Pope Benedict XVI: awaiting in joyful hope for the coming of the Saviour
“Our moral and spiritual stature can be measured by that, which we await, and that, in which we hope.”
These were some of the words of Pope Benedict XVI at the Angelus prayer with the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square on the first Sunday of Advent.
Ushering in a new liturgical year, the Pope said that at this time we are to look at once to the first coming of the Son of God, when he was born of the Virgin Mary, and to His glorious return, when He comes ''to judge the living and the dead.”
Therefore, “The wait, and the act of waiting, is a dimension that runs through all of our personal, family and social life.” “You might say,” explained Pope Benedict, “that a man is alive so long as he awaits – as long as hope lives in his heart.” So it was for Mary: he said, “In her heart, the expectation of the Saviour was so great, her faith and hope so ardent, that He was able to find in her a worthy mother.”
“Let us learn from her,” exhorted Pope Benedict, “from the Woman of the Advent, to live our days in a new spirit of profound expectation, which only the coming of God can satisfy.”
After the Angelus, Pope Benedict greeted pilgrims in many languages, including English:
I offer a warm welcome to the English-speaking visitors gathered here today for this Angelus prayer. Today, Christians begin a new liturgical Year with the season of Advent, a time of preparation to celebrate the Mystery of the Incarnation. By the grace of God, may our prayer, penance and good works in this season make us truly ready to see the Lord face to face. Upon you and your families I invoke God’s gifts of wisdom, strength and peace!
Listen to Chris Altieri's report:
Pope to lead worldwide pro-life vigil
Pope Benedict XVI will be celebrating a special Vespers service Saturday evening in St. Peter’s Basilica marking the beginning of Advent, in which he has called for special prayers for the protection of all human life, especially the unborn.
The Holy Father has asked that parishes, religious communities, associations and movements join him for evening prayer, in churches throughout the world.
“It’s the first time in history the Holy Father has done this,” says Joseph Meaney, the director of international coordination for Human Life International.
“It’s a wonderful time to do it,” he told Vatican Radio. It’s “the beginning of Advent, when we are thinking about the unborn Christ Child, waiting for the birth of the Christ Child – to think of all these unborn children that are also at risk around the world, because unfortunately something like a third of all pregnancies end in abortion today.” Listen to Joseph Meaney's full interview with Charles Collins: