When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were.
Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.
Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem. At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd, but they were confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language.
They were astounded, and in amazement they asked, "Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans?
Then how does each of us hear them in his own native language? We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene, as well as travelers from Rome, both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs, yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues of the mighty acts of God."
Bless the LORD, O my soul!
O LORD, my God, you are great indeed!
How manifold are your works, O LORD!
the earth is full of your creatures;
How manifold are your works, O LORD!
the earth is full of your creatures;
Pleasing to him be my theme;
I will be glad in the LORD.
If you take away their breath, they perish
and return to their dust.
When you send forth your spirit, they are created,
and you renew the face of the earth.
Letter to the Galatians 5:16-25.
I say, then: live by the Spirit and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh. For the flesh has desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you may not do what you want.
But if you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Now those who belong to Christ (Jesus) have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit.
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 15:26-27.16:12-15.
When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me.
And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.
But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming.
He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.
Mary, I love you. Mary, make me live in God, with God, and for God. Draw me after you, holy mother. Mary, may your children persevere in loving you. Mary, mother of God and mother of mercy, pray for me and for the departed. Mary, holy mother of God, be our helper. In every difficulty and distress, come to our aid, O Mary. O queen of heaven, lead us to eternal life with God. Mother of God, remember me, and help me always to remember you. O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you. Pray for us, O holy mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray to Jesus for me.
Take, O Lord, and receive my entire liberty, my memory, my understanding and my whole will. All that I am and all that I possess you have given me: I surrender it all to you to be disposed of according to your will. Give me only your love and your grace; with these I will be rich enough, and will desire nothing more. Amen.
Vatican City, May 20, 2012 / 11:50 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Ascension of Jesus should remind Christians of the promise of Heaven and the power of earthly prayer, Pope Benedict XVI said at the Regina Coeli prayer on Sunday.
When he ascended into heaven, Jesus “did not separate himself from our condition, in fact, in his humanity, he took mankind with him in the intimacy of the Father, and so has revealed the final destination of our earthly pilgrimage,” the Pope told pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square on May 20.
“Just as he came down from heaven for us, and for us suffered and died on the cross, so for us he rose again and ascended to God, who therefore is no longer distant, but ‘Our God,’ ‘Our Father.’”
The Pope spoke to several thousand people who gathered to hear his midday Sunday address, followed by recitation of the Regina Coeli prayer.
He noted that in many countries the feast of the Ascension – which occurs 40 days after the Resurrection – is celebrated today, rather than on Thursday.
“The Ascension of Our Lord marks the fulfillment of salvation which began with the Incarnation,” the Pope explained. It is “the ultimate act of our deliverance from the yoke of sin.”
“Not only is the immortality of the soul proclaimed, but also that of the flesh,” he said, quoting Pope St. Leo the Great. “Today, in fact, not only are we confirmed possessors of paradise, but in Christ we also penetrated the heights of heaven.”
The Ascension also tells us that when we pray, “our humanity is brought to the heights of God, so every time we pray, the earth joins with Heaven.”
“And like burning incense, its fragrant smoke reaches on high,” the Pope said of prayer, adding that “when we raise our fervent and trusting prayer in Christ to the Lord, it crosses the heavens and reaches the Throne of God, it is heard by Him and answered.
“Let us beseech the Virgin Mary to help us contemplate the heavenly things, which the Lord promises us, and become more credible witnesses of divine life.”
After the Marian prayer, Pope Benedict issued a series of greetings and appeals.
The Pope asked people to pray for the Church in China, “that they may announce with humility and joy the Risen Christ, be faithful to his Church and the Successor of Peter and live their daily life in a manner consistent with the faith we profess.”
Also on the pontiff’s mind was a bomb attack that hit at a high school in the southern Italian town of Brindisi on Saturday. The blast seriously injured several students and took the life of a 16-year-old girl named Melissa. Pope Benedict described the attack as “cowardly” and asked everyone to pray for the victims of the “brutal violence,” especially for Melissa and her family.
Finally, he offered his “affectionate thoughts” and said he is “spiritually close” to the victims of a 6.0 earthquake that hit northeastern Italy at around 4:00 a.m. on Sunday morning. The quake killed at least four people and caused millions in damage to historic buildings.
