Vatican City: Sunday, Pope Benedict was received by an estimated 200,000 of tthe faithful. They were there to hear his final blessing and reflections prior to his resignation, effective Feb. 28. The conclave to elect the new Pope will take place in mid-March.
Pope Benedict was greeted by cheers and songs. He spoke from his studio window to the people gathered to pray with him in St. Peter's Square.
Speaking on the Sunday gospel regarding the Transfiguration of Jesus while in prayer he said the following. "To pray is not to isolate oneself from the world and its contradictions as Peter wished to do on Tabor. Prayer, rather leads us back to the journey, to action. 'The Christian life' I wrote in my message for the Lent consists in continuously 'scaling the mountain' to reach God and then coming back down, bearing the love and strength drawn from him so as to serve our brothers and sisters with Gods own love. The Lord is calling me to 'scale the mountain', to dedicate myself still more to prayer and to meditation, the Pope said. "But this does not mean abandoning the Church. On the contrary, if God asks this of me, it is to serve the Church with the same dedication and the same love with which I have tried to do hitherto, but in a way that is more adapted to my age and my strength.
Let us invoke the intercession of the Virgin Mary: may she help us always to follow the Lord Jesus in prayer and in active charity."
At the end of his reflections the Holy Father thanked the faithful; "I thank you for the affection and for sharing, especially in prayer this important moment for me and for the Church. I wish everyone a good Sunday and a good week. Thank you! We are always close in prayer!
Source: Zenit News Agency