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Is the Pope getting mystical?

We reported yesterday on the continuing tremendous output of words from the Pope in recent days. His own Wednesday audience yesterday almost had a mystical quality to it as he explored the meaning of our personal relationship with God and of maintaining hope despite the good and bad in the world around us.

Here is the full Vatican Information Service report on the audience…

Audience: God is not indifferent to good and evil

VATICAN CITY, JAN 28, 2004 (VIS) – In today's general audience celebrated in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope continued the Wednesday catechesis with commentary on the psalms, and spoke about Psalm 10, "The faith of the just is in the Lord."

"The spiritual tone of the entire hymn," said the Pope, "is expressed well by the concluding verse: 'The Lord is righteous, He loves righteous deeds.' This is the root of all faith and the source of every hope in the day of darkness and trial. God is not indifferent to good and evil. He is a good God and not a dark power, indecipherable and mysterious."

John Paul II indicated that in the first of the two episodes of the psalm "the godless one is described in his apparent triumph," as the one who wants "to violently strike his victim, the faithful" and the faithful "feels alone and powerless before the eruption of evil." He went on to say that in the second episode, "the Lord, seated on his celestial throne, embraces with His penetrating gaze the entire human world. From that transcendent position, sign of omniscience and divine omnipotence, God can examine and evaluate each person, distinguishing good from evil and condemning injustice with force."

"The Lord," he added, "is not a remote sovereign, closed in His golden world, but rather He is a vigilant Presence that is on the side of good and justice. He sees and provides, intervening with His word and action." The godless one, "rained down upon with coals fire and brimstone, symbols of God's judgement," experiences first hand that "there is a God Who judges on the earth."

The Pope emphasized that "the last verse opens up the horizon to the light and peace destined to the just man who will contemplate his Lord, a just judge, but overall a merciful liberator: 'The upright will behold His face.' It is an experience of common joy and of serene faith in God Who frees man from evil."

"Many just men throughout history have had a similar experience," he concluded. "Many stories describe the faith of the Christian martyrs in the face of tempests and their firmness in not shunning the trial."

VIS – Audience: God is not indifferent to good and evil

29 Jan 2004