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    » 08/15/2007, 00.00

    VATICAN

    Follow the “woman dressed in the sun” against the “dragon” of materialism, says Pope



    During the homily for the Solemnity of the Assumption, Benedict XVI invites the faithful to have the “courage to live” like Mary “against all the threats from the dragon” because “love is stronger than selfishness.” He strongly criticises anti-Christian dictatorships: Nazism, Stalinism and materialism. In the Angelus the Pope highlights the solidarity between Our Lady “and the Son, in the struggle and total victory against death.”

    Castel Gandolfo (AsiaNews) – Love “is stronger than hatred and selfishness” even in today’s world which is ruled by “the materialist ideology of consumerism and entertainment.” It is Mary who showed us this. “Overcoming death”, she “told us: Courage, love wins in the end!”  This is what Benedict XVI said in his homily during the mass celebrated in the Pontifical Parish of San Tommaso da Villanova, in Castel Gandolfo, on the occasion of the Solemnity of the Assumption.

    The Pope took inspiration from the apocalyptic image of the “red dragon, the symbol of absolute selfishness, terror and violence” to describe the story of the world as an ongoing “struggle between love and selfishness;” and not only in the age of the Roman Empire or in 1900, but today as well.

    “We saw the power of the red dragon realised in the great dictatorships of the last century,” Benedict XVI said. "The dictatorships of Nazism and Stalinism had a power that penetrated every corner. On the long run it seemed impossible that faith could survive such a powerful dragon who sought to devour God who had become a child, and the woman, the Church. But in this case in fact love proved stronger than hatred.”

    For the Pontiff today’s dragon is found “in the materialist ideologies that say: It is absurd to think about God. It is absurd to observe God’s Commandments. It is something from a bygone era . . . . Only consumerism, selfishness and fun are worth something. That’s life.”

    “Again it seems absurd, impossible to oppose this dominant mentality with all its media and propaganda power. It seems impossible to think about a God who created man, who became a child, the real would-be ruler of the world,” he said.

    Benedict XVI finally spoke what Our Lady means, a woman “dressed in the sun, that is to say God.” It is indeed Mary who “overcoming death told us: Courage, love wins in the end! My life means that I am God’s handmaid; my life means giving myself to God and my fellow man as a gift. Have trust, have courage to live thus against all the dragon’s threats. Mary,” he said, “is the sign that love, goodness and God shall win.”

    Our Lady also means a “woman who suffers, who must flee, giving birth in crying pain, i.e. the Church, the pilgrim Church of all ages. In all generations the Church must give birth to Christ, bring him into the world in great pain and suffering. Throughout the ages the Church has been persecuted by the dragon.”

    “But,” the Pope said, “throughout the ages the Church was nourished by God, nourished with the same bread that is the Holy Eucharist. And thus in all its tribulations, in all the various situations the Church found itself throughout time in the different parts of the world, the Church wins by suffering.”

    “And thus the feast day of the Immaculate,” Benedict XVI explained, “is an invitation to trust God and an invitation to imitate Mary,” who said “I am the handmaid of the Lord, I am at the disposal of the Lord.”

    Hence the Pope urged us “to give our life rather than take any, setting off on the path of love, which means losing ourselves, a path which alone can let us truly find ourselves as well as find true life.”

    In concluding he said: “Let us look upon Mary, the Assunta, and be encouraged in our faith and in the feast of joy: God wins. Faith, which appeared weak, is the real power of the world. Love is stronger than hatred.”

    In the late morning the Pope addressed as he usually does the many faithful and pilgrims who crowd the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace for the Angelus.

    He used the occasion to highlight the solidarity between “Mother and Son, closely tied in their struggle against the enemy from hell till the total victory over him.”

    “As Christ’s glorious resurrection was the final sign of this victory,” he said, “so does the glorification of Mary, including in her virgin body, constitute the final confirmation of Her total solidarity with the Son in both struggle and victory.”

    Finally, “Mary did not grow remote from us. We need to feel that she is mother and sister in the concrete situations of our existence,” he said.

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    See also

    15/08/2011 VATICAN
    Jesus, the new Adam, and Mary, the new Eve, finally defeat the enemy, pope says on Assumption Day
    On the feast day of the Assumption, Benedict XVI stresses the victory of Christ over “inner and physical death”. We too seek to “live as we too had risen, bringing the light of goodness to the darkness of evil”. Eastern and Western Christians are united in the celebration.

    15/08/2012 VATICAN
    Pope: Mary's Assumption to Heaven, Christ's Easter mystery accomplished in her
    During the Angelus, Benedict XVI spoke about the value of the solemnity of the Assumption of Mary to heaven, celebrated by the Churches in the East and West since Christianity's early centuries. Mary "is among the 'poor' and the 'humble,' who do not rely on their own strengths but put their trust in God, who leave space for his action that can produce big things in weakness."

    15/08/2008 VATICAN
    Pope: Feast of the Assumption, trip to Lourdes in view
    Benedict XVI will go to Lourdes, "universal citadel of life and of hope", in a month. The Assumption of Mary, body and soul, into heaven helps us to be "witnesses of hope and consolation" in a world dominated by "false joy and tormented suffering".

    16/08/2010 VIETNAM - VATICAN
    Over 55,000 Vietnamese at feast of Our Lady of La Vang, waiting for the Pope
    Also present were some bishops and 120 priests from various dioceses in Vietnam. At the conclusion of the Jubilee, January 6 next year, millions of pilgrims are expected from the country and abroad.

    15/08/2006 VATICAN
    Pope: to Mary, Queen of peace, I entrust anxieties of world rent by violence

    Benedict XVI drew special attention to the mission of Cardinal Etchegaray in Lebanon and to mass in Nazareth, and he also mentioned Iraq and Sri Lanka. The Assumption teaches us that we should not allow daily difficulties and concerns to suffocate us: "this world" is not "the ultimate scope of human existence".





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