Before praying his weekly Angelus prayer with a large group of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square Sunday, Pope Benedict urged Christians to utilize the period of Advent to reawaken their hearts, so that with God’s help, they can renew the world.
He began by explaining how the liturgical period of Advent, which began yesterday, is "of great religious significance," and is "permeated with hope and spiritual anticipation."
The Pope said that during this season, Christians experience a dual movement of the spirit: "On the one hand,” he said, “they raise their eyes towards the final goal of their pilgrimage in history, which is the glorious return of the Lord Jesus; on the other, recalling with emotion His birth in Bethlehem, they bow before the manager.”
“The hope of Christians”, he observed, “is directed to the future, but it always remains firmly rooted in an event from the past."
Pope Benedict highlighted that during Advent, "Christians must reawaken in their hearts the hope of being able, with God's help, to renew the world."
On this note, he quoted "Gaudium et spes", the famous Vatican Council II Apostolic Constitution on the Church in the modern world, a text which the Pope called “profoundly imbed with Christian hope.”
The document reads: 'We are taught that God is preparing a new dwelling place and a new earth where justice will abide, and whose blessedness will answer and surpass all the longings for peace which spring up in the human heart'."