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Benedict XVI Urges Faithful to Listen This Lent

Proposes Mary as Example

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 13, 2006 (Zenit) - Listening to the word of God is the key to facing the darkness and trials of life, and to finding love and joy, says Benedict XVI.

Before reciting the midday Angelus today, the Pope said: "Human existence is a journey of faith and, as such, goes forward more in darkness than in full light, with moments of obscurity and even of profound darkness."

"While we are here, our relationship with God develops more with listening than with seeing," he said from the window of his study, addressing the thousands of people gathered in St. Peter's Square.

"Even contemplation takes place, so to speak, with closed eyes, thanks to the interior light lit in us by the word of God," he said.

Benedict XVI completed a week of spiritual exercises on Saturday, and referred to them as "days dedicated wholly to listening to the Lord, who always speaks to us, but who expects more attention from us, especially in the Lenten season."

He commented on today's Gospel passage, the transfiguration of Christ on Mount Tabor.

On that summit, the Pope said, the Apostles Peter, James and John saw Jesus transfigured, conversing with Moses and Elias, and heard a voice that said: "This is my beloved Son, listen to him."

A brief glimpse

"When one has the grace to sense a strong experience of God," he said, "it is as though seeing something similar to what the disciples experienced during the Transfiguration: For a moment they experienced ahead of time something that will constitute the happiness of paradise."

"In general, it is brief experiences that God grants on occasions, especially in anticipation of harsh trials. However, no one lives 'on Tabor' while on earth," he added.

The Successor of Peter said that the "Virgin Mary herself, notwithstanding the fact that she was the human creature closest to God, walked day after day as though on a pilgrimage of faith, keeping and meditating constantly in her heart the Word of God addressed to her, whether through the sacred Scriptures or through events of the life of her son, in which she recognized and accepted the Lord's mysterious voice."

The Holy Father then suggested that every Christian should "listen to Christ" this Lent "in the word preserved in sacred Scripture."

He continued: "To listen to him in the very events of our lives, trying to read in them the messages of providence.

"To listen to him, finally, in our brothers, especially the little ones and the poor, for whom Jesus himself asked our concrete love. To listen to Christ and to obey his voice: This is the only way that leads to joy and love."


The Vatican  , VA
Pope Benedict XVI - Bishop of Rome, 661 869-1000



Pope, Benedict, Lent, Mary

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