict XVI continued a series of meditations on the Creed, with a focus on the description of God as the “almighty Father.”

The Pope acknowledged that “not having adequate role models,” many people find it difficult to grasp the image of God as a father. It is particularly difficult, he said, for those who have “an overly authoritarian and inflexible father, or an indifferent, uncaring, or even absent one.” Yet there is a profound truth in the phrase, he reminded the audience in the Paul VI auditorium, since God “has truly made us his children in Jesus.”

With a healthy understanding of fatherhood, the Pope continued, the faithful should gain a better understanding of the Almighty. He has chosen us as his children, and we can, “without fear and in complete faith, entrust ourselves to his forgiveness as Father when we choose the wrong path."

The claim that God is “almighty” poses a different sort of problem, for those who wonder why God allows evil in the world, the Pope continued. He said that there is a challenge involved in “learning to understand that God's thoughts and God's paths are different from ours and that even his omnipotence is different.”

God does not exercise his power by “mechanical or arbitrary force,” the Pope explained, because he is interested in “creating free creatures,” whose decisions bring about their own results. Instead God shows his power through “love, mercy, and forgiveness.”

This is the greater form or power, Pope Benedict said. "Only the truly powerful can endure evil and show compassion,” the Pope told his audience. “Only the truly powerful can fully exercise the power of love.”

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