Pope Urges Giving Mary the Gift of Prayer
Underlines Importance of Listening to Our Lady's "Message"
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ROME, DEC. 8, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI blessed a basket of roses today that was later placed at the feet of the Column of the Immaculate, but reminded those present that the most precious gift one can give to Mary is prayer.
The Pope said this today, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, during his annual visit to the image of the Immaculate Conception in Rome's Piazza di Spagna. The column of the Immaculate was erected in 1857, shortly after the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.
"We are gathered around this historic monument, which today is all surrounded by flowers, sign of the love and devotion of the Roman people for the Mother of Jesus," the Pontiff said. "And the most beautiful gift, and most pleasing to her, that we offer is our prayer, the one we bear in our hearts and which we entrust to her intercession.
"They are invocations of gratitude and supplication: of gratitude for the gift of faith and for all the good that we receive daily from God; and supplication for our different needs, for the family, health, work, for every difficulty that life has us encounter."
The Holy Father then reflected that even more important than gifts or offerings is the act of listening to what Mary has to say.
"She speaks to us with the Word of God, which became flesh in her womb. Her 'message' is none other than Jesus, who is her whole life," the Holy Father stated.
"With a look full of hope and compassion," the Pontiff affirmed, Mary tells each and every person: "Fear not, son, God loves you! He loves you personally; he thought of you before you came into the world and called you into existence to fill you with love and life; and because of this, he has come to meet you, he made himself like you, he became Jesus, God-Man, in everything similar to you, but without sin; he gave himself for you, to the point of dying on the cross, and thus has given you a new life, free, holy and immaculate."
Look of love
"Mary's look is God's look on each one of us," he continued. "She looks at us with the very love of the Father and blesses us."
"Even if everyone spoke evil of us, she, the Mother, would say the good, because her immaculate heart is attuned to God's mercy," Benedict XVI said. "Thus, she sees the city not as an anonymous agglomeration, but as a constellation where God knows everyone personally by name, one by one, and calls us to shine with his light.
"And those that in the eyes of the world are the first, for God they are the last; those who are little, are great for God. He recognizes in each one the likeness with his Son Jesus, even if we are so different!
"But who more than she knows the power of Divine Grace? Who better than she knows that nothing is impossible for God, capable in fact of drawing good from evil?"
The Pope reminded those present the message of Mary "is a message of trust for every person of this city and of the whole world. A message of hope not made of words, but of her own history."
"Thank you, O Mary Immaculate, for always being with us," the Holy Father said in a prayerful appeal to Our Lady. "Always watch over our city: comfort the sick, encourage young people, sustain families. Infuse the strength to reject evil, in every form, and to choose the good, even when it costs and entails going against the current. Give us the joy of feeling loved by God, blessed by him, predestined to be his children."
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Full text: www.zenit.org/article-31192?l=english