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Wednesday, February 4, 2004


VATICAN CITY, FEB 4, 2004 (VIS) - In this Wednesday's general audience, celebrated in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope spoke about Psalm 14, "Who is worthy to be before the Lord?"

The Holy Father affirmed that while meditating upon this Psalm "we can envision a throng of faithful who press against the doors of the temple of Zion in order to worship. . To cross the threshold that leads to the 'tent,' or temple, on the 'sacred mount' of Zion eleven qualities are necessary." . They "constitute an ideal synthesis of the basic moral duties present in biblical law."

As opposed to other religious cultures which require "an exterior ritual pureness that includes ablutions, gestures and special clothing" in order to be received by God, the psalmist emphasizes "the purification of the conscience so that ever decision is inspired in love of justice and one's neighbor" and invites us to "combine faith and love, prayer and existential commitment, adoration and social justice."

Referring to the eleven duties that "can be the basis of a personal examination of conscience every time we prepare to confess our sins and to be admitted in communion with the Lord in the liturgical celebration," John Paul II enumerated those that "express an ethical choice: to follow the path of moral integrity, the practice of justice and perfect sincerity in speaking."

In reference to our neighbor, he said, "there are three duties: to eliminate calumny in our language, to avoid any action that could hurt our brother, to do away with insults against those who are beside us on a daily basis. Then there is the need for a clear position in the social setting: to despise evil, honor those who fear God. Finally, the last three precepts are listed which should be part of our examination of conscience: to be faithful to our word upon swearing, even when there are negative consequences for us; not to practice usury, a scourge that even in our times is an infamous reality capable of strangling the life of many people, and lastly to avoid any type of corruption in public life, another duty which we should know how to practice with vigor in our time."

John Paul II emphasized that "to follow this way of authentic moral choices means being prepared to encounter the Lord. . Those who react in the way indicated by the psalmist - concludes our prayer - 'will never vacillate'."
AG/PSALM 14/. VIS 20040204 (420)

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