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Monday, February 4, 2008


VATICAN CITY, 2 FEB 2008 (VIS) - This evening in the Vatican Basilica, following a Eucharistic celebration for the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord and the 12th Day of Consecrated Life, presided by Cardinal Franc Rode C.M., prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, the Pope entered the basilica to greet the male and female religious gathered there.

  In his address to them, the Holy Father indicated that "following Christ without compromise, as presented in the Gospel, has, over the centuries, constituted the ultimate and supreme norm of religious life".

  The mission of consecrated life, said Benedict XVI, "is to recall that all Christians are invited by the Word to live from the Word and to remain under its authority. It is, then, the particular duty of male and female religious 'to remind the baptised of the fundamental values of the Gospel'. In this way, their testimony gives the Church 'an incentive towards ever greater fidelity to the Gospel'. Indeed, we could say that theirs is 'an eloquent, albeit often silent, proclamation of the Gospel'". In this context, the Pope recalled how in his own two Encyclicals, and on other occasions, he had "not failed to indicate the example of saints and blesseds from institutes of consecrated life".

  The Pope called on the religious to fill their days "with prayer, meditation and listening to the Word of God", and to help the faithful to appreciate the practice of "lectio divina". He went on: "You must know how to translate the indications of the Word into daily witness, allowing yourselves to be formed by the Word which, like seed sown in good soil, brings abundant fruit. Thus you will remain docile to the Spirit and grow in union with God, you will cultivate fraternal communion among yourselves and be ready to serve your brethren generously, especially those most in need. May mankind see your good works, the fruit of the Word of God that lives within you, and so give glory to the heavenly Father".
AC/DAY CONSECRATED LIFE/...                VIS 20080204 (350)

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