Thursday, November 5, 2009

Keep Eyes on Eternity, Pope says

Celebrates Mass for Deceased Prelates
VATICAN CITY, NOV. 5, 2009 (Zenit.org).- "The departure of loved ones is painful. The event of death is a disquieting enigma. But, for believers, however it comes, it is always illumined by the hope of immortality."

This was a reflection made today by Benedict XVI when he celebrated a Mass for the prelates who have died over the past year. Although death "might occur in humiliating and painful circumstances that seem to be a tragedy; in truth for those who have faith it isn't so," he explained. "Faith sustains us in these moments humanly speaking full of sadness and uneasiness," and in all difficult moments.

The Holy Father acknowledged that in this life, "there is no lack of difficulties and problems." "There are situations of suffering and pain, difficult moments to understand and accept," he said. "All this, however, acquires value and meaning if considered in the perspective of eternity. "Every trial, in fact, accepted with steadfast patience and offered for the Kingdom of God, comes to our spiritual aid already down here, and above all in the future life, in heaven."

Sacrifice of love

The Pope said that, "mysteriously associated" to Christ's passion, life can be "a pleasing offering to the Lord, a voluntary sacrifice of love." This "perseverance in the good," will make our faith, "purified by many trials, shine one day in all its splendor and return to our praise, glory and honor when Jesus manifests himself in his glory," he affirmed. "Herein lies the reason of our hope."

The Holy Father remembered in particular Cardinals Avery Dulles, Pio Laghi, Stéphanos II Ghattas, Stephen Kim Sou-hwan, Paul Pham Dinh Tung, Umberto Betti and Jean Margéot. "We remember them with affection," the Pontiff said, "and thank God for the good they did."

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