Lord, I believe in you and all that you have revealed for our salvation. I hope in you because of your overflowing mercy. Every single act of yours on this earth demonstrated your love for us. Your ascent into heaven before the eyes of the Apostles inspires my hope of one day joining you there. I love you and wish you to be the center of my life.
1The former treatise I made, O Theophilus, of all things which Jesus began to do and to teach, 2Until the day on which, giving commandments by the Holy Ghost to the apostles whom he had chosen, he was taken up. 3To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion, by many proofs, for forty days appearing to them, and speaking of the kingdom of God. 4And eating together with them, he commanded them, that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but should wait for the promise of the Father, which you have heard (saith he) by my mouth. 5For John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost, not many days hence. 6They therefore who were come together, asked him, saying: Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7But he said to them: It is not for you to know the times or moments, which the Father hath put in his own power: 8But you shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the uttermost part of the earth. 9And when he had said these things, while they looked on, he was raised up: and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10And while they were beholding him going up to heaven, behold two men stood by them in white garments. 11Who also said: Ye men of Galilee, why stand you looking up to heaven? This Jesus who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come, as you have seen him going into heaven.
Psalm - Ps 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9
2O clap your hands, all ye nations: shout unto God with the voice of Joy, 3For the Lord is high, terrible: a great king over all the earth. 6God is ascended with jubilee, and the Lord with the sound of trumpet. 7Sing praises to our God, sing ye: sing praises to our king, sing ye. 8For God is the king of all the earth: sing ye wisely. 9God shall reign over the nations: God sitteth on his holy throne.
Second Reading - Eph 1:17-23
17That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and of revelation, in the knowledge of him: 18The eyes of your heart enlightened, that you may know what the hope is of the glory of his inheritance in the saints. 19And what is the exceeding greatness of his power towards us, who believe according to the operation of the might of his power, 20Which he wrought in Christ, raising him up from the dead, and setting him on his right hand in the heavenly places. 21Above all principality, and power, and virtue, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come. 22And he hath subjected all things under his feet, and hath made him head over all the church, 23Which is his body, and the fulness of him who is filled all in all.
Gospel - Mk 16:15-20
15And he said to them: Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned. 17And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name they shall cast out devils: they shall speak with new tongues. 18They shall take up serpents; and if they shall drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them: they shall lay their hands upon the sick, and they shall recover. 19And the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God. 20But they going forth preached everywhere: the Lord working withal, and confirming the word with signs that followed.
The Pentecost Novena is the first of all novenas, nine days of prayer. After Jesus' Ascension into heaven, He commanded His disciples to come together in the upper room to devote themselves to constant prayer (Acts 1:14). They prayed for nine days before receiving the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.
On May 4, 1897, Pope Leo XIII proclaimed: "We decree and command that throughout the whole Catholic Church, this year and in every subsequent year, a novena shall take place before Whit-Sunday (Pentecost), in all parish churches." It has been reported that Pope Leo XIII was inspired to mandate the Pentecost novena because of a letter from a housewife in Italy. Pope John Paul II has reiterated Pope Leo XIII's command for a worldwide Pentecost novena, although the novena can be prayed at any time — not only before Pentecost.
Catholic Prayers: Novena to the Holy Spirit
ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses I offer myself, soul and body, to You, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice and the might of Your love. You are the Strength and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against You.
Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light and listen to Your voice and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring his opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore You, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, so to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace, O Holy Ghost, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere, "Speak, Lord, for Your servant heareth." Amen
PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Christ Jesus, before ascending into heaven, You promised to send the Holy Spirit to Your apostles and disciples. Grant that the same Spirit may perfect in our lives the work of Your grace and love. Grant us the Spirit of Fear Of The Lord that we may be filled with a loving reverence toward You. the Spirit of Piety that we may find peace and fulfillment in the service of God while serving others; the Spirit of Fortitude that we may bear our cross with You and, with courage, overcome the obstacles that interfere with our salvation; the Spirit of Knowledge that we may know You and know ourselves and grow in holiness; the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten our minds with the light of Your truth; the Spirit of Counsel that we may choose the surest way of doing Your will, seeking first the Kingdom; Grant us the Spirit of Wisdom that we may aspire to the things that last forever; Teach us to be Your faithful disciples and animate us in every way with Your Spirit. Amen.
