Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Pope Benedict appeals for flood victims

Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday appealed for flood victims in various parts of the world. He said that from Latin America especially Central America to South-East Asia many people had been affected by flooding, and landslides, which had caused numerous deaths, and left many more missing, and homeless. 

Of the countries in Central America that have been inundated by floods El Salvador has been particularly hard hit, while in South East Asia over 500 people have died in Thailand since July , many drowning in flood waters.

The Holy Father expressed his closeness to all those who are suffering from these natural disasters, and added he was praying for the victims and their families.

He also urged institutions and people of good will to work together with a generous spirit, to assist the thousands of people who are tried as a result of such disasters.

The Pope made the appeal at his general audience in St Peter’s Square where he welcomed pilgrims from Denmark, the Philippines, Canada and the United States.

It was also the setting for Pope Benedict to continue his catechesis on Christian prayer which this week focused on Psalm 119.

“We now turn to Psalm 119, a solemn celebration of the Torah, the Law of the Lord. In twenty-two stanzas, each beginning with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet, the Psalmist proclaims his love for God’s Law, which brings light, life and salvation.”

The Holy Father went to explain that the words in this Psalm can be applied to the priesthood.

“A striking example of the Psalmist’s devotion is seen in his words: “The Lord is my portion” (v. 57). We can apply these words in a special way to priests, whose lives of celibacy testify to their call to complete devotion to the Lord and his Kingdom. But they can also be applied to all the faithful, who share in Christ’s royal priesthood and are called daily to bear witness to the Gospel. May the Lord grant us a deeper love for him, so that, like the Psalmist, we may always make his word “a lamp to our feet and a light to our path”.”

During the Audience the Pope was treated to a musical offering by a brass band ensemble from Malta and the Pope’s morning ended on a high note when he was conferred with honorary citizenship from the town of Natz-Schabs in the region of Trentino South Tyrol.

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