Even if the Church is beset by problems, it is still a gift of God, Pope Benedict told several hundred pastors of Rome parishes.
Too often, "perhaps because of a fear of triumphalism," priests and other Catholics do not rejoice enough over the gift of being part of the Church, the pope said March 10 during his Lenten meeting with the Rome pastors.
"Certainly, there always are difficult, negative aspects" of the Church's life on earth, "but it is a beautiful gift that we can live in the Church" and receive the sacraments of God's love and mercy, the pope said.
"The Church is always threatened.
There is always a danger, the opposition of the devil," who does not want there to be believers on earth, he said. Christians, however, can be confident that "truth is always stronger than lies, love is stronger than hatred and God is stronger than all the opposing forces."