ADDRESS OF POPE JOHN PAUL II
Friday, 21 January 2005
1. I greet you all with great joy, Counsellors and Members of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, who are taking part in this Plenary Meeting whose theme is: "Sunday Mass, the centre of Christian life in Latin America". Your Continent has a very special place in my heart because of the large number of Catholics and the religious vitality that are features of the countries of which it consists. I personally cherish pleasant memories of my Pastoral Visits to your countries.
I am deeply grateful to Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re for his kind and
affectionate words, introducing your work in these days.
You therefore need to focus your efforts on giving them a better and more careful instruction and catechesis on the Eucharist, as well as watching that the liturgy is dignified and decorous so that it inspires true, authentic devotion before the immensity of the Eucharistic Mystery.
Sunday must be appropriately prepared by the celebrant so that his spiritual
disposition then shines forth through his gestures and words, and in his
properly prepared homily. Special attention should be paid to choosing and
arranging the hymns, symbols and other means that enrich the liturgy, always
with due respect for the established norms and making full use of all the
spiritual and pastoral riches of the Roman Missal and the measures proposed by
the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
6. I place all these desires and the proposals that emerged at this Plenary Meeting at the feet of the Blessed Virgin Mary, venerated throughout America as Our Lady of Guadalupe. We must imitate her in her relationship with the Most Holy Sacrament (cf. Mane Nobiscum Domine, n. 31). May she intercede for the outcome of your reflections during these days so that the conclusions you have reached may take shape in more determined and firmer actions, in order to ensure that the love of the faithful for Jesus in the Eucharist constantly increases and that they take advantage of the priceless fruits they can obtain by taking part in this Mystery.
With these sentiments, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing to you all.
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