Pope Benedict spoke about the deception of atheism, and the love of God for all his creatures, at his weekly public audience in St Peter's Square yesterday. He said: "Today I would like to reflect with you on Psalm 135, the solemn hymn of praise that formed part of the Jewish Passover liturgy. Let us consider the refrain: "for his mercy endures for ever". The key word here is "mercy", in Hebrew "hesed". It describes God's love for the chosen people with whom he has established a covenant. He is not a cold, distant God, but one who loves his creatures and suffers when they are unfaithful to him, when they reject his merciful fatherly affection. "The signs of God's love are seen in the marvels of creation and in the great gifts he has given to his people. The Fathers of the Church teach us to recognise in created things the greatness of God and his merciful love towards us. Saint Basil, filled with wonder as he reflects upon the mystery of Creation, writes that God is "beauty greater than any that can be desired, the beginning of all beings, the source of life, the light of understanding, inaccessible wisdom": such is the God who "in the beginning created Heaven and Earth". Let us praise the Lord, for he is good, for his mercy endures for ever." About 25,000 people from China, Indonesia, Japan, England, Africa and North America. attended the audience. The Pope addressed each group in their own language.
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