FAITH INVITES US TO LOOK BEYOND APPEARANCES
Vatican City, 1 June 2012 (VIS) - "We must always learn from our heavenly Mother; her faith invites us to look beyond appearances and firmly to believe that our daily difficulties are, in fact, part of a springtime which has already begun with the risen Christ". Benedict XVI yesterday addressed these words to faithful gathered at the Grotto of Lourdes in the Vatican Gardens for the conclusion of the month of May, which is dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
At 8 p.m. the traditional procession wound its way from the Church of St. Stephen of the Abyssinians to the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, presided by Cardinal Angelo Comastri, archpriest of the papal basilica of St. Peter's in the Vatican and vicar general of His Holiness for Vatican City. The Pope arrived at the Grotto at 9 p.m. where, before imparting his apostolic blessing, he made a brief address.
"This evening we wish to draw from Mary's Immaculate Heart with renewed trust, allowing ourselves to be imbued with her joy which had its most profound source in the Lord. Joy, the fruit of the Holy Spirit, is a fundamental distinguishing characteristic of Christians. It is founded on hope in God, it draws strength from incessant prayer and it enables us to face trials and suffering with serenity. As St. Paul reminds us: 'Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer'. These words of the Apostle are like an echo of Mary's 'Magnificat' and exhort us to reproduce, in our own selves and in our everyday lives, the sentiments of joy in the faith expressed in that Marian canticle".
In conclusion the Pope expressed his hope that, "at the end of this month of May, the spiritual joy which overflows from the grateful heart of Christ's Mother and ours, may become consolidated in our hearts, in our personal and family lives, in all places and especially in the life the family which, here in the Vatican, serves the universal Church".