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Quiet contemplation, inner conversion are keys to Advent, Pope tells Sunday audience

Catholic World News - December 05, 2011

Advent should be a time for “self-contemplation” and “an honest assessment of our lives,” Pope Benedict XVI told a crowd in St. Peter’s Square on December 4.

At his midday Angelus audience, the Pontiff called attention to two important figures in the liturgical readings of the Advent season: St. John the Baptist and the Virgin Mary. St. John, he reminded his listeners, was “an ascetic figure,” who rejected all luxuries. “The way of life of John the Baptist should call all Christians to a sober lifestyle, especially in the lead-up to Christmas,” the Pope remarked.

Moreover, Pope Benedict continued, St. John delivered a sobering message, calling for conversion: “an inner conversion on the basis of a recognition and confession of their sins.” Advent it an appropriate time for Christians to heed that call, the Pope said.

The Pontiff concluded his remarks by suggesting that the faithful should join in spirit with the Virgin Mary in “preparing our hearts and our lives for the coming of Emmanuel, God-with-us.”

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