his weekly Angelus prayer on Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI told a group of
thousands, gathered below his study window in St. Peter’s Square that
Christians are not called to always live in glorious, mystical
experiences, but rather, to humbly listen to the voice of Christ, just
as the Blessed Virgin Mary did.
The Pope, who had just finished a week-long spiritual retreat, said that his recent days were spent “completely dedicated to listening to the Lord, Who always speaks to us, and who expects us to pay the greatest attention, especially in this period of Lent."
He went on to comment on Sunday’s Gospel reading, in which, the Transfiguration of Christ on Mount Tabor, is recorded in Mark. He said that "when we have the grace of undergoing a profound experience of God, it as if we experienced something similar to what happened to the disciples during the Transfiguration.”
“For a moment” he said, “we enjoy a foretaste of what will be the joy of heaven.”
He said that "these are usually brief experiences that God sometimes grants, especially prior to severe trials,” but also quickly pointed out that, “it is given to no one to live 'upon Tabor' while they are on this earth.”
“Human life is, in fact,” he said, “a journey of faith and, as such, progresses more in the shadows than in full light, and is not without moments of obscurity or even of complete blackness.”
“As long as we live in the world,” the Pope pointed out, “our relationship with God consists more in listening than in seeing; and even contemplation comes about, so to say, with eyes closed and thanks to the inner light lit within us by the Word of God."
Calling to mind the example of the Virgin Mary, Benedict recalled that, "advanced in her own pilgrimage of faith day after day," she meditated on the Word of God, both through the Scriptures and through events in the life of her Son "in which she recognized and accepted the mysterious voice of the Lord.”
He said that "This, then, is the commitment of each of us during Lent: to listen to Christ as Mary did.”
Specifically, he encouraged the faithful to “listen to Him in His Word, conserved in Holy Scripture…listen to it in the events of our own lives, seeking to read therein the messages of Providence,” and finally, “to listen to it in our brothers and sisters, especially in the smallest and the poorest, towards whom Jesus Himself calls for a concrete display of our love.”
The Holy Father concluded by saying that “Listening to Christ and obeying His voice…is the Way, the one Way that leads to the fullness of joy and of love."