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 procession. "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.
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