Sunday, June 27, 2010

Benedict XVI Encourages Prayer for Church's Purity

The following comes from the Zenit site:

Highlights Vocation to Belong Exclusively to Jesus

ROME, JUNE 24, 2010 ( Benedict XVI is underlining the importance of prayer for the Church's purity and holiness, especially through the intercession of those who have consecrated themselves to God.

Today the Pope visited a community of cloistered nuns in the Dominican convent of Santa Maria del Rosario in Rome's Monte Mario district.

In his homily, he told the nuns that through prayer, "which finds its culmination in the daily participation in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, your consecration to the Lord in silence and seclusion becomes fecund and full of fruits."

The Pontiff affirmed that these fruits are attained "not only for the path of sanctification and purification, but also for the apostolate of intercession that you carry out for the whole Church, so that it can appear pure and holy in the presence of the Lord."

He told the nuns, "You, who know well the efficacy of prayer, experience every day the many graces of holiness it can obtain in the Church."

"Be grateful to Divine Providence for the sublime and gratuitous gift of the monastic vocation, to which the Lord has called you without any merit of yours," the Holy Father exhorted.

Heart of the Church

He continued: "Even before you were born, the Lord had kept your heart for himself to be able to fill it with his love.

"Through the sacrament of baptism you received divine grace in yourselves, immersed in his death and resurrection, you were consecrated to Jesus, to belong to him exclusively."

Benedict XVI acknowledged that "the way of contemplative life, which you received from St. Dominic in the form of cloister, places you, as living and vital members, in the heart of the Lord's Mystical Body, which is the Church."

Thus, he added, "as the heart makes the blood circulate and maintains the whole body alive, so your hidden existence with Christ, interlaced with work and prayer, contributes to sustain the Church."

The Pope encouraged the nuns to continue with this prayer, "presenting in the presence of the Most High the spiritual and material needs of so many brothers in difficulty, the strayed lives of all those who separate themselves from the Lord."

He urged them to recognize "that in everything you do, beyond the personal moments of prayer, your heart continues to be led by the desire to love God."

The Pontiff offered a prayer that Our Lady, "who in silence received the Word of God, guide you in your daily virginal consecration, so that you will be able to experience in obscurity the profound intimacy she lived with Jesus."

He concluded by giving a blessing to those present, as well as to "the persons who entrust themselves to your prayers."

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