Pope Hails Holidays as a Chance to Rediscover Contemplation

Addresses Pilgrims at Castel Gandolfo

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, JULY 22, 2001 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II said today that holidays are a special time to meet Christ personally in an atmosphere of greater silence, serenity and contemplation.

The Pontiff gave this advice to several thousand noisy pilgrims who filled the courtyard of Castel Gandolfo, the papal summer residence, where he arrived Saturday. On Friday, he ended a 12-day holiday in the Italian Alps.

The call to contemplation was suggested in this Sunday´s Gospel, which referred to Jesus´ visit to the home of Mary and Martha, Lazarus´ sisters. To Martha, who laments that her sister does not help her, Jesus answers that «Mary has chosen the better part, which shall not be taken away from her.»

«How can we not perceive, from this Gospel narrative, the call to the primacy of the spiritual life, of the need to be nourished by the Word of God in order to give light and flavor to daily concerns,» the Pope said.

«It is an invitation that is especially opportune during the summer period,» he added. «In fact, holidays and vacations can help to balance activity with contemplation, haste with more natural rhythms, noise with the heralding silence of peace.»

Today, the Church´s calendar marks the feast of St. Mary Magdalene, who washed Jesus´ feet, and who became the first witness of his resurrection.

«Mary Magdalene´s life shows how necessary it is for every human being to meet Christ personally,» the Holy Father said. «It is Christ who understands the human heart. He can fulfill hopes and expectations, as well as give an answer to the preoccupations and difficulties faced by humanity today in its daily endeavors.»

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation