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    » 06/13/2012, 00.00

    VATICAN

    Pope: in a world that relies only on efficiency, we witness the power of prayer



    General audience, Benedict XVI speaks of the Second Letter to the Corinthians. St. Paul emphasizes the difficulties and opposition encountered, he does not boast of his strength and his success, but of what God has done through him. To the point of saying: "I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me."

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) - In a world in which we risk relying only on the power of human means, we are called to rediscover and bear witness to the power of prayer, through which we grow day by day as our lives are conformed to that of Christ, who 'was crucified through weakness, but lives by the power of God,' "a God who does not free us from ills, but it helps us to mature in the face of suffering, difficulties, persecution" . This the teaching that Benedict XVI has taken from II Corinthians, of which he spoke to eight thousand people present in the Paul VI for the general audience.

    The Pauline text, the Pope explained, shows that even "though our outer world is unraveling," "If we remain in God", "the inner world matures every day." St. Paul, in fact, "lists the communities that he founded, the miles traveled, not only to remember the difficulties and opposition he faced in order to proclaim the Gospel, but to indicate is relationship with the Lord, a relationship so intense to be characterized also by moments of ecstasy, deep contemplation, so he does not boast of what he did, of his strength, but boasts of the action of God in him and through him. " And "to tell what can not be told, he even speaks in third person, when he says: I know someone in Christ who, fourteen years ago, was caught up to the third heaven. And I know that this person was caught up into Paradise and heard ineffable things, which no one may utter ".

    "His contemplation was so deep and intense that the Apostle does not even remember the contents of the revelation received, but has in mind the date and circumstances in which the Lord grabbed him so completely, drew him to Himself, as He had done on the road to Damascus at the time of his conversion "

    In order not to suffer from pride he "bears a thorn, a suffering" from which he prayed to be freed. "The Risen Lord speaks clear and reassuring words to him: My grace is sufficient for you, strength is made perfect in weakness." " Paul's comments to these words are surprising, but they also reveal how he really understood what it means to be an apostle: I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. So I am content with weaknesses , insults, hardships, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ: for when I am weak, then I am strong. '"

    Paul "clearly understood how to face and experience each event in his life, especially those involving suffering, difficulty and persecution: at the moment we feel our own weakness the power of God becomes manifest, a power which does not abandon or leave us alone but becomes our support and our strength. "

    And for us, as " As our union with the Lord grows and our prayer becomes more intense, we too come to focus on the essential and to understand that it is not the power of our own means that creates the Kingdom of God, but God Who works miracles through our very weakness. We must be humble enough not to trust in ourselves, but to work in the vineyard of the Lord, trusting in Him. "

    Another point that emerges from the Letter, is the value of the contemplation of God, it is at the same time, "fascinating and terrifying: fascinating because he draws us to himself and steals our heart upwards, bringing it to its height where we experience the peace, the beauty of his love; terrifying because it lays bare our human weaknesses, our inadequacies, the effort to overcome the evil that threatens our lives, even the thorn in our flesh. In prayer, in everyday contemplation of the Lord, we receive the power of God."

    "The more we give time to prayer - concluded the Pope - the more we will see our lives transformed and animated by the real power of God's love. This is what happened, for example, to Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta who, in contemplating Jesus, discovered the ultimate reason and incredible strength to recognise Him in the poor and abandoned, despite her fragile figure. The contemplation of Christ in our life does not distance us from reality", the Pope concluded. "It makes us even more involved in human affairs, because the Lord, drawing us to Himself in prayer, enables us to remain close to all our brothers and sisters in His love".

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    See also

    20/04/2011 VATICAN
    Pope: "we don’t listen to God because it would disturb us and so we remain indifferent to evil"
    General audience, explaining the Easter Triduum, Benedict XVI focuses on the Gethsemane prayer and "sleepiness" of the disciples. Man "by his nature, tends to follow his own will and then oppose his autonomy” to the will of God. But this is wrong, the will of God" is not an opposition, it is not slavery, it is entering goodness ."

    15/12/2010 VATICAN
    Pope: nurturing love in our Christian life, keeping our gaze fixed on Heaven
    During the general audience, Benedict XVI introduces the figure of Saint Veronica Giuliani, on the occasion of the 350th anniversary of her birth. In the life of the mystic, a Sister of the Poor Clares, "the experience of being loved by Christ, sincere and faithful husband, and of wanting to respond with passionate and enduring love."

    29/04/2009 VATICAN
    Pope: seeing the beauty of God in the Church, not only the sins of men
    To the faithful present at the general audience, Benedict XVI illustrates the figure of Germanus of Constantinople, an important patriarch during the period of the controversy of iconoclasm, and in Mariology. His teaching continues to invite people to follow Christ in order to become again the image of God, and love for the Church and for the beauty of the liturgy.

    07/01/2009 VATICAN
    Pope: proclaiming the Gospel to unite peoples
    The "worship" to which the Christian is called is to honor God not in the abstract, but in daily life. At the first general audience of 2009, the wish of Benedict XVI (who apologizes for his hoarse voice) is for unity with Christ: "only if we are united with Jesus will it be a good and happy year."

    22/08/2007 VATICAN
    Pope: with Saint Gregory Nazianzen, we “draw near to God to overcome our weariness of being
    Benedict XVI completes the presentation of the Fathers of the Church, showing his commitment as a theologian in the service of the Word, the Church, of mission and of solidarity.



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