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We must invest in family life

· At the Angelus the Pope expresses his hope for a Europe in which every human being's dignity is protected ·

And to consecrated people the invitation to recognize the wisdom of weakness in the society of efficiency

“Invest in life and in the family, also as an effective response to the current crisis”. Benedict XVI renewed his appeal to the Bishops of Italy on the occasion of the Italian World Day of Life, celebrated on 3 February. In greeting members of the Pro-Life Movement and representatives of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the universities of Rome who took part in the Angelus in St Peter's Square on Sunday, 3 February,  the Pope expressed his special hope that “Europe [might] always be a place where the dignity of every human being is protected”.

Earlier, in recalling the Gospel episode of Jesus who sppoke in the synagogue of Nazareth, the Pope recalled that “The true prophet obeys no one except God, and puts himself at the service of the truth, ready to pay in person”. Moreover, “it is true”, he said, “that Jesus was a prophet of love, but love has a truth of its own. Indeed, love and truth are two names of the same reality, two names of God”, as the hymn to love contained in St Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians says explictly.

“Believing in God means giving up our own prejudices and accepting the actual face in which he revealed himself: Jesus of Nazareth the man”, Benedict XVI explained. “And this process also leads to recognizing him and to serving him in others”.

The Pope had pointed out this mission to the numerous men and women religious who took part in the Eucharistic celebration at which he had presided in the Vatican Basilica on Saturday afternoon, 2 February, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, and the 17th World Day of Consecrated Life. “I urge you to  treasure... the memory of the 'first love' with which the Lord Jesus Christ warmed your hearts”, he told them. For this reason “it is necessary to be with him, in the silence of adoration; and thereby to reawaken the wish to share – and the joy of sharing – in his life, his decisions, the obedience of faith, the blessedness of the poor and the radical nature of love”.

It is precisely “by starting out ever anew from this encounter of love”, Benedict XVI emphasized, “that you leave all things to be with him and, like him, to put yourselves at the service of God and your brothers and sisters”. With a faith, he added, “that recognizes 'the wisdom of weakness'” in a society that lives “in efficiency- and success-oriented societies”. And this is also in order to respond “to the prophets of doom who proclaim the end or the meaninglessness of the consecrated life in the Church in our day”.

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St. Peter’s Square

Sept. 21, 2018

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