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Wednesday, May 4, 2005


VATICAN CITY, MAY 4, 2005 (VIS) - There will be no VIS service tomorrow, Ascension Thursday, which is a holiday in the Vatican. VIS will resume on Friday, May 6.
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VATICAN CITY, MAY 4, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Eduardo Benes de Sales Rodriguez of Lorena, Brazil, as metropolitan archbishop of Sorocaba (area 4,181, population 935,414, Catholics 654,789, priests 56, permanent deacons 39, religious 166), Brazil. The archbishop-elect was born in Bias Fortes, Brazil, in 1941, ordained a priest in 1964 and consecrated a bishop in 1998. He succeeds Archbishop Jose Lambert C.S.S., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
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VATICAN CITY, MAY 4, 2005 (VIS) - In today's general audience, which was held in St. Peter's Square in the presence of 13,000 people, Benedict XVI resumed his catechesis of commentary on the Psalms and Canticles, which the late John Paul II had left prepared.

  Speaking about Psalm 120, "the keeper of Israel," the Pope explained how it forms part of the "'songs of ascent,' in other words the pilgrimage towards the meeting with the Lord in the Temple of Zion." The name of God is invoked as "the keeper, ever alert, watchful and considerate, the 'sentinel' who keeps watch over his people to protect them from all risks and dangers."

  At this point Benedict XVI, in off-the-cuff remarks, pointed out that temptations, a comfortable life, power and prestige are sometimes considered as goals, as "the high points of our lives." In reality they are not so, he said "because true life comes from the Lord."

  The psalmist, the Pope went on, "raises his 'eyes to the hills,' in other words to the heights where Jerusalem stands. From there comes help, because there the Lord dwells in His holy temple."

  The Holy Father indicated how the Psalm emphasizes trust, illustrated "through the image of the custodian and of the sentinel who watch over and protect. ... Another symbol, that of the 'shade'," evokes "the pillar of cloud" that guided the people of Israel in the Sinai Desert "to lead them along the way."

  "After the vigil and the shade," the Holy Father added, "comes the third symbol, that of the Lord who is 'on the right hand' of His follower. ...This is the certainty of not being abandoned in moments of trial, of the assault of evil, of persecution."

  The Pope affirmed that the Psalm closes "with a concise declaration of trust: God will protect us with love at all times, protecting our lives from all evil. All our activities - as summed up in the two contrasting verbs of 'going out' and 'coming in' - are always under the Lord's attentive gaze; as are all our acts and all our time 'from this time forth and for evermore'."
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