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Toward the light

· Benedict XVI concludes the Spiritual Exercises in the ‘Redemptoris Mater’ Chapel ·

Benedict XVI concluded the week of Spiritual Exercises in the Vatican, which took place in the “Redemptoris Mater” Chapel. The meditations were given by Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, Archbishop of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The following is a translation of the Pope’s Words in Italian.

Your Eminence, Dear Brothers,

At the end of these days of prayer and listening, it is right to say thank you. On behalf of us all I address a “thank you” to you, Your Eminence, for the guidance you have given us during these Exercises.

You have guided us — as it were — through the great garden of the First Letter of St John and thus throughout Scripture with great exegetical skill and with your spiritual and pastoral experience. You have guided us with your gaze fixed ceaselessly upon God, and from this very gaze upon God we learned love and the faith that creates communion. And you seasoned your meditations with lovely stories, taken mainly from your beloved Africa, which gave us joy and helped us.

I was particularly struck by the story in which you spoke about a friend who, since he was in a coma, had the impression that he was in a dark tunnel but at the end of it he glimpsed a point of light and, above all, he heard beautiful music. It seems to me that this might be a parable of our own life. We often find ourselves in a dark tunnel, in the middle of night, but through faith, we see light at the end of it and hear beautiful music. We perceive the beauty of God, of heaven and of earth, of the Creator God and of the creature; and so it is true, spe sumus [for in this hope] we were saved (cf. Rom 8:24).

And you, Your Eminence, have strengthened us in faith, in hope and in charity. Many thanks.




St. Peter’s Square

Sept. 21, 2019