Pope Urges More Focus on God's Gifts

Comments on Psalm 110(111)

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 8, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI encouraged the faithful to acknowledge God’s benefits, and to avoid focusing on the negative aspects of life, in order to learn to offer prayers of thanksgiving.

The Pope gave this advice today to the 35,000 people who attended the general audience in St. Peter’s Square. He dedicated his address to a commentary on Psalm 110(111).

The biblical composition invites us “to discover all the good things that the Lord gives us every day,” the Holy Father said in his catechesis.

“We see more easily the negative aspects of our life,” he said. “The Psalm invites us to see the positive also, the many gifts we receive, and so find gratitude, as only a grateful heart can celebrate worthily the liturgy of thanksgiving, the Eucharist.”

A strong wind prompted a comment from the Pope at the start of his address.

“Today we feel a strong wind,” he said. “The wind of sacred Scripture is symbol of the Holy Spirit. We hope that the Holy Spirit will enlighten us now in the meditation of Psalm 110.”

With the address he thus continued the series of reflections begun by Pope John Paul II on the Psalms and canticles of the Liturgy of the Hours.

Intimate bond

Prayer, said Benedict XVI, is “contemplation of the mystery of God and of the wonders he works in the history of salvation.”

And among these wonders is “the intimate bond that unites God to his people and includes a series of attitudes and gestures,” he continued.

Because of this, the Psalmist concludes by inviting the faithful “to cultivate the ‘fear of the Lord,’ the beginning of wisdom,” the Holy Father added. “Fear and terror are not concealed under this term, but earnest and sincere respect, which is the fruit of love, genuine and active adherence to the liberating God.”

At the end of the audience, the Holy Father greeted pilgrims in 11 languages. In addition to Italian, French, German, English, Spanish, Portuguese and Polish, he read his greetings in Czech, Slovak, Hungarian and Lithuanian.

Before taking leave of the faithful, the Holy Father spent time with the sick who attended the audience.

Other commentaries of Benedict XVI and John Paul II on the Psalms and canticles of the Liturgy of the Hours are posted at www.zenit.org/english/audience.

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