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    » 03/11/2007, 00.00


    Pope: Conversion is our most effective answer to evil, punishment the ruin of people and society

    We must have a responsible attitude towards life’s tragedies. People and societies which never question themselves are propelled towards a destiny of ruin. “Lighting a flame is worth far more than cursing obscurity”.

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Christ’s invitation to conversion, “to repent…is not just a simple moral dictate, but the most effective way to change oneself and society for the better”: Benedict XVI today placed at the basis of social renewal the most intimate element of Lenten preaching.  Conversion is the only realistic attitude, “the only appropriate answer to events which undermine human certainties”.

    The Pontiff drew his reflections before the Angelus from the gospel of this third Sunday of Lent which chronicles “two important events” of Christ’s time “The first: the revolt of some Galileans, bloodily suppressed by Pilate; the second the collapse of a tower in Jerusalem, which caused 18 victims. Two distinct tragedies: one caused by man, the other accidental”.

    “According to the mentality of the time – explained the pope - people tended to think that these terrible events were brought upon the victims by some fault of their own.  Instead Christ says: ‘Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were greater sinners than all other Galileans? … Or those eighteen people were guiltier than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem? (Luke 13, 2.4). In both cases He concludes: By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!’ (13, 3.5)”.

    The Pontiff maintains that in this was Jesus warns that “in the face of certain tragic events it is of no use to blame the victims. The truly wise instead recognise the precarious nature of existence and take on a responsible attitude towards it: by repenting and improving our lives”.   

    Conversion s neither an intimate nor moral attitude, but is of benefit to society.  The Pontiff said the “it is the most effective response to evil, at every level, inter personal, social and international.  Christ invites us to respond to evil first and foremost by seriously examining our own conscience and purifying our lives.  Otherwise – he says – we will perish in a similar way.   In fact the people and societies which live their lives without every questioning themselves are destined for ruination.  Instead Conversion, though it will not save us from problems or misadventures, permits us to face them in a different ‘way’.  Above all it helps us prevent evil, by defusing some of its threats. And it allows good to win over evil, maybe not at always at a practical level – often events occur beyond our will – but certainly at a spiritual level.  In short: Conversion defeats evil at its very root which is sin, even if it may not always prevent its consequences”.

    “Let u spray that the Blessed Virgin Mary accompanies us – concluded Benedict XVI – and sustain us on our Lenten journey, so that every Christian may rediscover the greatness, I would add the beauty of conversion.  May She help to understand that penitence and correcting our behaviour is not just moralizing but the most appropriate way to better ourselves and society.  A happy sentence expresses this concept well: Lighting a flame is worth far more that cursing obscurity”.

    At the conclusion of his address, as is traditional, the pontiff greeted pilgrims in various languages that were present in their thousands in St Peter’s Square.   


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    See also

    17/02/2010 VATICAN
    Pope: Lent, a call to "turn our lives around"
    During his general audience, Benedict XVI illustrates the meaning of the terms used during the rite of the Ashes: "Repent and believe the Gospel" and "Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return." The first invites us to follow "the high standards of Christian life", the second recalls our fragility, but also our liberation from death, gifted us by Jesus.

    10/02/2008 VATICAN
    Pope: Lent, fighting together with Christ the evil that is in us
    Benedict XVI exhorts against "unloading the problem of evil upon others, on society or God, but acknowledging our own responsibilities and taking them upon ourselves deliberately". The 150th anniversary of the apparition of the Virgin of Lourdes and her call to conversion.

    09/08/2009 VATICAN
    Pope: saints and martyrs, antithesis to hell death camps and contemporary nihilism
    Edith Stein, Maximilian Kolbe, St. Pontian, St. Lawrence, all martyrs are a sign of the true face of God and the true face of man. Those who "forget God" build lagers and death camps, symbols of “hell on earth". The martyrs are models for everyone, but especially for priests in this Year dedicated to them.

    10/04/2011 VATICAN
    Christians confused and doubtful about resurrection, says Pope, but Christ breaks down wall of death
    The human heart extends beyond this wall 'that prevents us from seeing beyond. " Jesus Christ is "the real news that breaks and overcomes all barriers." Christ also defeats the "spiritual death that is sin and which threatens to ruin the life of every man."

    02/11/2008 VATICAN
    Pope: Evangelizing the reality of death, freeing it from superstition, syncretism, mythology
    On the day for commemorating all of the deceased, Benedict XVI asks the faithful "not to be sad," but to live their faith in the dead and risen Christ. In the world, there is an "irrepressible" anticipation of eternal life, to which Christ responds with his love. Today, the pope visits the Vatican crypt to pray for all of the deceased popes.

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