Pope: Police Work Can Be Mission, Service, Holiness

Encourages Internal and External Vigilance

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 15, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Accomplishing one’s duty with love, especially when it is difficult, can be a prayer that leads to holiness, says Benedict XVI.

The Holy Father affirmed this today when he received in audience the members of the General Inspectorate for Public Security in the Vatican.

In this traditional January meeting, the Pope recognized the sacrifices of the guard, as well as those of their families, due to «the shift-work required in order to maintain constant watch over the area around St. Peter’s Square and the Vatican.»

He said: «A new year is beginning and we have many expectations and hopes. Yet we cannot hide the fact that many threatening clouds are gathering on the horizon.

«We must not, however, lose heart; rather we must keep the flame of hope alive in our hearts.

«For us as Christians the true hope is Christ, the Father’s gift to humanity. […] Only Christ can help us build a world in which justice and love reign.»

The Pontiff exhorted his listeners to see their work as a mission, «a service to others through order and security and, at the same time, a form of individual asceticism; what we may call constant internal vigilance, which requires harmony between discipline and cordiality, between self-control and attentive welcome of the pilgrims and tourists who come to the Vatican.»

He added: «If undertaken with love, such service becomes prayer, a prayer even more welcome to God when your work is thankless, monotonous and tiring, especially during the night and in bad weather.

«It is by doing their duty well that each of the baptized achieves his or her vocation of sanctity.»

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