Psalms Present Map of a Tranquil World, Says Pope

Focuses on Psalm 84(85) at General Audience

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VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 25, 2002 ( Mercy, truth, justice and peace are the four cardinal points of the geography of the spirit, John Paul II says.

The Holy Father dedicated today’s general audience to reflect on Psalm 8(85), «a joyful song full of hope in the future of salvation,» characterized by a petition: «Show us, Lord, your love; grant us your salvation.»

Continuing with the series of meditations on the Psalms and canticles of the Old Testament which he began last year, the Holy Father said that salvation implies two essential elements: «God who forgives» and «the conversion of man who repents.»

«Conversion is, precisely, a return to the straight way that leads to the house of the Father, who waits to embrace us, to forgive us, and to make us happy,» John Paul II told the 10,000 pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

In the light of this embrace between man and God, Psalm 84(85) opens to a «new world» in which «the love of God and his fidelity embrace as if they were persons; similarly, justice and peace also meet and kiss one another,» the Pope explained.

«All the virtues, at first expelled from the earth because of sin, now re-enter history and meet, designing the map of a world of peace,» he added.

Thus, «mercy, truth, justice and peace become almost the four cardinal points of this geography of the spirit,» the Holy Father said.

This «new world» the Pope concluded, quoting St. Irenaeus of Lyon of the second century, finds its highest expression in the coming of Christ, «the source of mercy, the sprouting of truth, the flowering of justice, the splendor of peace.»

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