Loading
Mercy and redemption: two of the great characteristics of God, says Pope
Mercy and redemption: two of the great characteristics of God, says Pope

.- Today, as Pope Benedict XVI reached the exact 6-month mark since his election to the papacy, he told an audience of 40,000 gathered in St. Peter’s Square, that the Christian God is not one who condemns, but one who constantly offers forgiveness and mercy.

The Pope continued his ongoing catechesis on the Psalms today, this time speaking on Psalm 129, best known by its opening: "out of the depths I cry to thee."

He pointed out that it is "one of the best-known and most loved psalms of the Christian tradition."

He recalled that Psalm 129 is known as the "De profundis," and explained that "it is, in the first place, a song of divine mercy and of reconciliation between the sinner and the Lord."

"It opens", he said, "with a voice arising from the depths of evil and guilt. ... then continues over three stages dedicated to the subject of sin and forgiveness."

The Pope commented on the verses: "If thou, O Lord, shouldst mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared." To this, he said: "It is significant that fear, an attitude of respect mixed with love, is generated not by punishment but by forgiveness."

"More than God's anger," he stressed, "it is His generous and disarming magnanimity that should provoke our holy fear. In fact, God is not an implacable sovereign who condemns the guilty, but a loving Father Whom we must love, not out of fear of punishment, but for His goodness and readiness to forgive."

In the second part of the psalm, he pointed out that "watchfulness and hope blossom in the penitent psalmist's heart, along with the certainty that God will pronounce a liberating word and cancel out sin."

In the third part, "the personal salvation that the psalmist had originally implored, is extended to the whole community" and " takes root in the historical faith of the people of the Covenant, 'redeemed' by the Lord, not only from Egyptian oppression, but also 'from all iniquities'."

In this way, Benedict went on, "from the dark gorge of sin the supplication of the 'De profundis' reaches God's luminous horizon, dominated by 'mercy and redemption,' two of the great characteristics of the God of love."

As he concluded his teaching, the Holy Father quoted St. Ambrose who, writing on the psalm in his Tractate on Penance, says: "Never lose hope in divine forgiveness, however great your sin. With God there can always be a change of heart, if you acknowledge your offence."

Following the audience, the Pope greeted pilgrims in several languages, before blessing a statue of St. Mariana de Jesus Paredes y Flores (1618 - 1645), the "lily of Quito" and first saint of Ecuador. She was canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1950.

Her statue now rests in a niche on the outside of St. Peter's Basilica, along with numerous other saints, whose statues have recently been erected.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

3D Church mapping
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Jul
29

Liturgical Calendar

July 29, 2014

Saint Martha

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 11:19-27

Gospel
Date
07/29/14
07/28/14
07/27/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 14: 17-22
Gospel:: Jn 11: 19-27

Saint of the Day

St. Martha »

Saint
Date
07/29/14
07/27/14

Homily of the Day

Jn 11:19-27

Homily
Date
07/29/14
07/28/14
07/27/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: