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On the mountain top to be closer to God

· The Lenten Itinerary explained by the Pope in a Roman parish and at the Angelus ·

From “the wilderness” of the temptations to the “mountain” of the Transfiguration in order to experience the closeness of God: this is how the Pope explains the spiritual itinerary proposed by the liturgy of the second Sunday of Lent.

During the Visit he made in the morning of 4 March to the Roman Parish of St Giovanni Battista de la Salle, the Pontiff reminds the faithul that “the path to glory, the path of luminous love that dispels the shadows, passes through the total gift of self, passes through the folly of the Cross”. It is for this reason, he adds, that the Lenten journey leads to Golgotha, “the mountain of the supreme sacrifice” in which is contained “the greatest transforming force of man and of history”.

To the community of the Torrino neighbourhood – who welcomed him like a great family, calling him affectionately “father” – Benedict XVI entrusted the task of bringing the newness of Christ “to your brothers and sisters wherever they live, work, study or merely spend their leisure time”, an urgent and demanding mission also in the light of the upcoming Year of Faith, which calls for a community commitment “to surmount that 'religious illiteracy' which is one of the greatest problems of our day”.

From the Pope also came an invitation to rediscover Sunday as a “a day of God and of the community”. To live in the joy of the Eucharistic celebration with the readiness “to welcome every person who is lonely or in difficulty”.

These topics were taken up by Benedict XVI at the Angelus recited in St Peter's Square at the end of the Visit. Returning to the meaning of the Transfiguration of Christ, the Pontiff reasserted that “God is light, and Jesus wishes to give his closest friends the experience of this light which dwells in him”. All human beings, moreover, need an “inner light to overcome the trials of life”, and to arrive at contemplation of the Face of Jesus “full of love and truth”. Hence the invitation reaffirmed in particular in the greeting to the French faithful not to be ashamed of being Christian, offering to the Lord a moment of prayer, every day, showing kindness and charity to those in need and giving up all that distances them from their neighbour.

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St. Peter’s Square

Sept. 19, 2019

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