VATICAN - THE POPE’S WEDNESDAY TEACHING AT THE GENERAL AUDIENCE: LET US ASK GOD FOR THE GIFTS OF TRUST, HOPE AND OPTIMISM, PARTICULARLY AT THIS TIME WHEN THE TEMPTATION TO DESPAIR IS STRONG
Vatican City (Fides Service) – At the general Audience on Wednesday 3 September, held in the Paul VI Hall in the Vatican, for which the Pope travelled by car from his Summer Residence in Castel Gandolfo, the Holy Father continued his teaching on the Psalms used in the Church’s Morning and Evening Prayer, commenting this time on Psalm 91: Praise to the Lord of Creation!
“The hymn opens with a call to all to celebrate and praise the Lord with song and music” the Holy Father said and he explained that the central theme of the psalm is good and evil: “The one and the other are weighed up by God who is just and holy…to whom none of man’s actions are hidden. In this way two opposite behaviours are repeatedly compared. The conduct of the just man is devoted to celebrating divine works, to penetrating deeply the thoughts of the Lord and along this path his life is filled with light and joy. On the contrary the perverse man is marked by his obtuseness, unable as he is to comprehend the hidden meaning of human vicissitudes. Passing good fortune makes him arrogant, but in reality he is intimately fragile and doomed, after ephemeral success, to downfall and ruin”.
The contrast between the just and the evil man is affirmed again in the Psalm, but “the just man has the irresistible strength of a buffalo and is ready to face all adversities” because his roots lie “deep in God himself from whom he receives the lymph of divine grace. The life of the Lord nourishes and transforms him rendering him robust and thriving, that is, able to give to others and to bear witness to his faith”. The hymn ends with a mention of the “days of the old age of the just” and assures that they will be serene because the Lord is faithful.
“Psalm 91 is bursting with happiness, confidence and optimism, the Pope said- : gifts we must ask God to give us especially in our day when the temptation to lose confidence and even to despair can be insidious”. SL (Fides Service 4/9/2003 EM lines 23 Words: 352)
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