Castel Gandolfo (AsiaNews) Today's general audience was a bit special. Contrary to the usual practice, it was held in the courtyard of the Pontiff's summer residence rather than St Peter's Square. And instead of continuing his meditations on the Apostles, the Pope spoke again of the Assumption of the Virgin, the Christian festivity that was celebrated yesterday in memory of the "glorification" of Mary, the mother of Jesus, including her corporeal glorification.
For the Holy father, more and more today's society must be aware of this feast day, "so felt by the Christian people" as a "luminous sign of hope". "Today," he explained, "there are those who live as if they were never to die or as if all should end with death. Some act as if humankind was master of its own destiny, as if God did not exist, going so far as to deny Him any place in our world. The great advances in science and technology, which have much improved humanity's conditions, leave unanswered the innermost questions of the human soul. Only by opening up to the mystery of God, which is Love, can our heart's thirst for truth and happiness be quenched. Only a point of view based on eternity can give historical events, especially the mystery of human frailty, suffering and death, real value".
The sign of Mary's Assumption plays fundamental role in Christians' journey and mission. "By contemplating Mary in her celestial glory," the Pontiff said in conclusion, "we understand that the earth is not our final homeland, that if we live constantly focused on that which is eternal, we can share one day that same glory. For this reason, despite our many daily challenges, we must not lose our serenity and peace. The luminous sign of the Assumption of our Lady in the heavens glows brighter than the sad shadows cast by sorrow and violence. We are certain that from high above Mary follows our steps with sweet trepidation. She brightens our life in its dark and stormy hours and reassures us with her maternal hand. Conscious of this, we continue confident along our path shaped by our Christian commitment wherever Providence takes us".
At the end of the audience after the multilingual greetings, Benedict XVI evoked Frère Roger, founder of the Taizé community, who a year ago was mortally struck by the hand of a deranged soul during the evening prayers.
"His witness to the Christian faith and ecumenical dialogue," the Pope said, "was a precious lesson to entire generations of young people. Let us call on our Lord that the sacrifice of his life may contribute to consolidating the commitment to peace and solidarity of those who care for humanity's future."