Encourages Hospital Staff and Ill to Promote Values

PAVIA, Italy, APRIL 22, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI asks that scientific and technological progress always be accompanied by the promotion of fundamental values such as respect for life in all of its stages.

The Pope recalled this today when visiting St. Matthew's Hospital in Pavia, a northern Italian city that the Holy Father is visiting to pray at St. Augustine's tomb. The tomb is located there in the Basilica of St. Peters in the Golden Sky.

"Here, you try to alleviate people's suffering, looking at the same time for their full recovery and often -- thanks to modern scientific discoveries -- with very satisfactory results," the Pontiff said when addressing the personnel and patients of the hospital.

"I truly hope that necessary scientific and technological progress would be constantly accompanied by the awareness of promoting -- together with the good of the sick person -- fundamental values like the respect for and defense of life at all its stages," Benedict XVI added.

A hospital, he said, "is a place that in a certain sense we could call 'sacred,' where the fragility of life and human nature is experienced, as well as humanity's enormous potential and ingenious resources and technology at the service of life."

Expressing his spiritual closeness to the sick people, the Pope told them: "Suffering repulses the human being, but when it is welcomed with love because of faith, it becomes a precious occasion to be united in a mysterious way with Christ the redeemer, who, on the cross, took on the death and all of the pain of humanity."

Code: ZE07042207

Date: 2007-04-22

Teachings of Christ

“Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14 ESV)

Joachiam and Anna Rejoice

Today the bonds of childlessness are loosed, * for God has heard Joachim and Anna * and He promises manifestly that they, against all hope, would give birth to the Maiden of God * from whom the Uncircumscribed One Himself would be born, becoming man, * and he commanded the Angels to cry out to her: * “Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you!” (Troparion - Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Today the whole world celebrates * the conception of Anne which was brought about by God, * for she gave birth to the one who, beyond understanding, * gave birth to the Word. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

Saint Nicholas of Myra

The truth of your deeds has revealed you to your flock, * as a rule of faith, an image of meekness, and a teacher of abstinence. * Therefore, you attained the heights through humility, * and riches through poverty. * O Father and Hierarch Nicholas, * pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved. (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

In Myra, You were shown to be a servant of the sacred things, O Holy Nicholas, * for, fulfilling the Gospel of Christ, you, O Venerable, laid down your life for your people, * and saved the innocent from death. * Therefore, you were sanctified as a great initiate of the grace of God. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom." (Proverbs 11:2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The soul has followed Moses and the cloud, both of these serving as guides for those who would advance in virtue; Moses here represents the commandments of the Law; and the cloud that leads the way, its spiritual meaning. The soul has been purified by crossing the Sea; it has removed from itself and destroyed the enemy army. It has tasted of the waters of Marah, that is, of life deprived of all sinful pleasure; and this at first had seemed bitter and unpleasant to the taste but offered a sensation of sweetness to those who accepted the wood. Next it enjoyed the beauty of the palm trees of the gospel and the springs; it filled itself with the living water, that is, the rock. It took within itself the bread of heaven. It overwhelmed the foreign host - a victory due to the extended arms of the Lawgiver, which thus foreshadowed the mystery of the Cross. Only then can the soul go on to the contemplation of transcendent Being.

St. Gregory of Nyssa