December 09, 2009.
In our catechesis on the Christian culture of the Middle Ages, we now turn to Rupert of Deutz, an outstanding theologian of the twelfth century.
Rupert experienced at first hand the conflict between the Empire and the Church linked to the investiture crisis, and he played a significant role in the principal theological debates of his day. He forcefully defended the reality of Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist, and insisted that the origin of evil is to be found in man’s mistaken use of freedom, not in the positive will of God.
Rupert also contributed to the medieval discussion of the purpose of the Incarnation, which he set within a vast vision of history centred on Christ. His teaching on the dignity and privileges of the Virgin Mary, presented within a broad ecclesiological context, would prove influential for later theology and find an echo in the doctrine of the Second Vatican Council. Rupert’s ability to harmonize the rational study of the mysteries of faith with prayer and contemplation makes him a typical representative of the monastic theology of his time. His example inspires us to draw near to Christ, present among us in his Word and in the Eucharist, and to rejoice in the knowledge that he remains with us at every moment of our lives and throughout history.
offer a warm welcome to the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today’s Audience. I greet especially the groups from South Korea, South Africa and the United States of America. As we prepare with joy to celebrate our Saviour’s birth this Christmas, let us renew our commitment to bring the light of Christ to those we meet. May God bless you all!