“We must give ourselves much exercise both in fraternal correction, which requires a great deal of humility and simplicity of heart, and in prayer, so that what we offer up to God in Heaven might be the prayer of a community truly united in Christ.” These were some of the words Pope Benedict XVI spoke to the faithful gathered in the courtyard of the Papal Summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, for the Sunday Angelus. Reflecting on the Sunday Gospel readings, which focus on fraternal charity in the life of the community, the Holy Father recalled how the brotherly love also involves a "sense of mutual responsibility," which includes calling a brother who has fallen into sin back to the right path - first personally and then, gradually, at the community level.
Pope Benedict went on to note that, in the face of the stubbornness of a brother or sister, this can lead even to separation from the Church community. “All this,” he said, “indicates that there is a sharing of responsibility in the way of Christian life: all of us, aware of our limitations and defects, are called to welcome fraternal correction and to help others with this particular service.” After recalling the importance of communal prayer, the Pope turned to his upcoming visit to the Adriatic port city of Ancona in central Italy, where the XXV National Eucharistic Congress is already underway on the theme: "Lord, to whom shall we go? - The Eucharist in daily life. Pope Benedict offered greetings and blessing to all the participants, calling the Congress, “[an] event of grace, which adores and praises Christ present in the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist, source of life and hope for every man and for the whole world.”
After the traditional noonday prayer of Marian devotion, Pope Benedict greeted pilgrims in many languages, including English, during which he offered a special salute to the participants in the 8th international conference of Matercare International - an organization of Catholic health professionals dedicated to the care of mothers and babies, which held its gathering this past week in Rome.
"I am pleased to welcome the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present for this Angelus prayer. I greet the doctors gathered for the Matercare International Conference on the Dignity of Mothers and Obstetricians, as well as students present from the University of Mary, Rome Campus. Today’s Gospel passage reminds us that God is present when the Church gathers to worship in his name. May we always draw grace and strength from our prayerful encounters with God in communion with our brothers and sisters in the faith. May God bless all of you!"
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