Creation Awaits Fulfillment Holy Spirit, Lord of light! From Your clear celestial height, Your pure' beaming radiance give! Almighty and eternal God, send forth Your Spirit, who brought order from chaos at the beginning of the universe, and peace to the Lord's disciples. Grant that I, as your creation, baptized in your Spirit, may be filled with the seven gifts so that I may forever do your will and renew the face of the earth. Amen. Pray: Our Father, Hail Mary & Glory be Pray: Act Of Consecration to the Holy Spirit & Prayer For The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Christ's Promise To Send The Paraclete Come, Father of the poor! Come, treasures which endure! Come, Light of all that live! Come, O Blessed Spirit of Holy Fear, fill me with devotion to God alone. In the Risen Christ, I welcome You, O Spirit of truth, whom the Father sends in Jesus' name. Wash clean the sinful soul, and rain down your grace that we may be one with the Church in fidelity to our Lord Jesus, Christ. Amen. Pray: Our Father, Hail Mary & Glory be Pray: Act Of Consecration to the Holy Spirit & Prayer For The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit
The Soul Of Christ's Body, The Church Thou, of all consolers, best, Visiting the troubled breast Dost refreshing peace bestow. Come, O Blessed Spirit of Piety, possess my heart. God, our Father, may I, through the grace of your Spirit, be forever filled with filial affection for you. Grant that I may be inspired to love and respect all members of your family as brothers and sisters of Jesus, who, together with him, call you Abba, Father. Amen. Pray: Our Father, Hail Mary & Glory be Pray: Act Of Consecration to the Holy Spirit & Prayer For The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit
The Dignity Of The Christian Thou, in toil art comfort sweet; Pleasant coolness in the heat; Solace in the midst of woe. Come, O Blessed Spirit of Fortitude, uphold my soul in time of trouble and adversity. O, Divine Trinity, grant that we may be strengthened to see in ourselves and each other the dignity that is ours as temples of Your Holy Spirit, to be loved by one another as each of us is loved by Jesus. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen. Pray: Our Father, Hail Mary & Glory be Pray: Act Of Consecration to the Holy Spirit & Prayer For The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit FIFTH DAY Gifted To Serve And Build Others Up Light immortal! Light Divine! Visit Thou these hearts of Thine, And our inmost being fill! Come, 0 Blessed Spirit of Knowledge, and grant that I may perceive the will of the Father. Father, through Your Spirit, You invite us to participate in the fullness of Creation. Help me to see that all gifts are from You and intended for your Glory. For there are many different gifts, but always the same Spirit, many ways of serving, but 'always the same Lord. Amen. Pray: Our Father, Hail Mary & Glory be Pray: Act Of Consecration to the Holy Spirit & Prayer For The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Human Weakness And Sinfulness If Thou take Thy grace away, Nothing pure in man will stay, All his good is turn'd to ill. Come, 0 Blessed Spirit of Understanding, enlighten our minds iixat we may appreciate and see more fully what we know by faith. Come to us in our weakness and give voice to our petitions, for "the prayers that the Spirit makes for God's holy people are always in accordance with the mind of God." Pray: Our Father, Hail Mary & Glory be Pray: Act Of Consecration to the Holy Spirit & Prayer For The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit SEVENTH DAY Growth In The Freedom That Love Gives Heal our wounds - our strength renew; On our dryness, pour thy dew; Wash the stains of guilt away! Come, 0 Blessed Spirit of Counsel. Make my thoughts holy, my love pure, and my works pleasing to God. Father, guided by Your Spirit, may I strive to make loving choices and respect all life. May we be aware of our dignity as Your sons and daughters, redeemed with the Blood of Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen. Pray: Our Father, Hail Mary & Glory be Pray: Act Of Consecration to the Holy Spirit & Prayer For The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Gifted Through The Spirit Bend the stubborn heart and will; Melt the frozen, warm the chill; Guide the steps that go astray! Come, 0 Blessed Spirit of Wisdom, strengthen my faith, increase my hope, perfect my charity. Father, enlighten us each day, in the silence of our hearts, to discern the voice of Your Spirit, to do what He asks of us and to understand the gifts He freely gives us. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen. Pray: Our Father, Hail Mary & Glory be Pray: Act Of Consecration to the Holy Spirit & Prayer For The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Sent With The Power To Reconcile Thou on those who evermore, Thee confess and Thee adore, In Thy sevenfold gifts, descend; Give them comfort when they die; Give them life with Thee on high; Give them joys which never end. Amen.
