The Blessed Virgin encourages the faithful to remain hopeful in the face of the inevitable problems of daily life, said Pope Benedict XVI today on the Feast of the Assumption of Mary.
Prior to praying the Angelus with the pilgrims at his summer residence in Castelgandolfo, the Pope said Mary offers support and an example of discipleship to all of the faithful.
“She assures us of her help and she reminds us that what is essential is to seek and to think about are the things of heaven, not those of this world,” the Pope said.
The 79-year-old pontiff told the crowd who gathered to pray that, taken up by daily preoccupations, the faithful risk thinking that the ultimate purpose of human existence is found in this passing world.
“Instead, heaven is the real goal of our earthly pilgrimage,” he stated. “How different our days would be if they were guided by this perspective! This is what it was for the saints. Their lives witnessed that when one lives with one’s heart constantly turned to heaven, earthly realities are lived in the proper proportion.”
The Pope entrusted the “anxieties of humanity” that are being experience in every part of the world that is racked by violence.
Benedict, who had celebrated Mass just prior to his address, said the Church was in communion with those Christian brothers and sisters who were gathered at Our Lady of Lebanon Sanctuary in Harissa, Lebanon, where Cardinal Roger Etchegaray was celebrating Mass for the Marian feast day. The cardinal was sent to the war-torn country as the Pope’s special envoy to bring comfort and solidarity to all victims of the conflict.
“We are also in communion with the pastors and faithful of the Church in the Holy Land, who have gathered in the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth,” with the nuncio, Archbishop Antonio Franco, he said.
The Pope said his thoughts also went out to the people suffering from ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka and to those suffering in Iraq, “where the frightful and daily flow of blood makes the possibility of reconciliation and reconstruction more distant.”
After the Angelus, the Pope addressed the pilgrims in seven languages, urging them to turn to Mary with confidence in seeking God’s will and their source of joy.