Everyone is given the grace to pray, which is the only way to have a life-giving relationship with God, Pope Benedict says.

Marking the feast of St. Alphonsus Liguori, founder of the Redemptorists and patron of moral theologians and confessors, the pope said the saint lived in “a period of great rigorism,” but encouraged priests to administer the sacrament in a way that communicated “the joyful embrace of God the merciful father, who in his infinite mercy never tires of welcoming back his repentant sons.”