Pope: Mary Immaculate teaches us to listen to the voice of God
(Vatican Radio) On a chilly but bright Saturday afternoon Pope Benedict XVI, to the
joy of pilgrims and to the curiosity of visiting Christmas shoppers to Rome, made
his way, in his new Pope mobile, to a packed square just a stones throw away from
the famous Spanish Steps.
He was here to pay homage to Mary on the feast of
the Immaculate Conception.
Following a reading from the Book of Revelation
the Holy Father addressed the gathered faithful and visitors by the statue of Our
Lady, telling them what a joy it was to be in Piazza di Spagna on this feast day in
the Year of Faith.
In the first of three points on the Immaculate Conception,
the Pope noted that the encounter between the divine messenger and the Immaculate
Virgin goes completely unnoticed: nobody knows about it, nobody talks about it.
Benedict went on to say that if this great event was to happen in our time, “it would
not leave traces in newspapers and magazines, because it is a mystery that happens
What often goes unnoticed and is silent, said the Pope “is more
fruitful than the frenetic pace that characterizes our city.”
Being here at
the statue Mary in the centre of Rome, he continued “reminds us that God's voice is
not recognized in the noise and agitation”, his design on our personal and social
life is not superficial, but goes to a deeper level, where the forces are not economic
or political, but moral and spiritual.
Making his second point the Holy Father
underlined that the Immaculate tells us that the salvation of the world is not the
work of man - science, technology, ideology - but it is the work of grace.
he said means love in its purity and beauty, it reminds us that the power of God's
love is stronger than evil and it can fill in the gaps that selfishness causes in
the lives of individuals, families, and nations and the world.
to his third point Pope Benedict explained that the Immaculate Conception speaks of
joy, the real joy that spreads in the heart freed from sin. Sin, he said brings with
it a negative sadness, whereas Grace brings true joy that does not depend on the possession
of things but is rooted in the depths, of the person.
The Pope then called
on the faithful to learn to say no to the voice of selfishness, and to say yes to
that which is authentic love. Mary's joy is full, he said because in her heart there
is no shadow of sin.
Before taking his leave the Holy Father noted that in
this time of Advent, Mary Immaculate teaches us to listen to the voice of God who
speaks in silence and gives his grace, which frees us from sin and selfishness, so
as to enjoy true joy.
Earlier in the day during the Angelus in St Peter’s
Square the Pope described Mary as a genuine expression of grace.
The Holy Father
also expressed his closeness to the people of the Philippines who have been hit in
recent days by a violent storm.
The Pope prayed for the victims, for their
families and for the many who have been displaced.
He also prayed that their
faith would give them the strength to face, what he called , “this difficult trial.”
Listen to this report by Lydia O’Kane