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Saturday, May 27, 2006
Pope Benedict XVI Journeys to Jasna Gora

Yesterday Pope Benedict XVI journey to Jasna Gora and the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa where he celebrated Mass. The Shrine is home to the Black Madonna believed to have been brought to Poland in 1382.

Here is part of his message to the men, women, religious, consecration, and priests present:

Faith is the gift, given to us in baptism, which makes our encounter with God possible. God is hidden in mystery; to claim to understand him would mean to want to confine him within our thinking and knowing and consequently to lose him irremediably. With faith, however, we can open up a way through concepts, even theological concepts, and can "touch" the living God. And God, once touched, immediately gives us his power. When we abandon ourselves to the living God, when in humility of mind we have recourse to him, a kind of hidden stream of divine life pervades us. How important it is to believe in the power of faith, in its capacity to establish a close bond with the living God!

We must give great attention to the development of our faith, so that it truly pervades all our attitudes, thoughts, actions and intentions. Faith has a place, not only in our state of soul and religious experiences, but above all in thought and action, in everyday work, in the struggle against ourselves, in community life and in the apostolate, because it ensures that our life is pervaded by the power of God himself. Faith can always bring us back to God even when our sin leads us astray.

In the Upper Room the apostles did not know what awaited them. They were afraid and worried about their own future. They continued to marvel at the death and resurrection of Jesus and were in anguish at being left on their own after his ascension into Heaven. Mary, "she who believed in the fulfillment of the Lord's words" (cf. Luke 1:45), assiduous in prayer alongside the apostles, taught perseverance in the faith. By her own attitude she convinced them that the Holy Spirit, in his wisdom, knew well the path on which he was leading them, and that consequently they could place their confidence in God, giving themselves to him unreservedly, with their talents, their limitations and their future.


These were the words that I placed at the beginning of the first encyclical of my pontificate: "Deus caritas est!" This is the most important, most central truth about God. To all for whom it is difficult to believe in God, I say again today: "God is love." Dear friends, be witnesses to this truth. You will surely be so if you place yourselves in the school of Mary. Beside her you will experience for yourselves that God is love, and you will transmit this message to the world with the richness and the variety that the Holy Spirit will know how to enkindle.

Praised be Jesus Christ.

© Copyright 2006 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana [translation by Holy See; adapted]

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(REUTERS/Max Rossi)

(REUTERS/Max Rossi)

(Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters)

(AP Photo/Diether Endlicher)


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