Today the Pope welcomed 2.600 French youngsters who serve as altar boys in parishes across France
Taken from Vatican Insider-ALessandro Speciale
Praying is not a waste of time, it does not mean taking time away from other activities in our daily life but is a way to find in God, the “capacity” and “strength to live in a happy and peaceful way”: this was Pope Benedict XVI’s message to pilgrims pronounced during this morning’s General Audience in the square in front of the Apostolic Palace in Castel Gandolfo.
In the last audience of August, on the feast of John the Baptist’s martyrdom, the Pope used the saint’s story as an illustration to emphasise that even today Christian life requires the “daily “martyrdom” of fidelity to the Gospel” which involves a “a solid relationship with God” built through prayer.
Prayer, the Pope recalled that “prayer is not a waste of time, it does not rob much space from our activities, not even apostolic activities, it does the exact opposite: only if we are able to have a life of faithful, constant, confident prayer will God Himself give us the strength and capacity to live in a happy and peaceful way, to overcome difficulties and to bear witness with courage.”
The Pope said that even today, St. John the Baptist’s martyrdom reminds us Christians of today that we cannot stoop to compromises with the love of Christ, his Word, the Truth. The Truth is the Truth and there is no compromise.”
It was precisely for this “love of truth”, Benedict XVI went on to say, that St. John “did not stoop to compromises with the powerful and was not afraid to use strong words with those who had lost the path of God.” According to the Gospels, the saint was decapitated by Herod for criticising his lifestyle, starting with the fact that he was living with Herodias.