During Lent, let us learn to give the right time to prayer, both personal and community prayer, which breathes air into our spiritual life. However, praying does not mean isolating oneself from the world and its contradictions, as St. Peter would have liked to have done on Mount Tabor, but prayer leads us back to the path, to action. Christian existence -- I have written in the Message for this Lent -- means to continuously climb up the mount for our encounter with God, so that afterward we can descend again filled with his love and strength to serve our brothers and sisters with the very love of God.
Dear Brothers and sisters, this Word of God I feel in a particular way towards me, at this moment in my life. The Lord is calling me to "climb the mount," and to devote myself to meditation, reflection and prayer. However, this does not mean abandoning the Church, but rather, if God has requested this of me, it is so that I can continue to serve the Church with the same dedication and the same love with which I have done up until now, but in a way adapted to my age and my strength.
Let us invoke Virgin Mary's intercession: Let her guide all of you to follow the Lord Jesus always, in prayer as well as in laborious charity.
Let us follow in the example of Pope Benedict and root ourselves in prayer so that we might allow the spirit of humility and discernment to guide all our actions. Let us open our hearts to hear God’s promptings to use our gifts, talents, and abilities to best serve his Church.
As has been emphasized before, the Catholic Apostolate Center is grateful for Pope Benedict XVI’s continual emphasis on the intrinsic connection between faith and charity, similar to St. Vincent Pallotti, founder of the Union of Catholic Apostolate and patron saint of the Catholic Apostolate Center. Pope Benedict’s humility in deciding to take this action is a great example for all of us seeking to be true servants of Jesus Christ. The Holy Father has been a gift to the Church, and the effects of his Petrine ministry will surely be felt for years to come.
May Mary, Queen of Apostles, continue to guide Pope Benedict XVI, and may the Holy Spirit be with the College of Cardinals as they gather to elect his successor.