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The choice between falsehood and truth

· Benedict XVI's 'Lectio Divina' on the sacrament of Baptism at the inauguration of the Ecclesial Convention of the Diocese of Rome ·

Thirty minutes for a Lectio Divina with a high theological profile, as that presented by the Pope on Monday evening, 11 June, in the Basilica of St John Lateran at the inauguration of the ecclesial convention of the diocese of Rome. He invited the participants to reflect on the meaning of the sacrament of Baptism - “the first step of the Resurrection” - emphasizing its timeliness, with the intention of reaffirming that “Baptism is not the action of a single hour but a reality of our entire life”, and that “God is not a distant star but the environment of my life”. For this very reason Christians are constantly called to compare themselves with the two pivotal elements of the sacrament: matter, represented by water, and the word, which in its turn is expressed in three other elements of the rite, that is, renunciation, promises and invocations. And speaking of renunciation he made an explicit reference to the seduction of evil “in order not to let yourselves be dominated by sin”. He re-evoked the ancient words “the devil and all his works”, by which was meant a culture in which the truth counted less than appearances. A culture, he said, “which we know today too”, in which all that counts “is sensation and the spirit of calumny and destruction”. A culture that “does not seek good” and in which “falsehood is presented in the guise of truth and information”. And just as in the ancient Church the first baptismal renunciation referred, precisely, to this creature, the “devil and all his works”, today we are also called to repeat our “no” to the culture that denies God and to repeat the fundamental “yes”, the “yes” of love and truth”. In concluding his meditation – given extemporaneously – the Pope reaffirmed that the Baptism of newborn infants “is not against freedom” but is also necessary to justify the gift of life”.

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