03/12/2006, 00.00
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Pope: In life's darker moments, listen to Christ, like Mary

Benedict XVI urged worshippers to dedicate time to listening to the Word of God and to listen to him in "the lowly and the poor".

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Human existence is a journey made in "twilight" rather than in "full light". Thus, especially in the Lenten period, there is the need to "listen to Christ, like Mary". Benedict XVI today reminded pilgrims in St Peter's Square, before the Angelus, that the period before Easter was a time especially dedicated to "listening to the Lord, who always speaks to us". And he specified: "Listening to him in his Word, preserved in the Holy Scripture. Listening to him in the very events of our lives, seeking to read the messages of Providence in them. Listening to him, finally, in our brothers, especially the lowly and the poor, in who Jesus himself asks for our concrete love."

Almost as if he were sharing with those present the fruit of the Spiritual Exercises which ended yesterday, preached by Cardinal Marco Cè, Patriarch Emeritus of Venice, the Pope said the Lord, especially in this time of Lent, "expects more attention from us". This attention to the Word of God is necessary to face up to daily life. "Human existence is a journey of faith and, as such, it progresses more in twilight than in full light, and is not without moments of shadows and even pitch darkness," said the Pontiff. "While we are down here, our relationship with God unfolds more in listening than in vision; and contemplation takes place, so to speak, with closed eyes, thanks to the inner light lit in us by the Word of God."

Turning to today's Gospel about the transfiguration of Jesus, the Pope said there were moments in life when "for a moment, one has a foretaste of what heavenly bliss will be like. These are usually brief experiences, which God concedes to us at times, especially in view of hard trials." But the blissful experience of Mount Tabor is not forever: "No one… is allowed to live 'on Tabor' while he is on this earth." In daily life, listening to Jesus, as Mary did, helps one to walk, "day after day, as in a pilgrimage of faith". The Pope added: "Listening to Christ and obeying his voice: this is the royal road, the only one which leads to the fullness of joy and love."

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