Solidarity a Global Challenge, Says Pope

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 11, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI says he is convinced that solidarity is the great challenge of the globalized world.

"[O]nly through a common commitment to sharing [is it] possible to respond to the great challenge of our time: that of building up a world of peace and justice in which every man can live with dignity," the Pope said today before leading the praying of the midday Angelus in St. Peter's Square.

He added, "This can happen if a global model of authentic solidarity prevails, one that is able to assure all the inhabitants of the planet food, water, necessary medicines, and also work and energy resources, as well as cultural goods and scientific and technological knowledge."

The Holy Father meditated on the example left by the saint that the Church celebrates today, Martin of Tours (316-397), a soldier, bishop, and founder of the oldest known monastery in Europe.

The Pope recalled that St. Martin has passed into history above all for an act of fraternal charity, which has inspired numerous artists, such as El Greco.

"While still a young soldier, he met a poor man along the road who was frozen and trembling from the cold," the Pontiff explained. "Martin took his own cloak and cutting it with his sword, gave half of it to the man. That night Jesus appeared to Martin in a dream, smiling and wrapped in the cloak."

Benedict XVI exhorted all Christians "to be, like St. Martin, generous witnesses of the Gospel of charity and tireless builders of solidary sharing."

ZE07111109 - 2007-11-11


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Pentecost - Feast of the Descent of the Holy Spirit
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Blessed are You, O Christ our God, * Who has shown the fishermen to be all wise, * by sending down to them the Holy Spirit, * and through them You have caught the whole world in Your net. * O Lover of Mankind, glory to You. (Troparion - Tone 8)

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Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Even a pious person is not immune to spiritual sickness if he does not have a wise guide -- either a living person or a spiritual writer. This sickness is called _prelest_, or spiritual delusion, imagining oneself to be near to God and to the realm of the divine and supernatural. Even zealous ascetics in monasteries are sometimes subject to this delusion, but of course, laymen who are zealous in external struggles (podvigi) undergo it much more frequently. Surpassing their acquaintances in struggles of prayer and fasting, they imagine that they are seers of divine visions, or at least of dreams inspired by grace. In every event of their lives, they see special intentional directions from God or their guardian angel. And then they start imagining that they are God's elect, and often try to foretell the future. The Holy Fathers armed themselves against nothing so fiercely as against this sickness -- prelest.

Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky