Pope Benedict XVI held his weekly General Audience on Wednesday, during which he concluded his series of catechesis of Jesus’ own prayer. The particular focus of Pope Benedict’s remarks was the importance of silence in our relationship with God.
In Christ’s own life and prayer, and especially in his experience of the Cross, we see a constant interplay of word and silence. Jesus’ mortal silence on the Cross is his final word to the Father, his supreme prayer. To hear God’s word requires the cultivation of outward and inward silence, so that his voice can resound within our hearts and shape our lives.
Pope Benedict went on to say that Jesus teaches us that God also speaks to us, especially at times of difficulty, through his silence, which invites us to deeper faith and trust in his promises.
Jesus is our great teacher of prayer; from his prayer we learn to speak with confidence to our heavenly Father as his beloved sons and daughters.
“In this filial dialogue,” said Pope Benedict, “we are also taught to recognize God’s many gifts and to obey his will, which gives meaning and direction to our lives.”
Following the catechesis, the Pope had greetings for pilgrims in many languages, including English, during which welcomed several student groups from the United States:
I welcome the many student groups present at today’s Audience, including those from the United States Coast Guard Academy, the Catholic University of America, Saint Mary’s Seminary and the Franciscan University of Steubenville.
Aldo during the course of the audience, the Holy Father had special greetings for the Patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenian Catholics, His Beatitude Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni, and for all the Armenian Catholic bishops come to Rome from various continents for their particular Church’s Synod assembly.
Pope Benedict expressed heartfelt gratitude to the bishops for their loyalty to the heritage of their venerable Christian tradition and to the Successor of Peter. Offering his Apostolic Blessing, he promised earnest prayers for the work of the Synod fathers, in the hope that they will encourage greater communion and understanding among pastors, and give renewed impetus to Armenian Catholics on the paths of a generous and joyful witness to Christ and the Church.
Pope Benedict concluded his greetings with thoughts and prayers for the regions of the Middle East, encouraging pastors and faithful there to persevere with hope in the great suffering that afflict them.
Following the audience, Pope Benedict received the German Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schauble in a private parlor within the Paul VI Hall.