"Peace" Is a Name for God, Says Benedict XVI

At Homily During Vespers of First Sunday of Advent

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 4, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Peace is the goal toward which humanity aspires, as it is also "one of the most beautiful names of God," Benedict XVI explained in a meditation for Advent.



The Pope reflected on the meaning of the liturgical period in preparation for Christmas, during a homily he delivered on Saturday evening, at the celebration of Vespers of the First Sunday of Advent in St. Peter's Basilica.

According to the Holy Father, during Advent "the Church gives voice to that waiting for God profoundly inscribed in the history of humanity, a waiting that is often suffocated and deflected toward mistaken directions."

"And it does so, first of all, but not only, with prayer," he added. "'Good works' are essential and inseparable from prayer."

Benedict XVI affirmed that Advent is "the most appropriate period to become a time lived in communion with all those -- and thank God they are many -- who hope for a more just and fraternal world."

"This commitment to justice can unite, in a certain sense, men of any nationality and culture, believers and nonbelievers," the Pope said. "All are animated by a common longing -- even if it is different because of their motivations -- toward a future of justice and peace.

"Peace is the goal to which the whole of humanity aspires! For believers 'peace' is one of God's most beautiful names, who desires understanding among all his children, as I had the opportunity to recall on my pilgrimage of past days to Turkey."