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Candlemass Day, feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the temple

11/02/2013: Vatican

According to the tradition of the Church, 2 February is celebrated as the day of Consecrated Life. At the Vatican in Rome, numerous religious men and women take part in the ceremony presided over by the Pope. Br Emili Turú was expressly invited to take part with other religious in the procession of candles in the liturgical ceremony. Here is a brief report.

On the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, Pope Benedict XVI presided at the eucharistic celebration in the Basilica of Saint Peter at 5.30 pm, attended by a crowd of members of the consecrated life.

 Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and the under-secretary of the congregation concelebrated with the Pope.

VaticanoIn his homily, the Bishop of Rome addressed three invitationsto his religious brothers and sisters to enter fully through the door of faith.

In the first place, the Pope invited them to nourrish a faith capable of illuminating their vocation. He exhorted them to recall, as on an interior pilgrimage, the « first love » with which the Lord Jesus embraced their heart, not from nostalgia, but in order to feed this flame. To do this, he said, it is necessary to stay with Him, in the silence of adoration.

Secondly, he invited the religious to « a faith which knows how to recognize the  wisdom of weakness ». Because in a society of efficiency and success, their life, marked by being a « minority » and by the weakness of little ones, by its closeness to the voiceless, becomes an « evangelical sign of contradiction ».

Finally, His Holiness exhorted religious to renew the faith which makes them pilgrims towards the future, emphasizing that « by its nature religious life is a pilgrimage of the spirit, in search of the Face which sometimes manifests itself and sometimes conceals itself ». He desired that such should always be their hearts’ momentum. He recommended them not to join the prophets of doom who announce the end or the irrelevance of consecrated life in the Church of our times, but rather to put on Jesus Christ with the arms of light, remaining awake and vigilant.

(After Radio Vatican).

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