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Monday, September 26, 2005


VATICAN CITY, SEP 25, 2005 (VIS) - In this his last Sunday at Castelgandolfo before returning to the Vatican later this week, the Holy Father continued his reflections on the Eucharistic mystery, highlighting the link between the Eucharist and charity.

  Addressing pilgrims who had gathered to pray the Angelus in the internal courtyard of the pontifical residence of Castelgandolfo, the Pope pointed out that charity "does not primarily mean the beneficial act or sentiment, but the spiritual gift, the love of God that the Holy Spirit pours into the human heart, moving it to give itself in turn to God and to others."

  After affirming that "Jesus' entire earthly existence, from conception to death on the cross, was a single act of love, to the point that we can sum up our faith in these words: 'Jesus Caritas,' Jesus Love," Benedict XVI recalled how during the Last Supper, the Lord entrusted the disciples with "His precious legacy, the Eucharist."

  "In the Eucharist the Lord gives Himself to us with His body, His soul and His divinity, and we become one with Him and among ourselves. Our response to His love must, therefore, be a concrete response; it must be expressed in a true conversion to love, in forgiveness, in mutual acceptance and in attention to everyone's needs. Many and varied are the forms of service we can offer others in everyday life. The Eucharist thus becomes the source of spiritual energy that renews the world in the love of Christ."

  The Pope presented the example of the saints "who from the Eucharist drew the strength for active and not infrequently heroic charity. My thoughts go to St. Vincent de Paul ... who used to affirm: 'What joy to serve the person of Christ in His poor limbs!' I think of Blessed Mother Teresa, founder of the Missionary Sisters of Charity, who in the poorest of the poor loved Christ, received and contemplated each day in the consecrated Host."

  "Before and more than all the saints, divine love filled the heart of the Virgin Mary. ... Let us pray that all Christians, nourishing themselves in the Body and Blood of the Lord, grow ever more in love for God and in generous service to their brothers and sisters."
ANG/EUCHARIST:CHARITY/...                        VIS 20050926 (390)

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