In a conference held at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in 1993, the then Cardinal Ratzinger said that the message of the saints “takes many forms, because there are many of them and they each received their own charism; and at the same time it is one, because all the saints refer to the one Christ, to whom they are united and whose riches they help us to fathom."
And Ratzinger went on to ask: “In this many-faceted and single symphony, what is the accent borne by Blessed Josemaria? What stimulus does theology receive in the light of his teachings."
The symposium that begins in Rome on November 14 is an attempt to formulate an answer to this question.
Javier Lopez, a member of the organizing committee, said in a recent interview: “Theology is not merely the result of intellectual speculation. St. John the Apostle writes: 'He who does not love does not know God; for God is love' (1 Jn 4:8). The saints loved God deeply and therefore knew him deeply. Some have also committed their knowledge of him to writing. Theology can make a great deal of use of this." (Complete interview is available in English here.)
Javier Lopez is the co-author with Ernst Burkhart of the recent three-volume study of St. Josemaria's spiritual theology that is now being translated into English: Vida cotidiana y santidad en la enseñanza de san Josemaría.
Key topics from St. Josemaria's teachings that will be discussed at the symposium include divine filiation and the sanctification of professional work.
The congress will open with a presentation by Bishop Javier Echevarria, Prelate of Opus Dei, about St Josemaria as a forerunner of the Second Vatican Council in its core message: the universal call to holiness. Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, will give the closing address: “The saints and theology in the thought of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI."
For the complete program and list of speakers, click here.