Castel Gandolfo (Agenzia Fides) - In his speech at the General Audience on Wednesday, August 29, held in the square in front of the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo, the Holy Father Benedict XVI based his discourse on the day’s liturgical feast of the martyrdom of St. John the Baptist. The relationship with God, prayer, were "the common thread" of all John the Baptist’s existence - highlighted the Pope –he spent his whole life for God and to prepare the way for Jesus "In his final act, the Baptist, without hesitation, bears witness with his blood to his fidelity to God’s commandments, accomplishing his mission to the full - said Benedict XVI -. He did not stop telling the truth, and thus he died for Christ, the truth. It is his love for truth that prevented him from compromising with the powerful nor was he afraid to utter harsh words against those who had lost the way of God."
"To celebrate the martyrdom of St. John the Baptist - said the Pope – is also a reminder to the Christians of our time that with the love of Christ, his Word and Truth one cannot compromise. Truth is Truth, there is no compromise. Christian life requires, so to speak, the "martyrdom" of daily fidelity to the Gospel, which is the courage to let Christ grow in us and guide our thinking and actions. But this can happen in our lives only if our relationship with God is strong. Prayer is not time wasted, nor is it time robbed from activities, including apostolic, rather it is exactly the opposite: only if we are able to live in faithful, constant and confident prayer, God Himself will give us strength and ability to live happily and peacefully, overcoming difficulties and bearing witness with courage. St. John the Baptist intercede for us, so that we may always maintain the primacy of God in our lives." (SL) (Agenzia Fides 30/08/2012)