VATICAN CITY, NOV. 2, 2005 ( The secret of happiness is docility to God and generosity to the needy, says Benedict XVI.

Addressing the 20,000 people who gathered today in St. Peter's Square for the weekly general audience, the Pope focused his catechesis on Psalm 111(112).

On All Souls Day, the Holy Father contended that "docility to God" is "the root of hope and interior and exterior harmony."

"Observance of the moral law is the source of profound peace of conscience," he said. "In fact, according to the biblical vision of 'retribution,' over the just is extended the mantle of divine blessing, which imprints stability and success on his works and those of his descendents."

However, "at the heart of this fidelity to the divine Word is a fundamental choice, namely, charity to the poor and needy," the Pope said. He pointed to the words of Psalm 111(112): "All goes well for those gracious in lending. … Lavishly they give to the poor."

In the light of these fundamental teachings of Scripture, Benedict XVI said that it is possible to contemplate "the human enigma of death," remembered by Christians on All Souls Day "with serenity and peace."

Death, the Pontiff observed, "is not an end but a new birth, it is the imperative passage through which the fullness of life may be attained by those who model their earthly existence according to the indications of the Word of God."

With his meditation, Benedict XVI continued with a series of commentaries on biblical psalms and canticles. Others are posted at the Wednesday's Audience section of ZENIT's Web page.