FATIMA, Portugal, MAY 13, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is encouraging the faithful to cultivate an interior watchfulness so as to see God with the “eyes of the heart.”
“Yes! The Lord, our great hope, is with us,” the Pope exclaimed today in a Mass with 500,000 pilgrims gathered in Fatima. The Pontiff is in the middle of a four-day apostolic visit to Portugal, which ends Friday.
He affirmed that God, “in his merciful love,” offers “a future to his people: a future of communion with himself.”
The Holy Father continued, “For this to happen, we must cultivate an interior watchfulness of the heart which, for most of the time, we do not possess on account of the powerful pressure exerted by outside realities and the images and concerns that fill our soul.”
He exclaimed, “Yes! God can come to us, and show himself to the eyes of our heart.”
Benedict XVI recalled the young shepherds, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, who were beatified 10 years ago today, and who, together with their cousin, Lúcia dos Santos, saw Our Lady in Fatima repeatedly in 1917.
The Pope affirmed, “That Light deep within the shepherd children, which comes from the future of God, is the same Light which was manifested in the fullness of time and came for us all: the Son of God made man.”
“He has the power to inflame the coldest and saddest of hearts,” the Pontiff added.
He continued: “But who finds time to hear God’s word and to let themselves be attracted by his love?
“Who keeps watch, in the night of doubt and uncertainty, with a heart vigilant in prayer?
“Who awaits the dawn of the new day, fanning the flame of faith?”
“Faith in God opens before us the horizon of a sure hope, one which does not disappoint,” the Holy Father noted. “It indicates a solid foundation on which to base one’s life without fear; it demands a faith-filled surrender into the hands of the Love that sustains the world.”
The Pope stated, “I have come to Fatima with the same sentiments as those of Blessed Francisco and Jacinta, and the Servant of God Lúcia, in order to entrust to Our Lady the intimate confession that I love Jesus, that the Church and priests love him and desire to keep their gaze fixed upon him as this Year for Priests comes to its end, and in order to entrust to Mary’s maternal protection priests, consecrated men and women, missionaries and all those who by their good works make the House of God a place of welcome and charitable outreach.”
“An example and encouragement is to be found in the shepherd children,” he affirmed, “who offered their whole lives to God and shared them fully with others for love of God.”
“Our Lady helped them to open their hearts to universal love,” the Pontiff said. “Blessed Jacinta, in particular, proved tireless in sharing with the needy and in making sacrifices for the conversion of sinners.”
“Only with this fraternal and generous love will we succeed in building the civilization of love and peace,” he affirmed.
The Holy Father concluded, “May the seven years which separate us from the centenary of the apparitions hasten the fulfillment of the prophecy of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity.”
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Full text: http://zenit.org/article-29244?l=english