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Called to scale the mountain

· At his last Angelus in St Peter's Square Benedict XVI commented on the Gospel account of the Transfiguration and reaffirmed that he will continue to serve the Church with prayer and meditation ·

The Motu Proprio 'Normas Nonnulla' that replaces certain norms concerning the election of the Roman Pontiff comes into force

“At this moment of my life... the Lord is calling me 'to scale the mountain', to devote myself even more to prayer and meditation. But this does not mean abandoning the Church; indeed, if God asks me this it is precisely so that I may continue to serve her with the same dedication and the same love with which I have tried to do so until now, but in a way more suited to my age and  strength”. It was in the Gospel of the Transfiguration that Benedict XVI found the inspiration to explain once again, to explain to a crowd overflowing from St Peter's Square, the reasons for his renunciation: “the Lord is calling me”. Thousands and thousands came to  the Pope's meeting with the faithful on Sunday, 24 February, for the last Angelus of the Pontificate and they made their warmth felt again and again with long bursts of applause. Thanking them several times for the expression of their affection, in his words the Pope reaffirmed the primacy of prayer in Christian life. Without it, he recalled, “the entire commitment to the apostolate and to charity is reduced to activism”.

Moreover, “prayer”, he chose to specify, “does not mean isolating oneself from the world and from its contradictions, as Peter wanted to do on Mount Tabor”. On the contrary, “prayer leads back to the journey and to action”. And it means, he confirmed, citing his Message for Lent this year: “continuously scaling the mountain to meet God and then coming back down, bearing the love and strength drawn from him, so as to serve our brothers and sisters with God’s own love”.

And “I hear this word of God as addressed to me in particular at this moment of my life”, he confided to the faithful from all the parishes of the city and from various Italian and foreign dioceses. He assured them at the end of the Marian prayer that “in prayer we are always close”. In the meantime, this morning, Monday, 25 February, the Motu Proprio Normas Nonnullas, was published with which some modifications are made to certain norms that concern the sede vacante and the election of the Roman Pontiff.

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St. Peter’s Square

Sept. 22, 2018

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