.- Earlier today Pope Benedict stopped at a rehabilitation center for people with disabilities in Jordan's capital of Amman, where he acknowledged the trials of the young people and encouraged them to draw âstrength from God.â
The Pope was greeted by His Beatitude Fouad Twal, Patriarch of Jerusalem of the Latins. He also met the Comboni Sisters and lay staff who help rehabilitate the disabled youths at the Regina Pacis (Queen of Peace) Center.
Pope Benedict began his remarks by recalling that he is like "countless pilgrims before me." It is now "my turn to satisfy that profound wish to touch, to draw solace from and to venerate the places where Jesus lived, the places which were made holy by His presence," he said.
He told the crowd that âevery one of us is a pilgrim" and that we are all âdrawn forwardâ on âGodâs path.â
Benedict then acknowledged the difficult situations that many of the people had been through to bring them to the rehabilitation center.
âI know that the journeys that have led many of you to the 'Regina Pacis' Center have been marked by suffering or trial. Some of you struggle courageously with disabilities, others of you have endured rejection. ... Of particular importance, I know, is the center's great success in promoting the rightful place of the disabled in society.â
The Pope observed that it is difficult to understand âan obstacleâ that seems to only bring pain, but âfaith and understanding help us to see a horizon beyond our own selvesâ to be able to see as God sees.
"Unlike the pilgrims of old, I do not come bearing gifts or offerings. I come simply with an intention, a hope: to pray for the precious gift of unity and peace, most specifically for the Middle East. Peace for individuals ... for communities, peace for Jerusalem, for the Holy Land, for the region, peace for the entire human family; the lasting peace born of justice, integrity and compassion, the peace that arises from humility, forgiveness and the profound desire to live in harmony as one,â he said.
"Prayer is hope in action," Benedict XVI noted, for through prayer we can experience âlove contact with the one God, the universal Creatorâ that allows us to overcome our âdivisions and prejudicesâ as our hearts are âconverted to Godâs truth.â
The youth gathered at the Regina Pacis Center also received a special address from the Pope. He said that their experiences with âtrialsâ and âwitness to compassionâ have encouraged him to believe that âsuffering can bring about change for the goodâ and that âstanding alongside others in their strugglesâ allows us to âglimpse the essence of humanity.â
He concluded his thoughts by asking everyone âto pray every day for our world,â for his pilgrimage and for âspiritual renewal in the Lord.â
Later today Pope Benedict is set to travel to the Al-Husseiniyeh Palace, where he will visit the Jordanian monarchs King Abdullah II and Queen Rania.
For the full text of the Pope's speech, visit: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/holyland09/resource.php?res_id=1134