Pope Benedict XVI received in audience the Pro Petri Sede Association of Belgium. The charitable organization offers financial aid annually for the needs of the Holy See.
The Holy Father thanked the members of the association for their devotion to the Apostolic See and commended them on their “generosity and sense of ecclesial communion.”
Contemplating on the Year of Faith, Pope Benedict said that the occasion gives the faithful an opportunity to a genuine conversion as well as in invitation to model our existence to the “radical newness introduced into the world by Christ’s Resurrection.”
“Faith is a living reality that must constantly be discovered and deepened so that it may grow. It is she who must guide the gaze and action of the Christian; because it is a new criterion of understanding and action that changes the life of man,” the Pope said.
“As I have stated in the Apostolic Letter ‘Porta Fidei’, the Year of Faith is a good opportunity to intensify the witness of charity. ‘Faith– he continued – without charity bears no fruit, while charity without faith would be a sentiment constantly at the mercy of doubt. Faith and charity each require the other; in such a way that each allows the other to set out along its respective path.'”
The Pope continued his address reminding the members of the association that true Christian charity cannot be reduced to a simple humanism, saying that material assistance, while necessary, does not encompass charity in its fullness.
“Any genuine work of charity is a concrete manifestation of God’s love for mankind, thus becoming a proclamation of the Gospel. In this time of Lent, acts of charity, generously made (cf. Mt 6, 3), allow everyone to move toward Christ, who does not cease in coming to meet mankind!”
Concluding his address, Pope Benedict wished the Pro Petri Sede Association well during their pilgrimage in Rome and entrusted them and their families to the intercession of the Virgin Mary and the protection of St. Peter.
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For the full text of the Holy Father’s address, go to: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-audience-with-members-of-the-pro-petri-sede-association