Benedict XVI Tells of God\'s Favorites

Comments on Mary\'s Magnificat

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 15, 2006 ( God\'s favorites are the humble, said Benedict XVI when commenting on the Magnificat, the famed canticle of the Mary recorded in Luke\'s Gospel.

In the Bible, the humble are the \"poor,\" the Pope explained, \"not only because of their detachment from all idolatry of wealth and power, but also because of their profound humility of heart, free from the temptation to pride, open to divine saving grace.\"

The Holy Father commented on the Marian canticle, from Luke 1:46-55, at today\'s general audience.

Benedict XVI was concluding the cycle of weekly catecheses on the Psalms and canticles of the Liturgy of the Hours and Vespers begun by Pope John Paul II in 2001.

Numerous times during his address, Benedict XVI put his notes aside to share his personal thoughts with the 9,000 visitors who gathered in Paul VI Hall. Beforehand, he had met with 7,800 other visitors -- mainly Italian students and members of the ecclesial Community of St. John -- in nearby St. Peter\'s Basilica.


During the catechesis at the general audience, the Holy Father explained that Mary\'s canticle arose from her awareness \"that she has a mission to fulfill for humanity and that her life is framed in the history of salvation.\"

At the same time, it shows how the Lord is \"on the side of the least,\" said the Pope.

\"Often, his plan is hidden under the opaque terrain of human vicissitudes, in which the \'proud,\' the \'mighty\' and the \'rich\' triumph,\" he added.

\"However, in the end, his secret strength is destined to manifest who God\'s real favorites are: the \'faithful\' to his Word, \'the humble,\' \'the hungry,\' \'his servant Israel,\' namely, the community of the People of God that, as Mary, is constituted by those who are \'poor,\' pure and simple of heart,\" said Benedict XVI.

\"It is that \'little flock\' which Jesus invites not to be afraid, as the Father has willed to give it his kingdom,\" he continued. \"This canticle invites us to associate ourselves to this little flock, to really be members of the People of God in purity and simplicity of heart, in love of God.\"

Benedict XVI concluded with what he called an \"amazing\" passage from St. Ambrose.

\"In the heart of each one may Mary praise the Lord, in each may the spirit of Mary rejoice in the Lord; if, according to the flesh, Christ has only one mother, according to faith all souls engender Christ: each one, in fact, receives in himself the Word of God,\" said the fourth-century doctor of the Church.

\"He invites us to offer the Lord a dwelling in our souls and in our lives,\" the Pope said. \"Not only must we bear him in our hearts, but we must take him to the world, so that we too might engender Christ for our times.\"