Monday, August 17, 2009
The 'open' Christianity he talks about is a Christianity open to reality and the human desire for the infinite. And so, as he reminds us in this article, it is only by "recalling the structural needs of the human and Christian conscience we can stir that energy and determination from which alone is born conviction and then enthusiasm".
Saturday, July 11, 2009
We are grateful to the Holy Father that in his social encyclical he has again proposed the originality of the faith and the contribution that Christians can give to social life and development.
To us it seems critical that at the beginning of an encyclical dedicated to human affairs, the Pope, with great realism, is recalling everyone to something basic and evident, which, if denied, leads every human effort to become unjust to the point of violence: “Sometimes modern man is wrongly convinced that he is the sole author of himself, his life and society. This is a presumption that ... is a consequence ... of original sin. The Church’s wisdom has always pointed to the presence of original sin in social conditions and in the structure of society.”
Recent experience, in fact, teaches us that the claim of self-sufficiency and of being able to "eliminate the evil present in history by his own action alone has led man to confuse happiness and salvation with immanent forms of material prosperity and social action." On the contrary, the truth about ourselves is first of all “given”: "[Truth is not something that we produce; it is always found, or better, received.' This is why the Pope affirms that "[c]harity in truth ... is the principal driving force behind the authentic development of every person and of all humanity... In Christ, charity in truth becomes the Face of his Person."
Benedict XVI recalls us to the fact (which, as current events show, is more and more often forgotten) that a "Christianity of charity without truth would be more or less interchangeable with a pool of good sentiments, helpful for social cohesion, but of little relevance. In other words, there would no longer be any real place for God in the world." Caritas in veritate asserts that the Church “does not have technical solutions to offer and does not claim to interfere in any way in politics,” but does have a mission to accomplish: proclaiming Christ as “the first and principal factor of development.” Along this path of witness we feel challenged to verify, within the context of daily life, the import of faith in Christ, as the One who places us in the best conditions for facing the myriad of problems in the economic, financial, social and political fields enumerated by the encyclical.
In the next issue of Traces, the monthly international magazine of the movement coming out next week, a booklet with the text of Caritas in veritate will be enclosed.
CL press office
Milan, July 8, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
[H]is relatively early death wasn’t “tragic.” He was one of the richest people in the world. He spent his money on perpetual childhood and he was perpetually with children not his own.
Meanwhile, in the last ten days, we’ve seen or heard of remarkable people who’ve given their lives for freedom in Iran. We’ve heard of innocents killed because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. In the last decade, America has lost thousands of heroes in noble causes and thousands of innocent bystanders who were denied the simple joys of life through no fault of their own. Those deaths are tragic, and we’re hard pressed to think of more than a handful of names to put with the long line of the dead.
If anything, Michael Jackson’s life, not his death, was tragic….
I feel sympathy for Jackson’s family and friends who understandably mourn him. But I can’t bring myself to mourn him any more than I mourn the random dead I read about in the paper everyday. Indeed, I confess to mourning him less.
Every channel says this is a sad day for America. I agree. But not for the same reasons.
In response, this comment by Benedict XVI, on the occasion of the end of the Pauline Year, seems particularly relevant to our condition and the condition of our culture:
“Men are often empty inside and thus must grasp for promises and drugs, which end up adding to their inner sense of emptiness,” the Pope explained. “This inner emptiness, man’s inner weakness, is one of today’s great problems. The inner self—the heart’s perceptiveness, the capacity to see and understand the world and man from within, with the heart—must be strengthened. We need reason enlightened by the heart to learn to act in accordance to the truth in love. This cannot be done without an intimate relationship with God, without a life of prayer. We need to meet God, something which is given to us in the Sacraments. And we cannot speak to God in prayer if we do not let Him speak first, if we do not listen to him in the word he gave us.”
Monday, June 15, 2009
"When I think about atheist friends, including my father, they seem to me like people who have no ear for music, or who have never been in love. It is not that (as they believe) they have rumbled the tremendous fraud of religion – prophets do that in every generation. Rather, these unbelievers are simply missing out on something that is not difficult to grasp. Perhaps it is too obvious to understand; obvious, as lovers feel it was obvious that they should have come together, or obvious as the final resolution of a fugue."
A. N. Wilson is a well-known British author, famously (or infamously) a 'convert' to atheism. In this article in the New Statesman, he describes his return to the Christian faith along the pathway of reason and experience.
H/T to Rick
I'd especially like to say thanks to Raffy for all her hard work organising the event. Although she couldn't make it in person, we all owe her a debt of gratitude.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
General: That international attention towards the poorer countries may give rise to more concrete help, in particular to relieve them of the crushing burden of foreign debt.
Mission: That the particular Churches operating in regions marked by violence may be sustained by the love and concrete closeness of all the Catholics in the world.
Friday, May 29, 2009
"At a time in which relativistic and nihilistic concepts of life exercise a powerful enticement, a time in which the very legitimacy of education is placed in doubt, the principal contribution we can make is that of bearing witness to our trust in life and in man, in his reason and in his capacity to love", said the Holy Father.
"The difficulty in forming authentic Christians interweaves and melds with the difficulty of creating responsible and mature men and women", the Pope explained. He also emphasised the importance that "an awareness of truth and goodness, and free adherence to these values, should be at the core of the educational project, so as to give form to a process of overall development. For this reason", he went on, "alongside an appropriate curriculum that identifies the aim of education in the light of the model to be followed, there is a need for authoritative educators to whom new generations can look with trust.
"A true educator places himself in the front line and knows how to unite authority and exemplarity in the task of educating those entrusted to his care. We ourselves are aware of this, having been given the role of guides among the People of God, guides whom the Apostle Peter invites to tend God's sheep and to 'be examples to the flock'".