07/15/2007, 00.00
VATICAN
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Pope to Youth: love is the heart of the Christian message

Benedict XVI invites young people to prepare themselves for the Sydney WYD 2008, reflecting on the Message that is soon to be published. Vacation is a time of prayer to the Creator and of admiration of the wonder of nature’s beauty. Among those present, PIME missionary Msgr. Mario Pasqualotto, auxiliary bishop of Manaus (Brazil).

Lorenzago (AsiaNews) – “Love is… the ‘heart’ of Christian life; in fact only love, awoken in us by the Holy Spirit, makes us true witnesses of Christ”.  In anticipation of the soon to be released Message for the XXIII World Youth Day, Benedict XVI has asked young people to “spend the next months in reflection and preparation for the great gathering which will take place in a year’s time, in this very period of July in Sydney Australia”.  The Message is due out on July 20 and will be entitled “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses "(Acts 1, 8).

The Pope noted that Australia’s Christian Community is “actively working in preparation to welcome you all and I am deeply grateful for their organizational efforts.  Let us entrust the journey of preparation and the success of the next great gathering of the world’s youth, to Mary, who tomorrow we invoke as Our Lady of Mount Carmel.  I invite you all, my dear young people, from every continent to come and participate in great numbers”.

The theme of love was introduced by the pontiff during his reflection on today’s gospel, which narrates the parable of the Good Samaritan, which opens with a question: “who is my neighbour?” “The Lord – continues the pope – answers by turning the question on its head, showing through the tale of the Good Samaritan, that each one of us must make ourselves a neighbour to each person we meet.  Go and do likewise!’ (Luke 10, 37). Loving, Jesus tells us, means being a Good Samaritan.  We know that the Good Samaritan par excellence is in fact Christ: even though he is God, he did not hesitate to lower himself to become man and give his life for us”.

Today’s Angelus was proclaimed from the Castle of Mirabello, near Lorenzago di Cadore, where the pontiff has been spending his period of rest since July 9th.  In this, his first ‘holiday’ Angelus, Benedict XVI expressed his gratitude to the Lord “who this year has offered me the possibility to spend some time of rest in the mountains, and I am also grateful to all of those people who have welcomed me here, in Lorenzago, in this enchanting panorama surrounded by the peaks of Cadore and where my beloved predecessor John Paul II also came”.  

“Before the wonder of these pastures, forests and summits which rise towards the heavens – continued the pontiff – the soul spontaneously rises in a song of praise to God for the wonders of his works, and our admiration of nature’s beauty is easily transformed into prayer”.

Benedict XVI then urged everyone to use this period of vacation “to rest the body and nourish the spirit through greater space for prayer and meditation, thus deepening our personal relationship with Christ and in turn increasing our understanding of his teachings”.

Among the bishops present for the Marian prayer was also Msgr. Mario Pasqualotto, PIME missionary and auxiliary bishop of Manaus (Amazon, Brazil).

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