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Benedict XVI Shares Secret of True Joy

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  • Richard C ofs
    Benedict XVI Shares Secret of True Joy Underlines Lessons from the Creche VATICAN CITY, DEC. 13, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is encouraging families to go
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 13, 2009
      Benedict XVI Shares Secret of True Joy
      Underlines Lessons from the Creche
      VATICAN CITY, DEC. 13, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is encouraging families to go to the Baby Jesus in the Manger, and to learn from him the way to authentic Christian joy.

      As is tradition on this Third Sunday of Advent, the Pope addressed the children of Rome who came to St. Peter's Square for a blessing on their little statues of Baby Jesus that will be placed in the family crèches.

      In an address to the pilgrims gathered for a blessing and the praying of the midday Angelus, the Pontiff affirmed that the Church "helps us to rediscover the sense and the taste of Christian joy, so different from the world's joy."

      He acknowledged the "many children and young people" present, stating, "It is a cause of joy for me to know that in your families you continue the custom of making the crèche."

      The Holy Father continued: "But it is not enough to repeat a traditional gesture, however important. It is necessary to try to live every day what the crèche represents, that is, Christ's love, his humility, his poverty."

      We must follow the example of St. Francis, who "represented the scene of the Nativity to try to contemplate and adore it, but above all to know better how to put into practice the message of the Son of God, who left everything behind and became a little child out of love for us," Benedict XVI said.

      The "secret of true joy," he affirmed, "does not consist in having a lot of things, but in feeling loved by the Lord, in making oneself a gift for others, in loving."

      The Pope explained: "The Madonna and St. Joseph do not seem to be a very fortunate family; they had their first child in the midst of great hardships; and yet they are full of deep joy, because they love each other, they help each other and above all they are certain that God is at work in their history, God who made himself present in the little Jesus."

      God's promises

      As well, he added, the shepherds have a special reason to rejoice, even though "that newborn certainly would not change the facts of poverty and marginalization in their lives."

      Rather, the Pontiff said, "faith helps them to recognize in the 'child wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger' the 'sign' of the accomplishment of God's promises for all men, 'whom he loves,' even them!"

      True joy, he affirmed, consists in "feeling that our personal and communal existence is visited and filled by a great mystery, the mystery of God's love."

      The Holy Father said: "To be joyful we do not just have need of things, but love and truth: We need a God who is near, who warms our heart, and responds to our profound desires.

      "This God is manifested in Jesus, born of the Virgin Mary. This is why that Baby, whom we place in the stable or the cave, is the center of everything, the heart of the world."

      Paix et joie, Richard ofs


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