Pope Benedict XVI- Audiences
“The wonder of my being”
H.H. Benedict XVI
December 21, 2005
Dear Brothers and
Today's General Audience is taking place in an atmosphere of glad
and excited expectation for the Christmas festivities, now at hand.
Come, Lord Jesus! This is what we repeat in prayer during these
days, preparing our hearts to taste the joy of the Redeemer's birth.
In this last week of Advent in particular, the liturgy accompanies
and sustains us on our inner journey with repeated invitations to
welcome the Saviour and to recognize him in the humble Child lying
in a manger.
This is the mystery of Christmas, which a wealth of symbols helps us
to understand better. These include the symbol of light, which is
one of the symbols richest in spiritual significance and on which I
would like briefly to reflect.
In our hemisphere, the Feast of Christmas coincides with the days of
the winter solstice, after which the daylight time gradually
lengthens, in accordance with the sequence of the seasons.
This helps us understand better the theme of light that overcomes
the darkness. It is an evocative symbol of a reality that touches
the innermost depths of the human being: I am referring to the
light of good that triumphs over evil, the light of love that
overcomes hatred, the light of life that defeats death. Christmas
makes us think of this inner light, the divine light that returns to
propose anew to us the proclamation of the definitive victory of
God's love over sin and death.
Therefore, in the Novena of Holy Christmas that we are now making,
there are many and significant evocations of light. The antiphon we
sang at the beginning of our meeting also reminds us of light. The
Saviour awaited by the people is hailed as the "Rising Star", the
star that points out the way to men and women and guides them as
they journey through the shadows and dangers of the world toward the
salvation promised by God and fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
As we prepare to celebrate the Saviour's Birth joyfully in our
families and our Ecclesial Communities, while a certain modern,
consumerist culture tends to do away with the Christian symbols of
the celebration of Christmas, may it be everyone's task to grasp the
value of the Christmas traditions that are part of the patrimony of
our faith and our culture, in order to pass them on to the young
Let us remember in particular, as we look at the streets and squares
of the cities decorated with dazzling lights, that these lights
refer us to another light, invisible to the eyes but not to the
heart. While we admire them, while we light the candles in churches
or the illuminations of the crib and the Christmas tree in our
homes, may our souls be open to the true spiritual light brought to
all people of good will. The God-with-us, born in Bethlehem of the
Virgin Mary, is the Star of our lives!
"O rising Star, splendour of eternal light, sun of justice: shine on
those lost in the darkness of death!". Making our own this
invocation of today's liturgy, let us ask the Lord to hasten his
glorious coming among us, among all those who are suffering, for in
him alone can the genuine expectations of the human heart find
May this Star of light that never sets communicate to us the
strength to follow always the path of truth, justice and love! Let
us live these last days before Christmas intensely, together with
Mary, the Virgin of silence and listening.
May she who was totally enveloped by the light of the Holy Spirit
help us to understand and live to the full the mystery of Christ's
Nativity. With these sentiments, exhorting you to keep alive the
inner wonder in fervent expectation of the celebration of the
Saviour's birth that is now at hand, I am pleased to express from
this moment my most cordial good wishes for a holy and happy
Christmas to all of you present here, to your relatives, to your
communities and to all your loved ones.
Merry Christmas to everyone!
I extend a warm welcome to the English-speaking visitors and
pilgrims here today. May your stay in Rome, during this most special
of seasons, be a time of uplifting spiritual joy. I wish you and
your loved ones at home a happy and holy Christmas!
I also greet the young people, the sick and the
I hope that everyone will prepare themselves to live a holy and
happy Christmas, making their hearts ready to receive the Infant
Jesus who comes to fill with joy and peace all who, like the Virgin
Mary, await him with faith.
© Copyright 2005 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana
This page is the work of the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and