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Everyone can be generous, Pope reminds audience

November 12, 2012

“No one is so poor that they are unable to give something,” Pope Benedict XVI told his Angelus audience on Sunday, November 11.

The Scripture readings from the day’s Mass told the story of the widow’s mite and the widow who encountered the prophet Elijah in Sidon. In each case, the Pope observed, the widow was generous despite her own urgent needs. Their stories, he said, illustrate “the indivisible unity of faith and charity, which is like that between love for God and love for neighbor."

In the Bible widows are always treated as people in need of support, the Pope observed; and in the two readings the widow’s poverty is emphasized. But poverty in itself is not a virtue: “God always asks us to adhere willingly to faith, which is expressed as love for Him and for one's neighbor.” The Pontiff quoted from St. Leo the Great: “No act of kindness is meaningless before God, no mercy is fruitless.”

At the conclusion of his audience the Pope reminded the crowd in St. Peter’s Square that the beatification of Maria Luisa Prosperi, a 19th-century Benedictine abbess, had taken place the previous day in Spoleto, Italy. The Pontiff also called attention to the Italian Day of Thanksgiving, which was observed on November 11. The observance, he said, especially during the current Year of Faith, “reminds us of the need for a lifestyle rooted in the faith so that, with a grateful heart, we may recognize the creative and provident hand of God which nourishes his children.”


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