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Pope urges optimism, even amid difficulties

At his regular Wednesday audience at the Vatican, Pope John Paul II said that Christians should always have an optimistic attitude toward life, in spite of all difficulties.

Meditating on Psalm 91, the Holy Father said the text manifests the belief that "God will reward the just, even in this life, giving them a happy old age."

This attitude, the Pope continued, is particularly important today, at a time when Christians can find many reasons for disquiet around them. Steadfast faith, he said, "inspires joy, trust, and optimism - gifts that we must ask of God, especially in our time, when there is so much temptation toward uncertainty and even despair."

For the second week running, the Pope held his audience at the Vatican rather than at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo. Vatican officials explained the change was prompted by the unusual number of pilgrims seeking to attend the papal audiences. Last week the Pope took a helicopter from Castel Gandolfo to the Vatican, yesterday travelled by car.

The audience had originally been shifted from the summer residence to St. Peter's Square. But after a worker was killed in a construction accident outside the Vatican basilica, the audience was again shifted, to the Paul VI auditorium. About 9000 people were in attendance.

Catholic World News

General Audience of John Paul II (3/9/03)
Vatican employee killed in construction accident (2/9/03)
Psalm 91 (

4 Sep 2003