Pope says spiritual fervour is best Christmas preparation

Wearing a heavy red cape to protect him from the cold, Pope Benedict XVI encouraged Christians to prepare for Advent, and for Christmas with "spiritual fervour".

Catholic News Service reports that the Holy Father was speaking last week, foreshadowing last Sunday's beginning of Advent.

"I ask you all to prepare for Advent with spiritual fervour, drawing from the word of God and the Eucharist interior energy for welcoming the Lord who comes," he said at the end of his general audience.

Because more than 25,000 people requested free tickets to the audience, the morning gathering was held in St. Peter's Square.

In his main audience talk, the pope focused on the hymn of blessing found at the beginning of St. Paul's Letter to the Ephesians.

The pope said the hymn picks up similar "blessings" found in the Jewish tradition, but praises God as the "Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ."

Prepare for Advent, Christmas with 'spiritual fervour,' pope says (Catholic News Service 28/11/05)

Christian education is a key question for Poland (Vatican Information Service 26/11/05)
Guarantee access to food and agricultural resources (Vatican Information Service 26/11/05)
Period of Advent, journey of true sanctification (Vatican Information Service 26/11/05)
Advent gives rise to hope for renewing the world (Vatican Information Service 26/11/05)
End cycle of violence and misery in Sudan (Vatican Information Service 28/11/05)
To young people: we find happiness only in God (Vatican Information Service 28/11/05)
Pope Benedict ushers in Christmas season (Associated Press/News & Observer 28/11/05)
Pope says world must do more to end Darfur "horror" (Reuters 28/11/05)
Advent reminds Christians they must renew world, says pope (Catholic News Service 28/11/05)
Pope meets Sudanese Catholics, urges action to protect Darfur region (Catholic News Service 28/11/05)
Pope to Polish Bishops: urgent need for Christian education, especially for the young (Catholic News Agency 28/11/05)
Jesus needs you to renew modern society, Pope tells Dutch youth (Catholic News Agency 28/11/05)
Hope of Advent is pointed toward the future, but rooted in the past, says Pope (Catholic News Agency 28/11/05)
Pope's Advent message: God calls us to communion which is fully realized in Christ's return (Catholic News Agency 28/11/05)
Pope calls for end to violence, suffering in Sudan (Catholic News Agency 28/11/05)
Advent preparation revives souls, renews world, Pope says (Catholic World News 28/11/05)
Pope pleads for peace in Darfur (Catholic World News 28/11/05)
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Pope meets premier from Samoa (Catholic World News 28/11/05)
Dutch Catholic youth receive papal encouragement (Catholic World News 28/11/05)
Looking forward To Christmas
Advent a Time to Hope for Renewal, Says Pope (Zenit 27/11/05)
Pope Begins Liturgical Year With Call to Holiness (Zenit 27/11/05)
Benedict XVI's Portrait Added to Basilica (Zenit 27/11/05)
Angelus: At Start of Advent (Zenit 27/11/05)
Catholic university: Faithfulness to the Magisterium (Vatican Information Service 25/11/05)
Pope: Advent, "a time of hope and waiting", gets under way (AsiaNews.it 27/11/05)
Pope's challenge of true Catholic university: quality research and teaching, faithfulness to Magesterium (Catholic News Agency 25/11/05)
John L. Allen: Short takes: Taxes, Thanksgiving and the Swiss Guard (National Catholic Reporter 25/11/05)
John L. Allen: Assisi and a curial shake up (National Catholic Reporter 25/11/05)
Sunday Gospel (Vatican Radio English Features 25/11/05, audio - requires Real Player)
A Varied Diet (Vatican Radio English Features 25/11/05, audio - requires Real Player)
Benedict XVI Laments Rise in World Hunger (Zenit 24/11/05)
Friars Minor Support Pope's Measures for Assisi (Zenit 24/11/05)
Papal Address to Participants in U.N. Food Conference (Zenit 24/11/05)
Science-Religion Synthesis Possible, Says Pope (Zenit 25/11/05)
Pope Urges Work on Natural Fertility Regulation (Zenit 25/11/05)
Spain's Bishops Invite Pope for 2006 (Zenit 25/11/05)

29 Nov 2005