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Closeness to God gives strength to withstand everything, pope says


CAROL GLATZ

Source:
Catholic News Service
Type:
Media/Opinion
Date:
5/2/2012

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ABSTRACTCNS STORY: Closeness to God gives strength to withstand everything, pope says Home    |    About Us    |    Contacts    |    Products        News Items   Top Stories   News Briefs   Vatican   Origins   Africa   Headlines   Also Featuring   Movie Reviews   Sunday Scripture   CNS Blog   Links to Clients   Major Events   2008 papal visit   World Youth Day   John Paul II   For Clients   Client Login   CNS Insider   We're also on ...   Facebook   Twitter   RSS Feeds   Top Stories   Vatican   Movie Reviews   CNS Blog .   For More Info  If you would like  more information  about Catholic  News Service,  please contact  CNS at one of  the following:  cns@  catholicnews.com  or  (202) 541-3250 .   Copyright  This material  may not  be published,  broadcast,  rewritten or  otherwise  distributed,  except by  linking to  a page on  this site. .   CNS Story: POPE-AUDIENCE May-2-2012 (550 words) With photos. xxxi Closeness to God gives strength to withstand everything, pope says Pope Benedict XVI kisses a child as he leaves his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican May 2. (CNS/Paul Haring) By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The church's first martyr found the strength to face his accusers because of his close relationship with God, Pope Benedict XVI said. St. Stephen, who was accused of blasphemy and stoned to death, upheld the faith and gave witness to Christ as the righteous one proclaimed by the prophets, the pope said during the general audience in St. Peter's Square May 2. Continuing his catechesis on Christian prayer, the pope focused on St. Stephen, who was "accused of saying that Jesus would destroy the temple and the customs handed down by Moses." The saint told his accusers the body of Jesus is the new temple of God; it is in Jesus that God and humanity are in true contact, which makes real communion with God and transformation possible, the pope said. The saint explained how God does not dwell in places made by human hands; the "new true temple where God dwells is in his son," who gathers and unites all people in the sacrament of his body and blood, the pope said. Today's Christians can draw inspiration from St. Stephen, who found strength during his martyrdom in his relationship with God and by meditating on the history of salvation. "Our pray.......