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The Transfiguration of the Lord

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The feast of the Transfiguration is based in part on this Gospel account from Luke 9:27-32.

"Truly I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God." About eight days after he said this, he took Peter, John, and James and went up the mountain to pray. While he was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem. Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep, but becoming fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him."

 


PRAYER, FASTING, MERCY: THE FRAMEWORK OF SPIRITUAL LIFE

VATICAN CITY, 8 MAR 2009 (VIS)
Today, at the Angelus of the second Sunday of Lent, Benedict XVI dedicated his remarks to the recently-concluded spiritual exercises of the Roman Curia.

"It was", he said, "a week of silence and prayer. Heart and mind were able to dedicate themselves entirely to God, to listening to His word, to meditating upon the mysteries of Christ".

Addressing the thousands of faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, the Pope explained that the experience could, in some way, be compared to that of the Apostles Peter, James and John, when Jesus took them with Him to the mountain "where, as He prayed, He was 'transfigured'; His face and person appeared to shine in splendour", as today's Gospel reading recounts.

"Jesus wanted His disciples, and in particular those who would have the responsibility of guiding the nascent Church, to have a direct experience of His divine glory, in order to be able to then face the 'scandal' of the cross". The Transfiguration was "mainly an experience of prayer. In fact, prayer reaches its pinnacle and becomes a source of inner light when the spirit of man joins the spirit of God and their wills fuse almost to form a single whole.

"When Jesus went up the mountain", Pope Benedict added, "he saw the Cross appear before him, the extreme sacrifice needed to free us from the domination of sin and death. In His heart he repeated once again: ... Yes, here I am Father, Your will of love be done. And, as happened after His Baptism in the Jordan, the signs of God's pleasure descended from the heavens: the light transfiguring the Christ and the voice proclaiming Him as "beloved Son'".

The Holy Father went on: "Alongside fasting and works of mercy, prayer is one of the principal structures of our spiritual life. ... During this period of Lent, I encourage you to discover extended moments of silence, if possible of retreat, in order to see your own lives in the light of the heavenly Father's plan of love. In this more intense listening to God, allow yourselves to be guided by the Virgin Mary, teacher and model of prayer. She, in the shadowy darkness of Christ's Passion, never lost the light of the divine Son, but conserved it in her soul".