November 3, 2010 // Uncategorized

Pope says daily meditation can help Christians clean their consciences

By John Thavis

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI said daily meditation on the life of Christ is a good way for people to grow spiritually and remove the “trash” from their consciences.

The pope, addressing pilgrims at his weekly general audience Nov. 3, said a 13th-century French mystic, St. Marguerite d’Oingt, offered an example of such spiritual self-reflection to modern men and women.

The saint, whose writings taught readers how to meditate, saw Christ as a “mirror” that allows light into one’s soul, the pope said.

“In this way she was transformed, and her conscience was enlightened and cleansed — and this is something we also need. The words, the life and the light of Christ can illuminate what is good and true, and what is evil, too,” he said.

“There is trash not only in the various streets of the world, but also in our consciences, in our souls. And only the light of the Lord cleans us and purifies us, showing us the right way,” he added.

He said that while at first glance the life of a medieval mystic might seem irrelevant to people today, her spiritual journey holds many lessons. St. Marguerite viewed life as a path of perfection leading to complete configuration to Christ, above all in his saving sacrifice on the cross, he said.

The pope this fall began a series of audience talks on women and their contributions to Church life, especially focusing on the holiness of their lives and the richness of their teaching. So far, the eight women the pope has spoken about have all been saints and blesseds who lived in the Middle Ages.

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Editor’s Note: The text of the pope’s audience remarks in English will be posted online at:

The text of the pope’s audience remarks in Spanish will be posted online at:

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