CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, JULY 17, 2011 ( Benedict XVI is recommending patience in the struggle with evil, since, as St. Augustine says, "many at first are weeds and then become good seed."

The Pope said this today before praying the midday Angelus with pilgrims who had gathered at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo.

He commented on the readings for today's Mass, particularly the parable of the sower in the Gospel.

"Jesus compares the Kingdom of Heaven to a field of wheat, to make us understand that within us is sown something small and hidden, which, nevertheless, has an unrestrainable vital force," the Holy Father said. "Despite all the obstacles, the seed will develop and the fruit will mature. This fruit will only be good if the terrain of life has been cultivated according to the divine will."

Jesus warns us, however, the Pope continued, "that, after the owner planted the seed ... 'his enemy' came and sowed weeds."

"This means," the Pontiff proposed, "that we must be ready to guard the grace received on the day of our baptism, continuing to nourish faith in the Lord, which prevents evil from taking root. Commenting on this parable, St. Augustine observed that 'many at first are weeds and then become good seed' and he added: 'if the former, when they were evil, were not endured with patience, they would not have attained the praiseworthy change.'"

The Pope thus made this invitation: "If we are children of such a great and good Father, we must seek to resemble him! This was the aim that Jesus set himself with his preaching. ... Let us turn with confidence to Mary ... so that she will help us to follow Jesus faithfully, and thus live as true children of God."

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