September 2, 2009. Dear Brothers and Sisters, Our catechesis today deals with another great monastic figure of the Middle Ages, Saint Odo of Cluny.
Attracted by the Benedictine ideal, Odo became a monk, and later the second abbot, of Cluny. At the beginning of the ninth century, Cluny was the center of an influential movement of Church reform, and Odo, by his example and teaching did much to further this spiritual renewal throughout Europe. His writings reveal how deeply he was influenced by the monastic virtues of contemplation, detachment from this world and longing for the world to come. Odo was particularly devoted to the Eucharist, emphasizing the real and substantial presence of Christ under the species of bread and wine.
This conviction of faith led him to work for the reform of the clergy and to stress the need for a worthy reception of the Sacrament. An authentic spiritual guide for his troubled times, Odo blended the personal austerity of a great reformer with a constant and joyful contemplation of Christ’s infinite mercy.
I offer a warm welcome to the English-speaking visitors present at today’s Audience, including those from England, Scotland, Ireland, Nigeria and the United States. My particular greeting goes to the Servants of the Holy Spirit, as well as the young people from The Holy Study House of Prayer. Upon all of you I invoke God’s blessings of joy and peace!