Father, through Jesus, Your Son, You sent the Paraclete to be at our side, to reconcile all Creation to you.
Grant that I may be forever open to Jesus' invitation to "Receive The Holy Spirit!"
Father, open our hearts to accept Your forgiveness for our sins and to offer that same forgiveness to those who we feel have offended us.
For merciful forgiveness is the essence of Your love revealed in Your Son.
Come, O Divine Spirit, fill my heart with Your Heavenly Fruits - Your charity, joy, peace patience, benignity, goodness, faith, mildness and temperance, that I may, by faithful submission to your Inspiration, merit to be united eternally with You in the love of the Father and the Son. Amen.
Pray: Our Father, Hail Mary & Glory be
Pray: Act Of Consecration to the Holy Spirit & Prayer For The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit
A novena is a practice where a prayer or groups of prayers are recited for nine consecutive days for special intentions and petitions. The praying of a novena draws its origin from the practice of the disciples who prayed in the upper room for the nine days between the ascension of our Lord and the arrival of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
Jesus Christ lifted up His hands and blessed His disciples. While He blessed them, He parted from them, and He was lifted up to Heaven; and soon, a cloud took Him out of their sight.
The disciples worshipped the ascended Lord and for a long time continued to stand and gaze into Heaven after Him. Then, two angels in white robes appeared before them and said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into Heaven? This Jesus, Who was taken up from you into Heaven, will come to earth in the same way (that is, in the flesh) as you saw Him go into heaven."
......He will come again to earth in a visible form to judge the living and the dead who will then rise from the dead. After this, the new life will begin, the life of the next age, another, eternal life, which for true believers and pious people will be completely blessed but for disbelievers and sinners will be a time of great torment.
Notes: See the Gospels of Mark 16:15-19 and Luke 24:46-53; Acts of the Apostles 1, 2:4-26.
Prayer to Our Lady of Healing:- Our Lady, Health of the Sick, I look to You for the comfort of a mother’s love, I pray to You on behalf of those who are suffering and for my own healing needs. Mary, your love strengthens me and brings me peace. Our Lady,Health of the Sick, embrace all who are emotionally and physically ill that they may return to good health under your tender care. And please intercede for my very special needs (mention your needs here). Mary, your love strengthens me and brings me peace.
O Lord, you have mercy on all, take away from me my sins, and mercifully set me ablaze with the fire of your Holy Spirit. Take away from me the heart of stone, and give me a human heart, a heart to love and adore you, a heart to delight in you, to follow and enjoy you, for Christ's sake. Amen.
When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and, falling at his feet, paid him homage. Peter, however, raised him up, saying, "Get up. I myself am also a human being."
Then Peter proceeded to speak and said, "In truth, I see that God shows no partiality. Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him."
While Peter was still speaking these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the word. The circumcised believers who had accompanied Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit should have been poured out on the Gentiles also, for they could hear them speaking in tongues and glorifying God. Then Peter responded, "Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit even as we have?" He ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.
R. (cf. 2b) The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power. or: R. Alleluia. Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds; His right hand has won victory for him, his holy arm. R. The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power. or: R. Alleluia. The LORD has made his salvation known: in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice. He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness toward the house of Israel. R. The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power. or: R. Alleluia. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God. Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands; break into song; sing praise. R. The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power. or: R. Alleluia.
Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love. In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.
Jesus said to his disciples: "As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father"s commandments and remain in his love."
"I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy might be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another."
"It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; He is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is He who provoked you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is He who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is He who reads in your heart your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle.
"It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be ground down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal." ---------Blessed John Paul II
Thanks be to you, my Lord Jesus Christ. For all the benefits You have given me. O most merciful Redeemer, Friend, and Brother, May I know thee more clearly, Love thee more dearly, Follow thee more nearly, Day by day. Amen.
