VATICAN CITY (RNS) -- Drawing on the words of Psalm 23, Pope John Paul
II today listed the three conditions for going to
heaven as purity of heart, faith and morality.
The Roman Catholic pontiff told some 15,000 pilgrims, including four
choirs from the United States, who attended his weekly general audience
in St. Peter's Square that the three conditions correspond to the three
parts of the psalm.
"The first is a profession of faith in God the Creator to whom the
world and all its peoples belong," the pope said. He referred to the
lines beginning, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want."
John Paul said it is the second scene that indicates the conditions
for going to heaven.
Here, he said, "attention switches to Jerusalem, God's holy
mountain. The faithful are waiting to enter the Temple in a liturgical
"They can only do so provided that they are pure in heart, faithful
to true religion and diligent in observing the moral law."
"In the third scene, the faithful enter the Temple where they meet
God who reveals himself to them. Christians see this final scene as an
evocation of Christ's victory over death, his descent into the
underworld and his glorious ascension into heaven," the pope said.
The pope's address, known as a catechesis, was part of a series of
talks on the psalms he has been delivering at his general audiences.
Among pilgrims attending the audience were the St. Augustine Church
Choir from Andover, Mass., the Diocesan Choir of Madison, Wis., the Holy
Trinity Church Choir in Bloomington, Ill., and the St. Xavier High
School Chorus from the Archdiocese of Louisville, Ky.