Benedict XVI: Remember to Take God on Vacation

Encourages Meaningful Activity

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CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, JULY 18, 2010 ( Benedict XVI is underlining the importance of using summer vacation and times of rest from work to grow closer to God and reflect on his Word.

The Pope stated this today in an address before praying the midday Angelus together with those gathered in the courtyard of the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo.

«We are already in the heart of the summer, at least in the northern hemisphere,» he noted. «This is the time in which the schools are closed and in which most vacations are concentrated.»

«Even the pastoral activities of the parishes are reduced, and I myself have suspended audiences for a period,» the Pontiff said.

He continued, «It is therefore a favorable moment to give first place to what is effectively the most important thing in life, that is to say, listening to the Word of God.»

The Holy Father spoke about today’s Gospel, about the visit of Jesus to Martha and Mary.

He observed that «after Jesus is accommodated, Mary sits at his feet and listens to him, while Martha is completely absorbed with much serving, which is certainly due to the exceptional guest.»

«One sister is very busy and the other is enraptured by the presence of the Master and his words,» Benedict XVI added.


He noted that Christ reminds Martha of «the one thing that is truly necessary,» that is, «listening to the Word of the Lord.»

«Everything else will pass and will be taken away from us, but the Word of God is eternal and gives meaning to our daily activity,» the Pope affirmed.

He noted that «this Gospel passage is very important at vacation time, because it recalls the fact that the human person must work, must involve himself in domestic and professional concerns, to be sure, but he has need of God before all else, who is the interior light of love and truth.»

The Pontiff continued: «Without love, even the most important activities lose value and do not bring joy.

«Without a profound meaning, everything we do is reduced to sterile and disordered activism.»

The Holy Father concluded, «So let us learn, brothers, to help each other, to cooperate, but first of all to choose together the better part, which is and will always be our greater good.»

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