Grace Plus Man´s Humility Brings Serenity, Pope Says

Continues Catechesis on the Psalms

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VATICAN CITY, AUG. 8, 2001 ( The secret of serenity lies in the embrace of God´s grace and the humility of man who puts all his trust in his creator, John Paul II told a general audience today.

“God´s loving faithfulness … envelops us like a mantle, warms and protects us, offering serenity and giving a sure foundation to our faith and hope,” the Pope told thousands of pilgrims gathered for the midweek audience, held in Paul VI Hall.

The Holy Father came from the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo this morning to continue his series of meditations on the Psalms, which he began earlier this year.

Today, he focused on Psalm 32 (or 33, depending on the numbering system followed) which he compared to “a quiver of joy,” describing it as a canticle to “the divine presence within creation and human events.”

In order to explain the way in which God intervenes in human history, the Pope repeatedly referred to St. Basil the Great´s (329-379) Homily on Psalm 32.

“Human programs, planned as alternatives, introduce injustice, evil, violence, rising against the divine plan of justice and salvation,” the Holy Father said. “And, despite transitory and apparent successes, they are reduced to simple machinations, destined to dissolution and failure.”

The Holy Father pointed out that Psalm 32 is “a call to faith in a God who is not indifferent to the arrogance of the powerful and who is close to the weakness of humanity, raising it and sustaining it, if it entrusts itself to him, if it raises its prayer and praise to him.”

Quoting St. Basil, the Pontiff said that the “humility of those who serve God shows that they hope for his mercy. Indeed, whoever does not trust in his own great enterprises, or expect to be justified by his own works, sees in God´s mercy his only hope for salvation.”

“Divine grace and human hope meet and embrace,” John Paul II said. That is where the secret to serenity and the sure foundation of hope lies, he concluded.

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