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Monday, March 14, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 13 MAR 2011 (VIS) - At midday today the Pope appeared at the window of his private study to pray the Angelus with faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square below.

  Before the Marian prayer the Holy Father remarked on the significance of the period of Lent which, he said, constitutes "a spiritual itinerary of preparation for Easter. Essentially it means following Jesus as He moves decisively towards the Cross, the apex of His mission of salvation. And if we ask ourselves: Why Lent? Why the Cross? The answer is, in radical terms this: Because evil exists, sin, which according to Scripture is the profound cause of all evil.

  "But this affirmation cannot be taken for granted", he added. "Many people do not accept the very word 'sin' because it presupposes a religious vision of the world and of man; and indeed it is true that if we eliminate God from the horizon of the world we can no longer speak of sin. ... The eclipse of God necessarily involves the eclipse of sin. For this reason the sense of sin - which is different to the 'sense of guilt' as psychology understands it - is acquired by rediscovering the sense of God".

  Faced with moral evil, "God's approach is to oppose sin and to save the sinner. God does not tolerate evil, because he is Love, Justice and Fidelity. It is for this reason that He does not want the death of sinners, but for them to convert and live. God intervenes to save humanity, as we see throughout the history of the Jewish people, beginning with their flight from Egypt. God is determined to free His children from slavery and lead them to freedom, and the most serious and profound form of slavery is that of sin. This is why God sent His Son into the world: to free mankind from the domination of Satan, the 'original cause of all sin'".

  "Entering this liturgical period means always siding with Christ against sin, facing - as individuals and as Church - the spiritual struggle against the spirit of evil".

  Finally the Pope asked everyone to pray for him and his collaborators in the Roman Curia as they begin their annual Lenten spiritual exercises this evening.
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