There are times when I wonder what the use of the internet is. Sometimes I sit there literally staring into space and not really able to comprehend what is in front of me because I can' t understand why it is in front of me. I feel that we are in a generation of instant information and instant unneeded or wanted junk for our minds. WE seem to know what everyone is doing and where. Do I really need to know some is getting their nails done right at this minute or that they are having dinner and are cutting into their pork chop right now?
Then there are days when it is beneficial to be able to read other peoples problems as can then relate and go okay it is not just me. My problem lately has been some days I get so deep into prayer and truly believe that the Lord is looking out for me and then other days it becomes why do I bother.
I am slowly coming to the realization that many people go through these swings ( Blessed Mother Theresa for one) where you wonder has God abandoned me? But somehow and someway the signs are always there that well no God has not left you in a lerch but at times he has in fact responded by giving you something to deal with.
Something to deal with for you to solve and to solve in the correct manner and use the belief that you have in him along with Jesus and many times the Virgin Mother Mary. Yes it is easy to feel sorry for yourself and feel abandoned but take a step back and weigh all things through and you will see it is not the case.
Yes you will still have your daily struggles but just trust God because he is there and he will help and take what is given you and live with it. Also yes look around on the internet there are many helpful blogs out there and many prayers that will help as well. Will we every truly be sure of where we are at? Not sure but with God around we will always know we are on the right path! God Bless!
Vatican City, May 4, 2012 / 09:19 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Benedict XVI used a speech to foreign diplomats May 4 to warn governments against exacerbating inequalities of wealth during the current economic crisis.
“When poverty coexists with the very rich, a perception of unfairness is born that can become a source of rebellion,” said the Pope.
“It is therefore appropriate that States ensure that the social laws do not increase inequalities and enable people to live decently.”
The comments were made in an address to five new ambassadors to the Holy See who were presenting their diplomatic credentials to the Vatican.
Speaking in French, the Pope noted that the present global economic crisis has brought “more and more families to an increasingly precarious situation.” Previously the “creation and multiplication of needs” had led many people to believe “in the possibility of unlimited enjoyment and consumption.”
Now, however, those hopes have been dashed and “feelings of frustration” have emerged with “loneliness due to exclusion” on the increase.
At the heart of all future economic policy, he said, has to be the good of the human person as “man is more precious for what he is than for what he has,” said the Pope quoting from the Second Vatican Council’s “Gaudium et spes” document.
Achieving this goal requires helping people in need to become “actors in their own society” and “enabling them to take charge of their own future.”
“Development for which every nation aspires each should concern the integral person, not economic growth alone,” said the Pope.
Drawing upon Catholic social teaching’s belief in subsidiarity, Pope Benedict highlighted economic experiments “such as microcredit, and initiatives to create equitable partnerships” which show that it is possible “to harmonize economic goals with social needs, democratic governance and respect for nature.”
Pope Benedict then turned to another form of poverty which he described as “the loss of reference to spiritual values, to God.”
“This vacuum makes discernment between good and evil as well as the overcoming of personal interests for the common good, more difficult,” he said, adding that “it makes it easier to adhere to ideals currently in fashion and avoid the necessary effort of reflection and criticism.”
The victims of this loss are very often the young, he observed, who “in search of an ideal, turn to artificial paradises which destroy them” such as “addiction, consumerism and materialism” which “do not fill the heart of man made for infinity.”
“For the greatest poverty is the lack of love,” he said, “In distress, compassion and selfless listening are a great comfort. Even without great material resources, it is possible to be happy.”
Pope Benedict concluded by suggesting that this societal renaissance would be assisted by an education system that is “awakened to the spiritual dimension” and also by the promotion of each nation’s cultural and religious heritage given that in “familiarizing oneself with history, each individual is brought to discover the roots of his or her own existence.”
This will help each person to “forge a strong interior personality which enables him to witness to good and accomplish good even if it comes at a cost.”
The new ambassadors to the Holy See, who will not be resident in Rome, represent the governments of Ethiopia, Malaysia, Ireland, Fiji and Armenia.