.- Addressing all people on their "walk" on Earth, the Holy Father called on Wednesday for a continued search for the "profound truth,"after the example of St. Augustine. Referring to the example of this Church Father, he said that no one should be afraid to encounter the Truth, which could "find us, get hold of us and change our lives."
Pope Benedict addressed around 3,500 people between those gathered in the outer square and those in the inner courtyard of the Pontifical Villa at Castel Gandolfo for Wednesday's general audience.
He spoke of the importance of the saints being "travel companions" for all people on their earthly pilgrimage, saying that "everyone should have a saint that is familiar to them, to feel their proximity with prayer and intercession, but also to imitate them."
The saints can be of great help as guides to loving the Lord and aiding human and Christian growth, the Pope said, pointing out his own personal links to Sts. Joseph and Benedict. He explained that he has also had the "great gift of closely knowing" St. Augustine through study and prayer.
Referring to this 5th-century saint as "a good 'travel companion'" in his ministry and life, the Pope said that St. Augustine's "restless and constant search for Truth" is "still current in our age when it seems like relativism is paradoxically the 'truth' that must guide thoughts, choices and behaviors."
Pointing out the lack of superficiality in the saint's life, Benedict XVI explained that he did not seek "pseudo-truths incapable of giving lasting peace to the heart," but rather, he looked for "that Truth that gives meaning to existence and is 'the shelter' in which the heart finds serenity and joy."
While St. Augustine's route was a difficult one, the Pope recalled, an important element of his life was that "he never stopped, he was never contented with that which gave him just a glimmer of light.
"He knew how to look into the intimacy of himself and he realized ... that that Truth, that God that he sought with his strength was more intimate to him than himself, He was always beside him, He had never abandoned him, He was waiting to be able to enter in a definitive way in his life."
Augustine understood that he did not find the truth, but it was "the very Truth, that is God, that sought and found him," the Holy Father specified.
Reaching the core his message, Pope Benedict said, "often we prefer to live just a passing moment, deceiving ourselves that it brings lasting happiness; we prefer to live - because it seems easier - with superficiality, without thinking; indeed, we are scared to seek the truth or maybe we are scared that the Truth might find us, get hold of us and change our lives, as happened for St. Augustine.
"Dear brothers and sisters, I would like to say to everyone, also to those who are in a moment of difficulty on their walk of faith, or also to those who participate little in the life of the Church or to those who live 'as if God didn't exist,' not to be afraid of the Truth, not to ever interrupt the walk towards it, not to ever cease searching for the profound truth about themselves and about the things with 'the interior eye' of the heart."
Concluding his address, he said, "God will not fail to give the Light to show and the Heat to make the heart feel that He loves us and that He desires to be loved."